Skip navigation menu
Return to start of navigation menu

Gina Ko

Associate Director

I am an Associate Director for City University’s Master of Counselling Program. I am a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and have extensive experience in single-session and brief models of therapy. I have a private practice whereby I see individuals, couples, and families in areas of concerns such as relationship issues, anxiety, depression, life transitions, school challenges, and more. I believe in a culturally responsive and socially just way of working collaboratively with clients so they can be on a journey towards healing and thriving. I have taught and facilitated many graduate courses in counselling psychology such as models/theories of counselling, sociocultural and systemic influences in counselling, health psychology, child and adolescent counselling, working alliance, and interventions. I flourish in learning with adult learners and I am excited to meet you!


My research interest pertains to the lived experience of minoritized/racialized individuals. I have published in the areas of transcultural journey, experiences of how immigrant secondary students develop social confidence, and working with youth to support their environmental activism. I aim to publish my research about Chinese Canadian mothers passing on their heritage language and experiences of youth from immigrant and refugee backgrounds enacting social justice. My research interest pertains to social justice, relational practice, the single-session model and brief therapy, practice experience during and after the pandemic, and working with minoritized clients in a socially just and culturally responsive way.


Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Ko, G., Jiao, N., & Corser, K. (2019). A transcultural journey: An ensemble of Canadian, Chinese, and Australian doctoral students’ experiences. Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology, 3(1), 29-41.
  • Becker, S., Ko, G., Groen, J., Czuy, K., Kim, M., & Roy S. (2018). “Like bubbles floating on top:” Reflections on transcultural doctoral seminar participation. Journal of Educational Thought, 51(3), 297-315.
  • Albrecht, S., & Ko, G. (2017). How do immigrant students develop social confidence in secondary school? A retrospective study. The Qualitative Report, 22(9), 2385-2403.
  • Syeda, M. M., Woodend, J., Ko. G., Fowler. T., Chondros. K., Hilman, B., & Paris, B. M. (2017). Reflections on creating a student-run journal: A duo-ethnography. Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Research in Education and Psychology, 1(1), iii-xxi.

Book Reviews

  • Ko, G. (2020). Review of the book Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology, by S. Collins. [Manuscript submitted to CJCP for publication].
  • Ko, G. (2016). Brief coaching with children and young people: A solution-focused approach – Book Review. Canadian School Counselling Review, 1(1), 58-59. 

Conference Proceedings

  • Woodend, J, Syeda, M., Paris, B., Ko, G., Chondros, K., Hilman, B., & Fowler, T. (2017). How can graduate students contribute? Reflections on creating a journal for and by graduate students. In P. Preciado Babb, L. Yeworiew, & S. Sabbaghan (Eds.). Proceedings of the IDEAS Conference: Leading Educational Change (pp. 75-83). Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.
  • Ko, G. (2013, June). Bilingualism helps Asian families flourish. Proceedings of the Third Asian Conference on Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, 583-596, 2187-4743. Osaka, Japan. Retrieved from

Book Chapters

  • Ko, G. (2019). Used once and disposed: Collaborating with youth environmental activists in post-human times. In K. Lenters & M. McDermott (Eds.), Affect, embodiment, and place in critical literacy: Assembling theory and practice. Calgary, Canada: Routledge.

Thesis Work

  • Ko, G. (2019). The experiences of youth from immigrant and refugee backgrounds in a social justice leadership program: A participatory action research photovoice project (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Alberta.
  • Ko, G. (2014). Inspiring bilingualism: Chinese-Canadian mothers’ stories. (Unpublished master’s thesis). Athabasca University, Alberta. 

Academic Reports

  • Calvert, A., Foscolos, D., Ko, G., Chiu, L., & Chown, K. (2018). Academic leadership academy: Assessment report 2017. University of Calgary, Alberta.

Media Publication

  • Ko, G. (2019). How educators can help girls resist Islamophobia.

I believe students learn best when they are engaged and when they experience learning in authentic ways. I am an advocate for vulnerability, human relationships, self-compassion, the growth mindset, the pedagogy of the oppressed, experiential learning, the zone of proximal development, and transformative learning. I believe that students of any age need to feel a sense of belonging and purpose in the courses/program to relate to the learning. I believe that the instructor-student relationship is crucial for students to feel they can ask for support and guidance about course work, concerns, challenges, celebrations, and more. I believe in teaching with head and heart as I have a deep care for students; each student has been a gift that I have been fortunate to work with. In my time as a post-secondary instructor, I have had strong, meaningful, and memorable instructor-student relationships with adult learners. I believe in connecting with students where I share openly that I am learning “with” them and that I adhere to being socially just and culturally responsive. I love to have fun and laugh with students. I am thrilled to see students shift in their assumptions when they realize the knowledge garnered really matter to them. I am honoured that students feel enthusiastic to connect and some have told me that I have made a difference in their lives.

Request Info