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


Professor and Director of Canadian M.Ed. School Counselling Programs

Dr. Maria Stella is a Professor and a Program Director at City University, and a Registered Clinical Counsellor.

As a Program Director, she provides 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.

Maria has also served as the Clinical Internship Supervisor for the Master of Counselling program at CityU community clinics in Vancouver for 3 years. Her approach to counselling education embraces a belief that academic preparation and practice makes a difference in serving children, youth, adults and families competently, compassionately and justly.

Her 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. Maria has a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods—including narrative, phenomenology and theoretical research methods, and statistical analysis.

As a Registered Clinical Counsellor with specialized training and certification in Somatic Transformation (trauma-informed therapy), grief and loss, and mindfulness-based practices, she focuses her private practice on issues related to loss, trauma and transition.

Courses Taught at CityUniversity

Master of Counselling program:

  • Introduction to Counselling Psychology Practice
  • Systemic Theory: Diversity and Cultural Psychology
  • Grief and Loss in Psychology
  • 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


Ph. D, (East West Psychology), California Institute of Integral Studies, 2010

Master of Arts (Consciousness Studies), University of Philosphical Research, 2006

Bachelor of Arts (psychology). University of British Columbia, 2004


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.