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Pam Athwal, Ba, RPN

About Me

Hi! I am Pam Athwal. The landscape of mental health in British Columbia allows client's to have so many options when picking a counsellor to assist them through their healing journey. Here is a little introduction to my practice to help you make the important decision of who you want to help you along with that journey. 

My academic background began in 1996 when I started a double major for a bachelor of psychology and history from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. During this time, I had the opportunity to continue my education through a diploma in psychiatric nursing. It has always been a passion of mine to learn and develop my education and skills, which inspired me to get a diverse education through my undergraduate degree. 

Becoming a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) (licensing # 770750) inspired me because I have always been solution focused and enjoyed the process of helping others in a tangible way. Nursing allows me to take that role. Through my RPN background, I have worked a cumulative 20 plus years in agency jobs, including Child & Youth Mental Health as well as government positions in hospitals and clinics through Interior Health and internationally. To further expand on my passions for learning, equity in mental health care, access to services, and to increase my impact for my clients, I decided to complete my Masters of Counseling Psychology through City University. I currently hold a student membership with BCACC (licensing # 21932) and will be pursuing full membership with them upon completion of my Master's Degree in December 2024. 


My approach to therapy has been informed by the experiences I have had in different collaborative positions during my career. I have learned of the significant impact collaborative approaches make for the clients and I strive to continue bringing that into my private practice. I also value integrity, professionalism and education as a clinician and feel it is important to continue to lessen barriers to mental health services.   

About my Private Practice 

My private practice is eclectic, meaning that I practice from different theoretical orientations to ensure the best care for my clients. The main theoretical orientations that I practice within or incorporate aspects into my practice include; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Family Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. 

I work with adults, youth and children (5 years and older) who are struggling with mental health issues including but not limited to; depression, anxiety, psychiatric diagnoses (i.e. personality disorders, bipolar disorder, etc.), gender identity, sexuality and related issues, suicide risk, domestic violence support and recovery, and culturally sensitive counselling and healing from cultural discrimination.

As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse I am a big advocate for removing barriers like cost and stigma that are associated with accessing mental health services. These issues are central to mental health services today, to help lessen barriers to support, sliding fee spots are available.

My approach when working with children is a collaborative process that includes the primary care-givers and/or other family members. I believe this is integral in the success for child counselling and it is a corner-stone to my practice. 

I see individuals, couples and families for virtual services only at this time. 

Areas of Interest 

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Gender Identity

  • Sexuality and related issues

  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

  • Psychiatric diagnosis and care

  • Children and youth's therapy

  • Family Counselling

  • Couple's Counselling 

Pink Sofa

During the many years of working in psychiatric nursing I have gained experience with working in mental health assessment and diagnosis (with support of a primary care physician), in crisis care, including suicide risk assessment and safety planning, and mental health counselling in diverse and complex situations. 


I have 20 plus years as a psychiatric nurse, working in Vancouver at BC Kids on the children’s psychiatric unit, and at Vancouver General Hospital at Psychiatric Assessment Unit. I have also worked for 2 years in the United Kingdom on an adult psychiatric unit and in the community developing a program for women of the Islamic culture to access mental health services. Through these experiences, I have become skilled at assessments and suicide risk assessments as well as supporting individuals, youth, and children with psychiatric disorders. A part of my nursing career includes management of psychiatric disorders from a team basis, individual therapeutic interventions and medication management. I have an extensive background and knowledge of psychiatric medications and include this in my practice. Through the past several years and community based placements I  have completed various groups for children and youth for anxiety.

Currently I am working through my practicum for my Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology and have been focusing my practice on adults with complex care issues and mental health concerns. 


In 2024 I have started a private practice under association of Tyne Buchy Counselling Collective where I will continue to see private client's virtually. These services will be rendered under my Registered Psychiatric Nursing License until my graduate date later this fall. 



Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) Training through MCFD


Cultural Sensitivity Training program through the Ministry of Child & Family Develop (MCFD)

2023- Present

Student registration with British Columbia Association of Clinicial Counsellors (BCACC).


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Marsha Linehan Institute


Registration with British Columbia College of Nursing and Midwives (BCCNM)


Master of Arts Counselling Psychology, MACP. Graduating from City University 

2005, 2020

Suicide Risk Assessment Training


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through MCFD


Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing


Bachelor Degree in Psychology 

Bachelor Degree in History 

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