Ehrlo Counselling Services (ECS) has taken another practicum student under its wings, providing mentorship and guidance to the soon-to-be grad.

Vanessa Jerkovits joined the ECS team on April 8th, working under the supervision of Clinical Social Workers Amanda DeMarsh and Kristie Panchuk.

While she may be a new fixture in the ECS offices, Vanessa is a familiar face to those at Ranch Ehrlo Society, having formerly worked as a caseworker at one of the agency’s group homes.

Vanessa is thrilled to return to Ranch Ehrlo and said she is grateful for the warm welcome she’s received.

“I’m so happy to be reconnected with the agency in a new and exciting capacity. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to work with and learn from dual supervisors Amanda and Kristie, as well as the entire team here. They have all been so kind, welcoming, and supportive.”

While a career in counselling wasn’t always on Vanessa’s radar, it was her experience as a caseworker that opened her eyes, and her heart, to the possibility.

“When I started as a caseworker it really opened my eyes to the kind of clinical experiences and opportunities that I could enjoy,” she said, from the ECS Regina office. “I developed a passion and interest in exploring more of the clinical world. I knew I wanted to go back to school, take some more classes, and then get into the field to try things on.”

Through mentorship by her clinical director at the time and collaborative work with the professionals at Ehrlo Counselling, Vanessa was encouraged to pursue a master’s in educational psychology. She will graduate this year, after completing her ECS practicum placement.  

“It’s been nice to see things come together,” she said. “I’m really enjoying the practical side of what I’ve learned in school.”

While she has a particular interest in working with adolescents, Vanessa will work with diverse clientele during her tenure with ECS. She will progress in her experience from an observational role to co-counsellor and then to independent counsellor under the guidance and supervision of her mentors.

 “I’m looking forward to working with clients here at Ehrlo Counselling and continuing to develop my capacity as a counsellor and my areas of interest and frameworks of practice.”

“I hope to further develop as a counselling professional,” she added. “And I hope to gain competence and connections with the clinicians here on the team.”

Following graduation, Vanessa plans to register with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association to become a Canadian Certified Counsellor; beyond that Vanessa is unsure where her career path will lead her.

“Ultimately, I have a passion for working with people. I want to support people to live the life that they want to live in a way that’s meaningful to them, so I hope to do that in some capacity, but we’ll see where things take me.”