Therapists & Staff

Recovery of Hope

Recovery of Hope counsellors must have a Master’s degree, belong to a professional organization with a code of ethics and be sensitive to spiritual issues. Our counsellors include Registered Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists and those trained in Counselling Psychology.  We do not offer services with a Registered Psychologist at this time.

What to look for in a Counsellor

Ask about qualifications, experience or anything you’d like to know. A competent counsellor will be happy to talk about any concerns you have. They will not impose their ideas or solutions on you, but will work with you to make changes to meet your goals. Take one or two sessions to decide if the counsellor is a good match for you.

Lois Braun, MMFT, RSW

Relationships with our partners and children or parents and extended family are both a reflection of our life experience and an expression of who we are. When close relationships are in distress, we can feel confused, drained and helpless. Therapy can help to make sense of that confusion, identifying dysfunctional patterns and building new, authentic and deeper connections with the ones you love. Clients grow in self-awareness and acceptance as we work towards resolving struggles such as anxiety, depression and loss of confidence. 

Lois is a therapist holding a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and has worked for years as a Registered Social Worker with a child and family agency. She enjoys working with children (any age) and families as well as with couples and individuals using a variety of approaches such as Emotionally Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems therapy and Narrative Therapy. Therapy may include mindfulness work as well as art or experiential approaches. As well, Lois is a certified facilitator of the Circle of Security parenting course which is an attachment based program that helps parents to understand and respond to their children’s attachment needs.

Lois is able to see clients in Winnipeg at the Concordia office and in Steinbach.

Tara Brousseau Snider, M.A. Counselling Psychology

Tara holds a Master’s Degree from Yorkville University in Counselling Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University.  She has completed her Emotion Focus Therapy for couples.  She is a trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist. Tara is the current Executive Director of the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. Tara brings her knowledge of mental illness and depression to helping those who struggle to find recovery. Prior to this Tara worked in the long term care sector as an administrator.  She served on the Social Services Advisory Committee which gave her understanding of the complexities of the social support system. She has knowledge of the present health system and can work with agencies and organizations.
Tara focuses on mental illness, trauma and depression recovery, grief, seniors, younger adults and couples therapy. Tara has had her own life challenges and brings this life experience and empathy to her counselling role.  She has been widowed and a lone parent to four children.  She is now blessed with a husband and a blended family of seven adult children and two-daughters-in-law. Tara grew up in Winnipeg and currently lives on a farm outside of the city. Tara has a warm and understanding approach to helping people when their life seems overwhelming. Tara believes all people will find hope and a better life when supported with compassion and understanding.

Dennis Fehr, M.Div., CSAYC

Dennis holds a master’s degree in pastoral counselling. Prior to starting at Recovery of Hope in 2011, he worked for two large non-profit mental health providers in northwest Indiana, USA. Here he offered therapy in a Day Treatment program addressing adolescent substance abuse, mood, anxiety, and adjustment disorders. He also became the lead therapist for a sexually maladaptive residential unit, where he provided individual, group and family therapy. This background has given him vast experience working with various professionals and agencies.

In his teens, Dennis realized that he had a concern for others and a gift for connecting with people. This drew him to take on positions that have shaped his work as a therapist such as camp counsellor, group home youth care worker, and pastoral ministry. He places great importance on connecting with clients and the unique experiences that have impacted their lives. As a counsellor, he works from a cognitive-behavioural perspective, but also incorporates psychodynamic, developmental, strength and solution based models. A collaborative strategy for improved coping and the development of healthier living patterns are essential elements in his work. Dennis has experience addressing marital and family conflict, past and current issues of abuse, substance abuse, mood disorders, anger and aggression, life transitions and issues of poor self-concept.

Wayne Friesen, M.A. (Couns.), RSW


Wayne graduated from Providence Theological Seminary with his M.A. in Counselling in 2009.  He has worked with Recovery of Hope in the Portage la Prairie office since July of 2011.  Since 1998 he has worked with Youth For Christ in a variety of roles, the most recent being with Uturn, a transitional housing project for homeless youth in Brandon.

