Maria Stella, Ph.D., R.C.C.


Associate Professor and Associate Director, M.Ed. School Counselling program

Maria Stella is a program coordinator for the MEd School Counselling program, working closely with faculty, students and school districts. She is also a registered clinical counsellor in private practice, where she specializes in issues related to trauma, loss and transition.

Maria currently serves as a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist community. She has led mindfulness-based cognitive therapy groups, bereavement support groups and counsellor training and mentoring.

Maria holds a PhD in East-West Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. Her dissertation focused on working with intense emotions through mindfulness.

Courses Taught

At City University Maria has taught the following courses in the Master of Counselling program: Introduction to Counselling Psychology Practice, Systemic Theory: Diversity and Cultural Psychology, Grief and Loss, Research Methods and Statistics, and Research thesis advisor for Masters of Counselling program.
In the Master of Education program, she has taught Introduction to Counselling Theory, Research Methods in Education, and Child and Adolescent Growth and Development, and Research thesis advisor for Masters of Education program.

Research Experience

Maria has a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods—including experience in narrative, phenomenology and theoretical research methods, and statistical analysis. Her research interests include emotional regulation, somatic psychology, contemplative practices in health and education, and applications of mindfulness.


In other aspects of her life Maria enjoys practicing Embodied Presence/Social Presencing Theater, meditation, teaching contemplative practices, walking in nature, and visiting with family and friends.