Johnny Liu (he/him), MEd, RCC
Hi everyone, my name is Johnny and I am one of the counsellors at ECU! As a queer person of colour and an immigrant from Taiwan, I am committed to holding a safe and supportive space for people to share and process their life experiences.
I work within a trauma informed and anti-oppressive framework and use a variety of complementary modalities including DBT, CBT, Solution focused, somatic experiencing, sensori-motor, attachment, and mindfulness in my practice.
Prior to working at ECU, I have worked as a therapist in community counselling settings with adults and youth, providing individual, couples, and family counselling.
Areas that I work in: LGBTQ2s+, identity formation, relational dynamics, anxiety, depression, life transitions, suicidal ideations, self harm, trauma, and early psychosis.
Hobbies and Interests: I enjoy spending time with my dog and buying plants. In my spare time, I like to zone out and not exercise.
Amy Kheong (she/her), MEd, RCC
Hi, I’m Amy and I’m a proud Chinese Canadian. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta on the traditional Blackfoot and Treaty 7 territories. Calgary was a lonely place to grow up as a POC and I experienced a lot of racism and systemic discrimination.
I’ve been working at the university for the past 21 years, and at the University of the Fraser Valley and Langara before that. I started as the sole counsellor in a one-person office at Emily Carr, and am now Director of a diverse and expanded program and team. I have spent my entire career supporting students, being inspired by them and learning from them. I am very familiar with the sensitivities and challenges that art and design students experience.
I believe that solid mental health involves a balance of the 3 selves: the experiencing bodily self, emotional relational self and the thinking achieving self. I support my clients in developing the 3 selves and finding a healthy balance; and with empathy, validation and insight I help them remove the internal barriers and self-defenses that may be getting in their way.
The counselling modalities I use include psychodynamic, personality-guided therapy, sensori-motor, hypnotherapy, meditation, and DBT.
Areas of specialty: navigating one’s racialized identity, cross-cultural differences, family and relationship struggles, trauma including sexual violence, personality struggles, emotional vulnerability, grief and loss and rejection, mental health distress.
Hobbies and interests: I’m in my happy place when I’m sewing, quilting, watching CFL football and Kdramas, listening and dancing to BTS, bike riding, cooking or baking
Ashiya Khan-Sequeira (she/ her) MA, RCC
Hello Emily Carr community. My name is Ashiya and I am an Indo-Fijian Canadian. I was born in the breathtaking tropical islands of Fiji and immigrated to BC with my family at the age of eight.
For over 15 years, in my role as a counsellor I have had the privilege of supporting my clients in their journey of self-awareness, personal growth and healing. I work within an anti-oppressive and trauma-informed framework. I also draw from my Adlerian training and apply the basic principles of client-centred counselling through mutual respect, encouragement, and collaboration. My overall holistic approach to counselling focuses on mind-body connection and wellness.
My on-going postgraduate training has also allowed me to utilize many other modalities such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy,(CBT), Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Lifespan Integration, Mindfulness, Brief and Solutions Focused, and Expressive/Art Therapy.
Areas I work in include anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, past or recent trauma, racialized trauma, grief and loss, family/relationship struggles or self-esteem and identity development.
Prior to becoming a full-time permanent counsellor on the team, I was a contract counsellor with Emily Carr for 3 years. My previous work experience has been in many sectors of the social service field such as government agencies, group homes, community centers, and schools.
As a woman of colour, I am also genuinely dedicated to being part of the healing and empowering process for racialized and marginalized communities. I provide a safe and nurturing environment for all my clients so they can be heard, seen, and understood. I strongly believe that counselling can be a powerful tool in creating hope and discovering your inner strengths and resources.
Outside of the counselling room, I can be found spending time with my family, enjoying netflix, running, or hiking the local west coast trails.
Julia Sangha (she/her), MA, RCC
Hello ECU Community! I’m Julia, a first generation Canadian (half South Asian and half Polish), strong advocate of immigrants and people of colour, and a forever ally of the LGBTQ2+ community. In counselling I strive to create an all-inclusive, emotionally and spiritually safe space for clients to share their experiences and work on therapeutic goals (whatever these may be).
Having 14 years of experience, I use many different modalities (CBT, DBT, ACT, Solution-focused, therapeutic yoga, and mindfulness/meditation) all within a trauma-informed, strength-based framework. Areas I work in include: anxiety, mood disorder, OCD, psychosis, attentional difficulties, suicidal ideation, self harm, identity development, relationship difficulties, career exploration, trauma, motivation, adjustment to university and/or new environment. In addition to working at ECU, I can be found in private practice and community mental health.
I think it is important to know that I really hate reading, so in my free time I enjoy working out, listening to country music, and watching bad reality tv with my dog Teddie.
Susan Morris (she/her), MA, CCC
Hi there, my name is Susan and I’m a white Canadian counsellor with over 25 years of experience counselling post-secondary students. I really love working with young adults because I think it’s such an exciting time of life, full of possibilities but also rife with challenges, such as anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief, relationship difficulties, and identity formation issues.
My approach, in our brief 8 session-model, is a practical and collaborative one, focused on problem-solving and identifying strengths and building on them. I use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to help unpack experiences and Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and mindfulness to process the accompanying difficult emotions, thoughts, and body sensations; and finally, values clarification and imagery to set personal goals. None of this work can happen, however, without the scaffolding of trust and respect and I do my best to connect with our diverse student community through my own experiences travelling and living overseas.