Wayne approaches counselling from a client centered perspective and is greatly influenced by attachment theory and Self-Regulation Therapy/ Somatic Experiencing techniques and systems theories.  When working with couples Wayne leans on Emotional Focused Therapy as a foundation for his work.  He has a warm, compassionate stance that enables him to help clients feel at ease, quickly building strong relationships early.  Wayne is married with three children. He enjoys playing and writing music and loves being on the water while fishing.

Kevin Klassen, M.A. (Couns. Psych.)

Kevin has worked as a therapist for Recovery of Hope for over 10 years and during this time has travelled to satellite offices in Steinbach, Altona & Winkler. Now that he is employed full time at the Whyte Ridge Baptist church as a pastor, he restricts his time to ½ day at the Winnipeg location. Kevin loves his role as a counsellor. He especially enjoys working with couples, helping young adults plot life/transitional issues and exploring spiritual matters with clients. His style is deeply empathic as well as reflective and authentic as a therapist.

Patti Loewen, M.S.W.

The decision to entrust your life story to a stranger is a difficult decision, it is my goal as a counsellor to acknowledge the courage that decision takes and honour your story. Many of us come to points in our lives when an outside voice can help us navigate rough spots in our life’s journey. As a counsellor I work with people to help them over and through those rough spots helping them tap into strengths and skills they have and building on them. I approach my counselling using elements of brief therapy, solution-focused and narrative therapy. In working with children I often use a play-based approach to engage them in the process.

Our life stories are impacted by how healthy we are physically, psychologically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. As a counsellor I am open to addressing your needs in each of these areas with the ultimate goal of assisting you to grow in self-awareness and develop healthy relationships.

My passion is to help children and adolescents along with their families to work through the rough spots and to make their life journey a positive and growing experience. I firmly believe all children need the opportunity to maximize their potential and this is my goal in working with children and their families.

I have experience working with children and adolescents and their families who are dealing with: anxiety, depression, anger management issues, bullying, grief and loss, separation and divorce, social skills deficits, conflict with parents/caregivers and self-harming behaviour.

What experience do I have? I have been working as a social worker for the past 35 years graduating with a Bachelors of Social Work from the University of Manitoba in 1978 and completing my Masters of Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2012. I have been a member of the Manitoba Institute of Registered Social Workers for 13 years. I worked for Child and Family Services of Central Manitoba in various capacities for 20+ years and just completed 13 years as the Social Work Clinician for Pine Creek School Division. My entire working life has been focused on working with children and their families.

Who am I? I live in rural Manitoba on a farm where my husband and I raise cattle. I am the mother of 3 adult children and grandmother of one (so far). I am active in community working on our local Healthy Community Committee, volunteering at our local youth drop-in, teaching Sunday School and working with seniors.

Joyce Milligan, M.Ed., (Couns.Psych.), CCC

Joyce is a warm compassionate individual who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her work as a therapist. She has over 30 years of experience in the education system, 10 as a school counsellor, completed a year-long practicum at the New Directions Parenting Centre, and has held a variety of volunteer roles in church ministry. In private practice, Joyce has worked with diverse clientele on numerous issues. She is Canadian Counsellor Certified (CCC), and offers services in English, French, and Dutch. Joyce is married, has four adult children, two lovely daughters-in-law, and six young grandchildren.

Joyce is Director for Manitoba/Nunavut on the board of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), active with the Attachment Network, a Registered Parenting Educator for Circle of Security Parenting©, and a Roots of Empathy Instructor.
Children and parenting are Joyce’s specialties. She believes that early investment in the emotional, social, and mental health of children can help with current challenges while preparing them for lifelong success. Through a caring connection, she facilitates growth and healing by listening, talking, collaborative planning, and a variety of activities.

Joyce is passionate about the inherent worth of each individual, their life stories, and their current experiences.  She counsels from a growth mindset, believing that people are able to work through issues, learn, and develop throughout their lifespan.  Personal qualities of kindness, gentleness, and patience allow clients to share difficult stories in a safe therapeutic relationship.

