Monika Brandstaetter, PhD

Registered Clinical Counsellor

For information about my Covid-19 response, please click here.

Seeking counselling is a courageous step. We all have our own history of experiences, challenges and unmet needs, and we tend to react in specific ways under stress. While our response may have been our best bet in the past, it may not be adaptive or successful in the current circumstances. Reflecting on previous and current experiences, trying new approaches, and resolving past traumas (big or small) can bring about profound and lasting changes in our life.

I am registered with the First Nations Health Authority's Mental Health Counselling program, as well as with BC's Crime Victim Assistance Program . Also, my services as a registered clinical counsellor may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan.

 

Get in touch with Monika to set up a free 30-min consultation:

Phone: 250 885 3065  |  Email: monika@heartofthemattercounselling.com

If you haven't heard back from me within a few days, please check your email spam folder as I have noticed my emails land there on occasion. Or contact me by phone. Thank you!

Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, RCC, Registered Clinical Counsellor at Heart of the Matter Counselling in Victoria BC. Issues: Depression, Anxiety, Self-esteem, Eating Disorders, Anorexia, Bulimia, Obesity, Weight, Binge Eating, Trauma, Grief, Loss, Relationship, Marriage. Approaches: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, DBT, Emotion Focused Therapy, EFT.

Land Acknowledgment

I acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples, represented by the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples, represented by the Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum, Pauquachin and Malahat Nations. I acknowledge the deep connection of the First Peoples to their lands and am grateful for their protection of these lands since time immemorial. I am committed to continue my learning about the true history of the Indigenous to settler relationships and the atrocities that have been committed by settlers of my heritage (white European), and deepen my understanding of the effects of continued oppression and systemic racism that Indigenous Peoples still experience. I pledge to continue my learning and actively look for ways to reduce my own inherent racist biases, work to contribute to creating the basis for true healing on a systemic and personal level, and stand with the Indigenous Peoples of these lands.
While in no way intending to delegate my responsibility to find ways to promote healing of Indigenous to non-indigenous relationships, I welcome suggestions of ways how I can contribute in appropriate, useful, and respectful ways. Thank you.

In counselling I will honour your expertise regarding your life, and offer my experience
and skills to help you define your goals and work together towards achieving them.

Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, RCC

Specialization: Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, RCC, Registered Clinical Counsellor at Heart of the Matter Counselling in Victoria BC, Depression, Anxiety, Self-esteem, Eating Disorders, Anorexia, Bulimia, Obesity, Weight, Binge Eating, Trauma, Grief, Loss, Relationship, Marriage, Approaches: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, DBT, Emotion Focused Therapy, EFT

I specialize in

Depression, Anxiety,  Self-esteem, Grief and Loss

Trauma, including attachment trauma and complex PTSD, Dissociation

Meaning and Purpose, Values, Spirituality

Relationship issues (I do not provide couples counselling)

Approach

I use a variety of therapy approaches in my work. While my early training was based in Cognitive (CBT) and Dialectical (DBT) Behavioural Therapy, I am currently drawing mainly on the following approaches. Read more about them here.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Ego-State Therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Informed by nervous system regulation and polyvagal theory,
  • attachment theory, dissociation, and embodiment
Approaches to Counselling - Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, RCC, at Heart of the Matter Counselling in Victoria BC: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, DBT, Emotion Focused Therapy, EFT
About Me: Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Victoria, BC, at Heart of the Matter Counselling. Approaches: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR, Emotion Focused Therapy EFT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy DBT. Issues: Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Eating disorders, Binge Eating, Weight, Obesity, Anorexia, Bulimia, Self-esteem, Meaning in Life, Cancer, Palliative Care, Family Caregivers, Palliative Patients.

About Me

Born and raised in Austria, I first came to Canada as an exchange student in 1999. After completing a Master of Arts in Lifespan Developmental Psychology at UVIC, I returned to Salzburg and Munich, where I completed my training in clinical psychology and cognitve behavioral therapy, as well as my dissertation research on meaning in life and support of family caregivers in palliative care. After the birth of our daughter we returned to live in Victoria.

Experience

I have worked in inpatient and private practice settings with a wide range of client issues, including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, and prolonged grief. During my doctoral studies, my focus was on positive psychology approaches, such as promoting meaning and well-being  in palliative care. Developing a group psychotherapy intervention (PDF publication) to support family caregivers at such a vulnerable time was very gratifying, particularly after having experienced the loss of both of my parents to cancer as a young adult. More recently I have looked for approaches that help me better assist people to heal from their trauma, including attachment trauma and complex PTSD.

Experience: Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Victoria, BC, at Heart of the Matter Counselling. Approaches: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR, Emotion Focused Therapy EFT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy DBT. Issues: Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Eating disorders, Binge Eating, Weight, Obesity, Anorexia, Bulimia, Self-esteem, Meaning in Life, Cancer, Palliative Care, Family Caregivers, Palliative Patients.
Education: Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Victoria, BC, at Heart of the Matter Counselling. Approaches: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR, Emotion Focused Therapy EFT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy DBT. Issues: Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Eating disorders, Binge Eating, Weight, Obesity, Anorexia, Bulimia, Self-esteem, Meaning in Life, Cancer, Palliative Care, Family Caregivers, Palliative Patients.

Education

Professional Registration:

2018   EMDR Consultant in Training, EMDR International Association

2018   Certified EMDR Practitioner, EMDR International Association

2015   Registered with BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

2012   Psychological Psychotherapist (Licensing for Germany)

2006   Registered Clinical and Health Psychologist, Austria

University Training:

2014   PhD in Psychology/Palliative Care, University of Munich

2004   MA in Life Span Development, University of Victoria

2001   Magistra in Clinical Psychology, University of Salzburg

 

For more information on professional development and education please click here.

Research

In a project funded by German Cancer Aid, I co-developed and evaluated a group intervention for family caregivers of terminally ill patients. Family caregivers who participated in the six-session group intervention reported significantly higher quality of life and lower depression a year after the intervention than caregivers who did not receive this type of support. [PDF Publication]

For a list of my publications and to read more about my research click here.

Research: Monika Brandstaetter, PhD, Registered Clinical Counsellor in Victoria, BC, at Heart of the Matter Counselling. Approaches: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR, Emotion Focused Therapy EFT, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy DBT. Issues: Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Eating disorders, Binge Eating, Weight, Obesity, Anorexia, Bulimia, Self-esteem, Meaning in Life, Cancer, Palliative Care, Family Caregivers, Palliative Patients.

Get in touch with Monika to set up a free 30-min in person consultation:

Phone: 250 885 3065  |  Email: monika@heartofthemattercounselling.com

If you haven't heard back from me within several days, please check your email spam folder as 

I have noticed my emails land there on occasion. Or contact me by phone. Thank you!

Find out more about me here:

Approaches to Counselling   |   Training & Certifications   |   Research & Publications