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Dominika Szymanska-McDonald

in Surrey, BC

Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC)

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away" - Pablo Picasso

Dominika holds a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Counselling Psychology, a Baccalaureate Degree in philosophy, and has additional Certification in Applied Behavioral Analysis. For over 24 years, Dominika has provided behavior treatment to children, teens, and adults who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder, ADHD, anxiety, or other developmental disabilities. In 2005 she obtained her board certification, followed by her clinical counselling degree in 2012. She has been in private practice since 2007.

Currently, Dominika’s focus lies in guiding teens and young adults through their major life transitions, and helping them navigate their peer and family relations, academic pursuits, career goals and existential challenges. She utilizes her clinical experience to provide effective, solution-focused, compassionate counselling. Her approach is multimodal and multidimensional, which is to integrate different types of interventions based on individual client’s needs. The types of treatment in which Dominika is trained and experienced, include behavior therapy, cognitive-behavior therapy, Acceptance Commitment, mindfulness, The Narrative Approach, and art-based counselling.

Dominika has provided support to individuals and families dealing with depression, grief, immigration issues and existential crises. She embraces and promotes a philosophy of self-empowerment and resilience – helping individuals cultivate their inner strength, clarify their purpose and values so that they can lead their lives authentically, joyfully and with meaning. In her work with children and teens, she firmly advocates that for an individual to flourish, healing must be facilitated both at the personal level, and within broader context of family, community and society.

Dominika was born in Warsaw, Poland and immigrated to Canada in her teens. She married after university, and now enjoys being mother to their three boisterous children. She is passionate about working with new immigrants, as she has herself experienced the difficult journey of finding oneself in a new country and foreign culture.

In addition to her professional training, Dominika has had professional training in acting and contributed to the establishment of Vancouver’s first Polish theater “Popular Theatre” where she starred in numerous works. Her artistic pursuits also extend to painting and the textile arts. Dominika harmoniously blends her love for Fine Arts and her passion for helping others. She believes that art can reflect personal growth and transformation, and that it offers immeasurable healing qualities, it illuminates purpose, and can capture inspirational moments that lend beauty to life. According to Dominika each work of Art represents a purposeful dance to preserve life’s fleeting nature that serves as a legacy.


English, Polish


Children 5+, Teens, Parents, Adults


ADHD, Autism Spectrum disorder, Neurodiversity, Anxiety, Changing Unwanted Habits, Depression, Existential Crisis, Family Conflict, Grief & Loss, Immigration Issues, Parenting Issues, Postpartum Issues.


Behaviorism, CBT, Art Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, ASD