Meet Our Team of Registered Clinicians, Therapists, and Social Workers

Our Counsellors

CLIFTON PINDER

THERAPIST/COUNSELLOR
MA, RCC, CCC, ACTA

Are you struggling with emotional and/or physical reactivity that you cannot seem to change? Have you experienced loss and/or trauma that continues to negatively impact you? Do you feel trapped or burdened by challenges that currently diminish your ability to thrive or even cope with the basics of life?

Anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, and war are just some of the challenges that can pull us away from the life we long to live. Additionally, factors such as disaster, displacement, physical limitations, employment or lifespan transitions, end-of-life issues, debilitating stress, and multicultural concerns can further compound these struggles. Specific experiences like First Nations histories, First Responder challenges, attachment disruptions, divorce, betrayal, and more, as well as parenting challenges and relational difficulties, can contribute to our sense of suffering. In essence, countless areas of human experience can impact our well-being and pull us away from the life we long to live.

I support veterans, refugees, victims of crime, accident victims, front-line workers, families, teens, adults, elders, and couples of all ages. You don’t have to battle alone. For anyone who will allow me the privilege, my goal is to support growth in vitality, wellness, capacity, and life satisfaction. Reach out so that we can get started.

I look forward to meeting and learning about you.


clifton@mindfulcentre.ca

(250)740-1304

My counselling work follows from a diverse personal and employment history.

I was the oldest child raised in a family of 5 children and several intermittent foster children on a small-town farm where I learned to work independently, responsibly, and with appreciation for life and natural wonders at an early age. My family was often collectively engaged in supporting service club organizations and community projects, which instilled in me a sensitivity for the needs of others. I worked hard and enjoyed working outdoors.

I joined the army and became a medical assistant as a very young man. I became aware of global issues and human suffering while serving overseas during a United Nations deployment in Yugoslavia. I learned what it is like to endure traumatic stress reactions and about the importance of developing resiliency. I left the army to work on board Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breakers and Buoy Tenders for about five years before starting a family. I left the sea to spend more time with my wife and children. I laboured for a few years at a small sawmill. I am no stranger to hard work and long days.

I broke my back through a car accident during my army years and, over time, aging demanded that I shift my career focus away from the labour industry. I began my university studies focusing on gaining a greater understanding of people and culture. I studied to challenge my points of view and finished a bachelor’s degree with majors in Psychology and First Nations Studies. I have since completed a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and still strive to learn more. Human services work has followed my education.  

To integrate my life experiences and love for the wilderness, I have served as part of the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) from 2008-2024. In recent years, my efforts have been spent less with a pack on my back and more supporting resiliency through a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team that provides support services for 78 Search and Rescue teams across the province. Since March 2020, I have served as Clinical Director for the BCSARA-CISM team.

I have worked with youth since 2004 (16+ years) in various capacities, including: Group Home Youth Worker for high-risk youth, as an Intensive Support and Supervision Worker for youth who have committed crimes, and as a Family Development Therapist at a community non-profit agency in a small town. I also worked part-time at Nanaimo Christian School as a School Counsellor from 2018 until 2022 while developing a private practice in clinical counselling in 2017 and continuing.

I have been married since 1997 and have five children of my own, four of whom I have adopted. Two of the adoptions occurred via marriage, and two of the adoptions occurred via the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Three of my children are now married adults. So far (2024), I have been blessed with eight grandchildren and look forward to a growing family. 

I am a Christian, but I haven’t always been. It wasn’t until early into the new millennium before life experience and personal examination led me to faith. I continue to explore this relationship.

I was born with British ancestry, and I appreciate diversity. I enjoy learning about different cultures and worldviews. I have spent considerable time and effort learning about First Nations cultures, with emphasis on Nuu-chah-nulth and Island Salish communities. I acknowledge my government’s history and impact on First Nations peoples, as well as the generational struggles that have followed. Exploring intercultural relationships has been an ongoing journey of heartfelt significance.  