Outside of work, I like to read and watch movies, as well as do yoga, ski, and cycle.
Frances Soon (she/her), MA, RCC
Hi my name is Frances and I am a Chinese Canadian counsellor. I am dedicated to holding a safe supportive space for people to share and process their experiences. My counselling practice is guided by a belief and understanding that all people possess an inner wisdom and the capacity to heal and grow. I work within a trauma-informed, attachment/relational informed, anti-oppressive framework. To support client’s needs in an integrative way, I draw from a variety of modalities: Mindfulness Practice, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, Expressive Therapy, CBT and DBT.
The areas that I work in include: anxiety, depression, mood disorders, self-esteem, body image concerns, LGBTQ2s, identity development, sexuality, school concerns, trauma, stress management, grief & loss, self-harm, suicidal ideation, life transitions, and relationship concerns.
Aside from my work at Emily Carr, I have worked as a counsellor in community, education, and health settings, supporting diverse populations of children, youth, adults, and families.
In my spare time you will find me in nature, involved in creative projects, enjoying music or relaxing with others or solo.
Student Resource Coordinators
Taryn Porter (she/her), BFA, MSW
Hello Emily Carr community. I was raised under the beautiful Alberta skies and I am from a family of British and Irish heritage. I have the privilege of working at Emily Carr since 2017. Prior to this I have worked in many social work roles since 2000. I am humbly committed to creating a safe space for everyone that I work with.
As an Emily Carr graduate myself, I am very familiar with some of the struggles that students face. I have a kind heart and I really enjoy listening to students share their lives, resiliencies and struggles. I enjoy the process of working with students so they feel empowered to find their own solutions.
I have a Master of Social Work degree from U of T’s Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency program. I am passionate about practicing within a trauma-informed and strength based framework. I have expertise and knowledge in the area of violence against women and working with familes and individuals in crisis.
In my spare time, I enjoy practicing ball mace flow, yoga (when the mood strikes me), riding my bike, fiction audio books, sitting out in the sun. I love wheel throwing and really anything to do with ceramics.
Joanne Elliott (she/her), BFA, MC:AT
Hello ECU Community! I am a Canadian of Icelandic (2nd gen) and Scots-Irish (3rd gen) heritage. I am one of the Student Resource Coordinators at Emily Carr and have been at ECU for nearly 5 years. In this supportive role, I have had the opportunity to work with students, faculty and staff/admin, all toward our common goal of supporting student success.
I’ve worked in post-secondary for over 10 years. Before that, I worked as a counsellor and art therapist (in various agencies, including non-profit) providing support to children, teens, and women healing from trauma and violence, and with a team providing comprehensive support to psychiatric inpatients.
My master’s degree is in clinical counselling with a specialization in art therapy. I also have additional (limited) experience with narrative and play approaches, as well as mindfulness based cognitive / dialectical behavioural therapy.
I adjusted my career path a decade ago to focus more on supporting students seeking their own educational goals as I believe that knowledge is empowering for students’ personal growth and career aspirations.
It has been a privilege to be a part of students’ educational journeys – and now as a member of the Accessibility office coordinating support when needed and helping to address / mitigate barriers.
Personal interests include art creation and creative endeavours.
Student Wellness Coordinator
Nick Giardina (he/him), MA (2022 completion)
Hi everyone! My name is Nick and I am your Student Wellness Coordinator. I’m a white Canadian, born and raised in the Neutral, Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee territories (Ontario), and have called BC my home now for about 5 years.
I feel most inspired by continuously learning about human behaviour, well-being, and happiness – and am currently completing my Master in Psychology with a specialization in Health and Wellness at Adler University. I also volunteer as a Youth Educator with the Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC to facilitate Self-Care for Mental Health workshops.
In everything I do I strive to foster well-being in individuals, communities, and organizations by enhancing resilience and a sense of belonging. When I’m not working or doing school work, I really hope to be out in nature, taking my camper van on an adventure, or getting some good quality time with friends and family.
Student Wellness Advocate
Sarah Jo (she/her), MA
My name is Sarah (last name Jo) and I’m a queer first gen Korean-American born and raised in Ohlone territories (Bay Area, California).
As Student Wellness Advocate, I bring in many of the experiences and learnings from my past work, activism, and education. I strive to be honest, accessible, and act with integrity in all of my interactions with students. I hold an MA in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice from UBC and ground my work within an anti-oppressive, feminist, and anti-terf/swerf framework.
My past work experiences include supporting students at the Emily Carr Students’ Union; engaging youth with mental health and substance use experiences across Fraser Valley to develop and self-identify models of resilience through a Health Canada grant; and helping organize feedback, education and interviews to inform Vancouver Community College’s campus action plan on gender based violence.
I love everything plants, cats, and bangtan. I challenge anyone to show me a cat video that I haven’t seen already. I also love taking naps, buying new notebooks even though I have an unused stack at home, playing video games, and visiting my friends and family back in California.
Access + Operations Advisor
Suzanne Cowan (she/her), DipTextiles, DipFashion, BA, MA Information Science
Hello ECU folks. My name is Suzanne. I’m a first generation white Irish/Indonesian Canadian. Born in unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories (Vancouver), I’ve also lived in both Taipei and London, UK.
I have worked in post-secondary for ten years, including several years supporting students as an academic librarian. Also a multidisciplinary artist, I place great value in creating, making and engaging with art.
In my spare time, I can be found riding my bike, sailing, climbing mountains, as well as admiring trees, flowers, plants and rocks.