Professor Profiles


Jessica Van Vliet, PhD

Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology, Graduate Program Coordinator


Educational Psychology

About Me

Theoretical Orientation

My theoretical approach to counselling psychology can best be described as integrative. I lean toward approaches that emphasize awareness and compassionate acceptance of personal experience, as a foundation for choosing new behaviours and courses of action. In working with clients, I draw largely from Compassion-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and mindfulness interventions (e.g., Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy), as well as Emotion Focused Therapy. Throughout my practice, I attempt to tailor counselling to the unique needs, strengths, and cultural background of each client.

Professional Affiliations

Current professional affiliations include: Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), and Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA). I am also a Registered Psychologist through the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP).


Research Interests

My research is grounded in counselling psychology’s traditional emphasis on strengths, resilience, and diverse ways of human knowing and being. As one of the greatest of human strengths, compassion has been the focus of much research in my lab. Together, my students and I have been studying compassion, self-compassion, and mindfulness as they relate to emotion regulation and the alleviation of emotional distress. Our research spans a range of contexts and populations, from the study of self-compassion among women who have experienced sexual assault and other forms of trauma, to a nuanced exploration of young men’s experiences of receiving compassion from others. We have also conducted research on compassion-based interventions for working with shame and shame-related issues and behaviours.


Courses Taught

EDPY 442: Introduction to Counselling

EDPY 503: Qualitative Methods of Education Research

EDPY 534: Basic Skills, Issues, and Attitudes in Counselling II

EDPY 633: Advanced Counselling Practicum I