I care about all people. My experiences have led me to believe that everyone has value. For anyone who will allow me the privilege, my goal is to support growth in vitality, wellness, capacity, and satisfaction in lived experiences. I am eager to support you.

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
‘Canadian Certified Counsellor’ (CCC) since 2016
BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
‘Registered Clinical Counsellor’ (RCC) since 2017
The Association of Counselling Therapy of Alberta (ACTA)
Member since 2023

In addition to the counselling experiences stated above, I consider myself an expert service provider for teens with over 16+ years of experience working with high-risk youth. 

Five years of service as an army medical assistant, including a six-month United Nations tour of duty in Yugoslavia, and 15 years of experience in Search and Rescue operations, has provided me with a context for connecting with individuals in emergency services and first responder communities.

I have ventured into diverse roles throughout my work life, including service as an army medical assistant, Canadian Coast Guard steward and deckhand, lumber mill sawyer, farm labourer, taxi driver, and more. These varied experiences have broadened my perspective and help to deepen my connections with others.

Professional Image

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Master of Arts – Counselling Psychology

University of Victoria – 2016

Bachelor of Arts – First Nations Studies and Psychology

Malaspina University – 2004

Positive Parenting Program, aka Triple P

Accredited Facilitator

‘TRIPLE P INTERNATIONAL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND – 2006

Connect Parent Group – Adolescent Version

Accredited Leader
An attachment-based treatment program, developed in
collaboration between MCFD and Simon Fraser University – 2015

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

Advanced Facilitator
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc.
Provided by the ‘BC Search and Rescue Association – CISM Team 2016.

Indigenous Specific CISM

Provided by NVIT, Merritt, BC 2017
Advanced Training provided by ICISF – 2021

ENDORSEMENTS

First Responder Health
in collaboration with the ‘BC Professional Fire Fighter Association

OCCUPATIONAL AWARENESS TRAINING: Treating First Responder Trauma

Bronze and Silver levels completed – 2018

First Nations Health Authority

SAN’YAS: Indigenous Cultural Safety Training – 2020

Provincial Health Services Authority

Indigenous Health Program

LADONA PINDER

COUNSELLOR/SOCIAL WORKER
RCC, RSW

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Youth Care and a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. I am a registered play therapist and clinical counsellor in BC and a registered Social Worker in both BC and Alberta. My experience working professionally with individuals, children, youth, and families exceeds 20 years, and I continue to be increasingly passionate about my work.

If you are seeking support with attachment-related relationship difficulties,
behavioral challenges, developmental differences, parenting struggles,
family conflicts, or marital distress, you have found the right place.
I have received formal training in various therapeutic approaches such
as Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Trauma-focused Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Neuroscience Satir in the Sandtray, and prepare
Enrich couple and family interventions.

I approach each individual and family with a profound respect for their unique circumstances, employing various therapeutic modalities such as family systems, attachment, trauma-informed, behavioral, cognitive, and culturally sensitive strategies to facilitate change. Drawing from my personal and professional background, I offer valuable insights in counseling individuals, families, and children through challenges like divorce, blended family dynamics, difficult behavioral challenges, or adoption-related issues.

I specialize in play therapy for children as young as four years old and am a registered play therapist with the BC Association Of Play Therapists. I create a safe environment where clients can experience growth and change at their own pace. It is a privilege to support each individual client on their journey.


ladona@mindfulcentre.ca

(250)667-4882

I grew up in a family that loves music, singing, and caring for others in need. Service was a large part of family life during my early years, while my parents both engaged in community service clubs and often brought my siblings and me along to various community events. I learned early on about the importance of being an active participant within the community and showing care to all people. 

I was the youngest of three siblings until I was ten years old. At that time, my parents divorced, and from that time forward, I quickly learned what it was like to live within a blended family system. For my family, the transition from living within an intact family to a separated and then divorced family system was painful, confusing, and full of conflict. Out of this experience, I developed great empathy for children and parents and the difficulties that often arise from family conflict and family breakdown. As a result, I am passionate about supporting families to navigate the unique complexities they are facing.  

