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

Director of MEd in School Counselling Program

As a Program Director I provide guidance and support to faculty, students and professional staff in collaboration with school districts to develop and implement effective delivery of the MEd in School Counselling program. My background as a registered clinical counsellor, with specialized training in Somatic Transformation and mindfulness-based practices, brings a solid foundation to support teaching faculty, foster student learning, and engage in community development through a relational lens. My interest in bridging practice and academic work in the classroom influences program design, assessment, curriculum development and technology integration.


My research interests include emotional regulation; somatic psychology; contemplative practices in health and counselling education; applications of mindfulness; to bridge the gap between research and practice. I have a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods—including narrative, phenomenology and theoretical research methods, and statistical analysis.


Stella, M., & Taggart, J. (2020). Attachment, learning and embodied reflective practices in clinical supervision. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 15(4), 295-308.

Stella, M. (2018). Developing Emotional Competence through Embodiment to Facilitate Learning: An Educator’s Journey. International Body Psychotherapy Journal, 51-65.

Stella, M. (2015). Befriending Death: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Cultivating Self-Awareness in Counselling Students. Death Studies, 1-7.

Stella M. (2014, December). Cultivating Presence in the Therapeutic Relationship. Insights into Clinical Counselling, 3, 19-21.

Stella M. (2011). Working with Emotions: A Shambhala Buddhist Approach. Saarbrucken: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller.


My approach to counselling education embraces a belief that academic preparation and relational somatic practices makes a difference in serving children, youth, adults and families competently, compassionately and justly. I teach courses across programs in the Master of Counselling and MEd in School Counselling.


 Master of Counselling program:

  • Introduction to Counselling Psychology Practice
  • Systemic Theory: Diversity and Cultural Psychology
  • Grief and Loss in Psychology
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Practicum Instructor
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Research thesis/capstone Supervisor

Master of Education in School Counselling program:

  • Introduction to Counselling Theory
  • Professional Growth and Development
  • Child and Adolescent Growth and Development
  • Research Methods in Education
  • Research thesis/capstone Supervisor