Melanie Perron, MSW, RSW

With over 12 years of experience as a Mental Health Clinician and Brief Treatment Therapist, Melanie continues to be in awe and inspired by the human capacity we all have to heal and create positive change in our lives.  Melanie has worked with a diverse population including those struggling with addictions, trauma, grief and loss and persons with anxiety/mood disorders. She has provided counseling services to adults, families, couples, children and adolescents. She has a special interest in women’s mental health and providing therapy to postpartum women.  Her graduate studies for the U of M Masters of Social Work program (clinical area of specialization) focused on perinatal mental health and supporting women in their transition into motherhood.

Melanie appreciates that we are all unique individuals and tailors her therapy approach to the specific needs and goals of clients.  She is experienced and formally trained in various therapy modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, Family Systems, Narrative and Attachment-based counseling.  Melanie considers it an honor and privilege to work alongside clients in their journey towards improving their overall wellbeing.

Laura Peters, M.Ed., CCC

Laura is Canadian Certified Counsellor (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association) and has a master’s degree with a focus in counselling. She works from a strengths based approach and her counselling style has been influenced by a variety of theoretical approaches including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Choice Theory, Motivational Interviewing, and others. However, she believes a relationship of trust and unconditional regard that is fostered in the counselling setting is the most important catalyst for positive change. Laura feels it is an honour to participate with her clients on their journeys toward healing and well-being.  She has worked with clients who have a variety of presenting issues and her most recent area of focus has been mental health, particularly the spectrum of problems related to anxiety and depression. Laura has experience working with adults and youth. In addition to counselling at Recovery of Hope, she also works with individuals and families in a high school setting.

Rita Peters, M.Ed., CCC

Rita grew up in Pennsylvania and completed an undergraduate degree at Millersville University in Sociology with a strong concentration in Psychology. She touched base with Eden when she first moved to Canada, having worked at Philhaven in Pennsylvania, a facility that has a similar history to EHCS. Upon completing her Master of Education degree in the Guidance and Counselling Program at the U of M she began working for Recovery of Hope in the Winkler office. She lives with her husband and two young children in Southern Manitoba and attends Gospel Mission Church.

In addition to her work as a counsellor, she spends time homeschooling her children and attending soccer, dance and hockey events.

As a therapist, Rita uses a theoretical integrative approach, taking into consideration the individual and their situation. She enjoys helping people work through life struggles towards a place of greater wellness. She has experience working with clients from a variety of backgrounds and ages, as well as an array of issues and concerns. Rita is a trained Prepare/Enrich facilitator and uses this training when working with couples seeking to improve or strengthen their relationships.

Hali Reimer-Chaplin, M.A. (Counselling)

Hali received a Master of Arts in Counselling from Providence Theological Seminary and has 12 years of experience as a counsellor and life coach, empowering people to change self destructive patterns and transform their lives. Many of her clients have dealt with and found freedom from depression, anxiety, past and current abuse, and self-harm; her specific areas of expertise include self esteem, soul care, life coaching, and setting boundaries. Hali’s approach with her clients is to both address the underlying issues of current problems and to help clients learn and develop new and productive ways of living. Her perspective is that change happens not only through talking about life’s stresses and problems, but also through taking a “leap of faith” to change ways of thinking and behaving.

Hali is an Associate member in good standing of the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists. She is married with one step-daughter and three step grandchildren. Hali finds her own balance and fulfilment through her faith, her mentors, family and friends, and creative hobbies such as baking and photography.

Diana Suderman, M.A.(Couns.), C.P.C.

Diana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her Master’s degree in Counseling from Providence Theological Seminary. She currently works at the satellite office in Winkler.

Born and raised in Southern California, Diana offers a warm, open and nonjudgmental approach to her counseling, allowing her to quickly establish a strong and trusting relationship with her clients. She works from a cognitive-behavioral approach, customizing it to the clients’ individual needs, while maintaining focus on building from their strengths, empowering and encouraging clients, and focusing on hope.

Diana enjoys helping clients through transitional periods, in particular through grief and loss. She especially enjoys working with women, international clients, couples/marriage counseling, and working with parents of special needs children (drawing on her own experience of raising a child with autism). She facilitates a support group in Winkler’s Central Station for parents of children with special needs, which is open to all caregivers or loved ones of a child with special needs living in southern Manitoba. Diana is fluent in Spanish.