During my late teens and early adulthood, I embraced independence, experienced early motherhood, navigated single parenthood, and faced the challenges of living within significant financial constraints. I juggled work while attending university, striving to balance the demands of family life with my professional responsibilities. During this time, I gained a great familiarity with uncertainty, fear, anxiety, depression, and the discomfort that comes along with it all. All of this personal experience informs my work today as I seek to support others with their own distinct life circumstances. 

With experience spanning childcare settings, preschools, and roles as a child protection and adoption social worker, I bring a wealth of insight into family dynamics. As a wife, parent to five children, and grandparent to eight grandchildren, I’ve navigated diverse family structures firsthand. Additionally, I’ve served as a foster parent and have experience as both a birth and adoptive parent. This rich tapestry of personal and professional roles, coupled with my educational background, equips me with invaluable knowledge and practical skills in family conflict resolution, child development, neurodiversity, marital challenges, stress management, mental health support, and effective parenting strategies.

During my tenure as a front-line worker, I’ve served as a social worker in highly stressful environments where systemic challenges often hindered optimal functioning. Through these experiences, I’ve grappled with burnout and the hypervigilance associated with trauma responses. I deeply resonate with the principles outlined in “The Body Keeps The Score,” fueling my passion for aiding others in finding solace from the lingering impact of traumatic events. This journey has ignited a profound interest in the workings of the nervous system, the body’s mechanisms for processing and retaining trauma, and strategies for facilitating healing.

For those who may be curious, I did not grow up in a spiritual home. However, I did attend church sporadically as a child, and in my adult life, after much searching, I found faith as a Christian. I know what it is like to live on both sides of faith and respect all people, regardless of their beliefs. 

I am a trained play therapist and individual, family, and couples counsellor, and I am eager to serve you. I hope you reach out to me today.

BC Association Of Clinical
Counsellors 2023
Alberta College of
Social Workers 2023
BC Play Therapy Association
2023
BC College of Social Workers
2013

I have a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (2021), a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Youth Care (2006), and a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (1998). I am also a fully trained and experienced play therapist and an Adoption Specialist with training in Structured Analysis and Family Evaluation.

I have over twenty years of experience working with individuals, children, parents, and couples. My work experiences have included employment as a childcare provider, a child protection social worker, an adoption social worker, and an individual, couples, and family counsellor. I am registered as a social worker in Alberta and British Columbia and as a clinical counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors.

Professional Image

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Master Of Arts in Counselling

Yorkville University, 2022

Child Welfare Specialization

Justice Institute, Vancouver BC, 2006

Child and Youth Care Bachelor’s Degree

Vancouver Island University, BC, With Distinction, 2006

Early Childhood Education and Care

Vancouver Island University, Diploma, 1998

Structured Analysis Family Evaluation Supervisor Training

Consortium for Children, 2017

Cognitive Behavioral Interpersonal Skills, Indigenous Approach

Tillicum Lelum, Nanaimo BC, 2015

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Medical University of South Carolina, 2022

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Training

Psychwire, Russ Harris, 2022

Internal Family Systems Training

PESI, Dr. Richard Schwartz & Dr. Frank Anderson, 2022

The Flash Technique

Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute, 2022

Slaying the Dragon: The Fairy Tale Trauma Treatment

Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute, 2022

Neuroscience and Satir in The Sand Tray

Dr Madeleine De Little, Playful Dyads, 2022

Structured Analysis Family Evaluation Home Study Training

Consortium for Children, 2012

Parent Adoption Support Services (PASS) Program Training

2019

Play Therapy Training Certification

Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute, Calgary, 2023

High Conflict Divorce Coach Training

High Conflict Institute, 2023

Contact Us

Feel free to reach out to us at Mindful Centre. Your questions, thoughts, and feedback are invaluable to us. Whether you’re curious about our services, seeking guidance, or just want to say hello, we’re here for you.
Connect with us, and let’s embark on a journey together.