Brenda Hayashi

Registered Clinical Counsellor

BSc Occupational Therapy (UBC), MEd Counselling Psychology (SFU), RCC

BCACC Certified

Brenda brings warmth, compassion, and the wisdom that comes from over 25 years of experience working in mental health. She specializes in areas of personal identity, spiritual formation, family of origin issues, mood struggles, and life transitions. As her clients become more attuned to their inner life, Brenda helps them to move from stuck places and problematic emotional states into meaningful connection in their important relationships and life pursuits.

Brenda counsels from her own integrated journey of spirituality, family, church and vocation. After graduating in 1986 with a degree in Occupational Therapy (OT), she spent several years in a Christian rock band, playing outreach concerts in Toronto’s inner city. In 1988 she returned to OT, embarking on a career that spanned inpatient psychiatry, community mental health, vocational rehabilitation and work as a research clinician. Outside of her paid employment, she participated in various arenas of pastoral leadership. Throughout these varied experiences, Brenda’s deepest passion has been to journey with people in and through their spiritual and emotional struggles. She returned to school to complete her Masters in Counselling in 2013 and now makes therapy her primary focus. Brenda has been married to her husband Jeff for over 25 years and together they have raised 3 unique and vibrant daughters.

Brenda works in the context of emotion focused and integrative counselling frameworks. Through empathic understanding, Brenda helps her clients to attend to what is difficult in their current context as a means of moving through blocked attachment experiences, leading to healthier emotional connection with oneself and others. She specializes in counselling adults of all ages and stages from diverse walks of life. Brenda enjoys working with individuals, couples and groups.

Brenda believes that we thrive when we are fully loved, known and understood in the context of the families and communities we are a part of. However, this kind of connection is hard work! Jean Vanier wrote, “Freedom doesn’t grow in the abstract – it grows in a particular soil with particular people.” Keeping this greater context in mind, Brenda and the Soma team are happy to work with families, churches and other community members to foster deeper understanding and restored connection.