In her leisure time, Diana enjoys travelling (anywhere) with her husband and children, enjoying God’s beauty through nature, and listening to jazz in the park with her family.

Marcy Vandenbos, M.A. Counselling

Marcy has a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Western Ontario, a B.Ed from the University of Winnipeg, and an MA in Counselling from Providence Theological Seminary. With thirty years of experience teaching in elementary and high schools she has a good understanding of the field of education and has a heart for all students, whether they are K-12 or in university. She works with women of all ages who are encountering issues such as depression, parenting or child-related concerns, or staying emotionally involved in their relationships. She also works with individuals, families or couples struggling with everyday life.

In her counselling, Marcy integrates her life experience, which includes her husband, a family of seven children and 18 grandchildren, with her Christian theological, psychological and educational background. She uses approaches that include Attachment Theory, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Emotion Focused Therapy. It is her desire to come alongside people who are hurting to help them have a sense of shalom: completeness, wholeness, health, and peace.

Terry Warburton, M.A. (Couns.)

Terry is a therapist, parent consultant and course facilitator who works in southern Manitoba. She has a Master of Arts in Counselling and has been authorized by the Neufeld Institute as a Parent Consultant and Practitioner ( She understands the ongoing challenges that parents and educators face and is passionate about providing them with support, guidance and practical strategies that can enhance their role with children. Terry is convinced that although parenting can be a tough journey, it can also be a very rewarding experience. She uses an attachment-based, insight approach to help people find meaningful and practical solutions that preserve their most precious relationships. In addition to her work as a parent educator, Terry offers therapy services to those who struggle with depression, anxiety, addictions, trauma and issues within their relationships.

Valerie Wiebe, M.A. (M.F.C.)

It is not easy to capture the essence of a successful counselling experience. However, finding a good connection with a therapist and feeling understood can provide the framework for effort that contributes to transformation. At the heart of Val’s work is a focus on the interconnections between a client’s body, mind, emotional and spiritual well-being. She is concerned about how trauma interferes with a person’s well-being, and experience in their world. It is her belief that people have an innate ability to move towards healing and is honored to participate in that journey with her clients.

Val has a Master’s in Marriage & Family Counselling and most recently has studied Self-Regulation Therapy, completing a number of courses related to this counselling approach. In over 20 years of working as a counsellor she has worked with people addressing a wide range of issues including grief & loss, depression, anxiety, parenting concerns, and couple conflict. In addition to her work with clients, Val holds the position of Clinical Director at Recovery of Hope.

Sharon Harms, RN, BN, MA Counselling Psychology

Sharon helps her clients to enhance their resilience as they face life’s challenges. Along with her master’s level training in counselling psychology, Sharon brings extensive experience as a registered nurse and counsellor in working with individuals who experience mental health and addiction issues.

Sharon is particularly interested in helping individuals and groups move towards healing and recovery with regard to: addictions (substance and behavioural), anger, anxiety, chronic health problems & pain, depression, difficult life transitions, grief and loss, mental health disorders, relationship skills, self-image, sleep problems, smoking / tobacco cessation, stress and burnout, and trauma.

Sharon focuses on the promotion of optimal health in all areas of life: mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual. Her approach to counselling draws upon the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a short-term practical psychotherapy treatment that focuses on problem-solving and creating change. Clients experience healing and recovery as they develop healthier ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.

Sharon offers counselling appointments at both Winnipeg offices – the head office on Harrow Street and the Concordia office on Molson Street.

Recovery of Hope Staff

Susan Schellenberg


Susan has spent the last 5 years working in customer service and enjoys providing excellent service. She strives to combine compassion and thoughtfulness in both her professional and personal life. She is quick to listen and genuinely cares about people’s problems and challenges and loves to do whatever she can to help. Susan has recently moved from Saskatchewan with her family. She has a husband and two children and loves to spend time outside in the garden or walking around her neighbourhood.

Brad Unger


Biography to come

Valerie Wiebe


Val’s work as Clinical Director focuses on collaborating with the Program Director to oversee professional standards and to ensure that quality of services are offered at RoH. She is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment where growth is nurtured and hope and healing are present.