We respectfully acknowledge that Bonfire Counselling takes place on unceded Coast Salish Territory; the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
The Unceded Coast Salish Territories are a unique place in the World: a constellation of diverse cultures huddled in the rugged natural beauty of the West Coast. At Bonfire, we offer our skills and teachings to support these communities. We want to stoke a collective sense of gathering, by creating a place where people from all over can come to hear, be heard, and from there, transform.
For many, counselling carries a negative connotation and a very specific, constrained image. At Bonfire, we offer the best of counselling- evidence-based, client centered therapy- with a unique commitment to provide services that complement our clients’ lifestyles, and to bring therapy out into the real world, where it can be more vital. We want to help bridge the gap between mental and physical health by enabling our clients to access psychological support in the same way they might consult a fitness trainer.
Our commitment is to offer engaging, accessible services that are as diverse as the people we work with. In spite of the mosaic of culture and technology that lies embraced in the West Coast, we live in a part of the world that has long suffered the strains of emotional, even existential, dislocation. Our aim is that Bonfire will enrich our entire community, feeding feelings of attachment while helping to restructure the systems that engender emptiness and suffering.
Amidst the wild, pounding rains and rivers, the deep greens of the rain-forest, and the delicate vibrancy of the Spring’s blossoms, we invite people from all over to gather at the Bonfire- a dynamic, elemental force that insights both wonder and community. We wish to heal the pains of our collective past and build a home that is rich and whole. Through empirically-validated therapy, as well as a deep sense of authenticity, intuition and adventure, we are here to offer a diversity of tools towards the healing and collective actualization of all the peoples of our community.
Welcome to the Bonfire.
Who We Are
Shaun MacDonald MCP, RCC
I grew up in Richmond, playing soccer, and football before taking on the Undergraduate program the University of British Columbia, studying English Literature and Psychology. Eventually I found a niche at the CHIMO Crisis Line, where I would take calls as a volunteer for more than three years.
Big into travelling, I planned to take a year off after Undergrad to work and see more of the world, but got accepted early to the Master of Counselling Psychology program at Adler University, and decided to go for it. Initially studying topics related to gender and sexuality, I began to explore a variety of interests, most notably issues related to addictions, and trauma. I also did extensive research on dream-work as a therapeutic tool, specifically its role in countertransference. It was also at Adler that I found myself drawn to Existential Therapy, while fostering a deep appreciation for Narrative, Jungian, ACT, DBT, and Motivational Interviewing therapies, among others. I did my practicum at the Pacifica Treatment Centre, where I received outstanding supervision and was privileged to work with some amazing clients. At Pacifica, I ran one-on-one counselling sessions, workshops, and lead group therapy sessions. I was hired on as Counsellor following my practicum placement, and spearheaded a “Quality of Life” group, highlighting the exploration of new passions and interests for people with addictions.
Before long, I was offered a dream-job as Clinical Counsellor at the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA). At UNYA, I did outreach addictions counselling for indigenous youth, collaborated with the Young Bears Lodge treatment centre, developed and facilitated workshops, lead harm reduction and crisis-intervention training, and worked with an incredibly awesome, talented and supportive team. My experiences at UNYA taught me to practice counselling in a way that is flexible and attuned, as well as culturally-sensitive and super accessible. Developing Bonfire Counselling feels like an exciting continuation of the work that I've already been fortunate enough to be part of.
I recently began working as a Youth and Young Adult Concurrent Counsellor at Vancouver Coastal Health, where I work alongside an absolutely wonderful team with young people working through substance use and mental health issues. I work out of the Robert & Lily Lee Community Health Centre and offer both in-office and outreach counselling for people ages 13-24 in the East Vancouver area.
PS: I would also like to express my gratitude for the incredible support of my wife Lana, my family, friends, colleagues, and the amazing counsellors/supervisors Helen Craig and Sarah Heneghan.
Lana Gabor MAA
Art and Expression Consultant
When asked what a particular piece meant, Martha Graham famously replied that if she could say it with words, she wouldn’t need to dance it. Growing up in a household where several languages could be heard, Lana quickly learned that art was a force that could transcend words and express the ineffable.
Born to a Chinese-Canadian mother and Hungarian-refugee father, Lana’s creativity and empathy shone from an early age. Exploring art and dance in a range of forms, Lana sought to delve into the complexities of her identity and mixed-race heritage. This curiosity set forth a rich and dynamic journey. Introduced early to dance forms from around the world, from Hungarian Gypsy to Chinese Silk Dances, Lana began training in classical ballet and jazz. When she discovered Raqs Sharki, she was immediately attracted to the hybridity of this art form, which like herself, straddles the East and Europe, melding classical and folk elements. After earning a Masters of Applied Arts degree from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Lana has continually sought to expand and diversify the way that her art reaches others.
Working mainly out of her own business, Lana Dance Company (lanadance.com), Lana is deeply passionate about expressing both herself and evoking passion in others, whether as artist, mentor, or instructor. She has won multiple International and National awards for her work as a belly dance-artist, the latest being a First-Runner-Up trophy in Oregon in June 2017. Based in Vancouver, BC, she performs both solo and with her dance partner Laura in the duet Raqs Zahia. Lana entertains regularly at numerous special events, stage galas, and has been happy to be involved with various photographers and film productions, such as in Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014) starring Rosamund Pike and Simon Pegg, where she was a featured bellydancer. Training both locally and internationally, continually seeking to stretch the boundaries of her art, Lana brings her wisdom to Bonfire by offering a variety of Art and Expression based classes, utilizing the powers of movement and symbolism to evoke the deepest, earthiest fibres of her clients.
Photo by Two Peas Photography // twopeas.ca // @twopeasphoto
Fitness and Nutrition Consultant
We are excited to announce our collaboration with Garrett as our lead fitness consultant. Working through his companies, Mynt Condition Fitness Club and Whole Cuisine, Garrett offers sound, health-based fitness and nutrition programs. Growing up in Richmond, Garrett has trained in a number of martial arts and has built an athletic and business career on a diverse and health-based set of skills. When not working or training, Garrett has offered his expertise to clients of the Pacifica Treatment Centre, as well as at the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA), where he leads a weekly fitness/kickboxing class for Native Youth. It was by coincidence that Garrett and Shaun, who were childhood friends who hadn't seen each other in years, suddenly reconnected at UNYA. They soon decided that their respective skill sets could complement one another, and come together to offer a unique and necessary service. We are completely stoked to have Garrett on the team, bringing a wealth of expertise as well as an irreplaceable kindness and warmth.
What We Offer
At Bonfire we offer a variety of Remote, Indoor and Outdoor Services to meet your needs, each with Sliding Scale options available.
All services have a 24-hour Cancellation Policy.
WELCOME TO THE BONFIRE
Questions or Comments?
Contact us today to let us know what's on your mind.