Book a counselling appointment

To book a counselling appointment, click on the book an appointment button in each of the counsellor bios or the Student Life and Outreach Liaison (below), or, for the next available counselling appointment, click on this link and select any counsellor.

*Please note* If this is an emergency, or you need to speak to someone outside of regular office hours, please call 911, Here2Talk: 1-877-857-3397 (24/7 free student counselling service) or the Vancouver Crisis Line (24/7) 1-888-494-3888.

You can also contact Student Services to make an appointment:

  • Campbell River/Mixalakwila: 250-923-9700
  • Comox Valley: 250-334-5000
  • Port Alberni: 250-724-8711

Appointments for video, telephone and in person counselling can be made at the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Mixalakwila and Port Alberni campuses and for those taking in-community programming.

Meet the Counsellors

Campbell River/Comox Valley

Amy Rowes

Hi, my name is Amy. I was raised in Alberta and came to Vancouver Island in 1997 to attend university in Victoria.

I have both an education degree and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. I completed a one-year Compassionate Inquiry (trauma theory) training program with Dr. Gabor Mate, which heavily informs my therapeutic practice. I work from a “brain-body” perspective, helping students understand how their nervous system shapes the way they experience their lives. I’m certified as a clinical counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

I have an interest in many things: neurodivergence, identity development, 2SLGBTQ+, anxiety, emotional regulation, relationships, communication and trauma. I believe each person has the capacity to heal themselves and that change is possible with awareness and connection to our authentic selves. When I’m not working, you would probably find me at the gym, running in the forest or reading young adult fiction. I look forward to meeting you.

Tel: 250-334-5000 Ext. 4277

Campbell River

Catherine O’Toole

Hello, my name is Catherine. I am a registered clinical counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and I have been supporting students at NIC since 2019. I hold a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and I am also a NIC alumna. I started my education journey at NIC, completing an Associate of Arts degree at the Comox Valley campus in 2012. I value a person-centered, collaborative and solution-focused approach to counselling, as well as a strong emphasis on self-care and compassion. I believe in supporting students to recognize and grow their strengths, as well as tailoring counselling to each student’s individual needs and goals. Your journey at NIC will challenge you, but you are not alone. I am here to support you in finding and paving your path forward.

Tel: 250-923-9700
Email: catherine.o'

Janet Beggs

Hi, I’m Janet. I was born in England, moved as a child to Australia, and made Courtenay home in 2006. I like to explore—in the mountains, within myself, and in connecting with people. This exploration led me to study a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (SFU). I am a certified clinical counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

My aim is to assist students to acknowledge whatever is happening, investigate feelings and thinking and what the body knows, recognize capabilities, and gently find ways forward. If you are unhappy or struggling with something, are facing a tough decision or a life transition, want to understand yourself better, or to simply talk through what’s going on in your life, please consider making a time to meet.

My other main passions are music and animals.

Tel: 250-334-5000 Ext. 4048

Port Alberni

Samantha Banton-Smith

Hi, I am Sam. I have a Master of Arts in Counselling, as well as certification in Coaching and Harmony Integration practices. I am a certified clinical counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). I have worked at NIC since 2005 as a counsellor, academic success coach and an instructor in the Human Services department.

I enjoy supporting students towards their academic and life goals through a collaborative and strength-based approach. Together we break down obstacles and explore solutions to support your journey at NIC.

Tel: 250-724-8734

Meet the Student Life Outreach Liaison

Our Student Life and Outreach Liaison (SLOL) is here for all students who have questions or need a little extra support. The SLOL can help you find the right supports on-campus or in the community; these may include counselling, financial aid, accessibility, library and learning commons, peer tutoring, technical supports, Elders and other Indigenous supports.

**Please note that our Student Life and Outreach Liaison is not able to offer counselling services. If you need to see a counsellor, please select one of the counsellors indicated above.

Student Life and Outreach liaison

Rachel Birch

Rachel Birch

Hello, my name is Rachel Birch. I am the Student Life and Outreach Liaison and I manage the Early Assist program. At Early Assist, we know that life as a student in post-secondary education can be challenging. In my role, I listen to your story and connect you to the supports and resources that can help you in your learning journey. If you or someone you know is struggling and you are not sure what your options are, please send me an email at