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Maria Stella, PhD, RCC

Director of Canadian MEd in School Counselling Program

As a Program Director, I provide guidance to develop and implement effective delivery of the MEd in School Counselling program. I have worked at City University since 2013 in diverse roles including associate faculty and clinical internship supervisor. Drawing on my experience as a registered clinical counsellor with expertise in somatic trauma-informed practices, I support teaching faculty, nurture student development, and promote community engagement from 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 and the promotion of health and well-being. I have a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods—including narrative, phenomenology and theoretical research methods, and statistical analysis.


My approach to counselling education embraces a belief that academic preparation and embodied relational practices plays a crucial role in establishing nurturing learning settings that foster personal growth and professional development. At CityU, I have taught a number of courses in both the MEd in School Counselling Program and in the MC Program. 

  • 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.

 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
  • Advanced Issues in School Counselling
  • Research Methods in Education
  • Research thesis/capstone Supervisor

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