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SILA Skills Advisors

SILA Skills is grateful to this dedicated group of experts who generously share their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields, contributing to SILA's mission to build resilience in others.
Dr. Joanna Bolster

Dr Joanna Bolster received her Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta in 2003 and has been licensed as a psychologist for 24 years. She currently works full-time in private practice where she offers psychotherapy to pre-teens through to seniors, as well as supervision; consultation services to fellow psychologists and those in training as they learn both psychotherapy and DBT, CBT and psychodynamic therapy as specific modalities.

In addition to her full-time work, she is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine where she supervises Psychiatry residents as they learn psychotherapy and has been awarded several teaching awards for this work.

Dr Bolster has engaged in extensive additional training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and strives to offer as an adherent a practice as possible to her clients through running an adolescent DBT-Informed Skills group which she has now offered ten times and participating in a weekly DBT consultation group
for therapists as well as offering individual therapy with phone coaching within her practice.

In addition, Dr Bolster is currently pursuing becoming a Linehan Certified DBT Clinician - the highest level of certification within the practice of DBT.

Dr Bolster enjoys working alongside individuals as they learn; practice needed skills; building fun, creativity, authenticity; compassion on top of a solid foundation of evidence-based practices.

Peris Wasonga

Peres (Peris) Wasonga is a Certified Canadian Counselor with the Canadian Counseling Psychotherapy Association CCPA.  She has worked with the CMHA-Edmonton Region for slightly over 9 years and feels honored to support individuals and families whose lives have been impacted by suicide, whether by loss or through caregiving.  In a previous role, Peres worked as a therapist in Winnipeg, Manitoba and supported people who had been adversely affected by their Residential School involvement, whether directly or indirectly.  She honors the unique experiences of everyone she encounters and strongly believes that everyone needs a safe place to share their stories, process challenging emotions or ask difficult questions.

She is thrilled to be a part of the SILA Skills team! She is looking forward to lots of learning!

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Sandra Sanders

Sandra is a Registered Nurse who currently works as a Home Care Case Manager in rural Alberta.  Her experience spans voluntary and professional roles in acute care, community mental health as well as non-profit operations.

Sandra firmly believes that excellence in practice is found through advocacy, collaboration and finding creative solutions.  She is excited to help SILA expand its services to the healthcare sector not only for the benefit of practitioners but also the clients that they serve.

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