Melissa Nielsen, M.A., R.C.C., R.P.C.
Melissa Nielsen is a Registered BC Clinical Counselor. She has been working with Aboriginal children, youth, families and communities in B.C. for the past 19 years. During that time she has witnessed how children, youth and families respond during times of crisis, how individuals and families move forward, and signs of when the healing process becomes stagnant.
Having spent 14 years working with children and youth in the educational system (as a child care worker and school counselor), Melissa developed an appreciation for the challenges teachers and support workers face with the growing needs of their students in today’s fast-paced society. She recognizes that the losses children and their families experience today is staggering. So many losses can become overwhelming for not only the student, but also for support people attempting to support and positively impact the students’ future and their responses to inevitable future losses. Within the school setting, it is crucial to have a tool box of user-friendly and effective resources to help centre students and assist them in moving forward in a positive direction.
‘Walking Forward’ is a program packed with resources which can be implemented in a variety of settings for individuals or groups of participants. The concept of balance is a universal cornerstone of the program, as are the values of wholeness and connectedness, healing and respect. This program offers an easily implemented approach for teachers, counselors, support workers and all significant others to work with issues of grief and loss using principles grounded in the wisdom of traditional Aboriginal values.