We are pleased to have Annika Schaefer as a team player with Fresh Hope. She has a wealth of experience working with clients in many different environments, including private practice, counselling centres, residential settings, and churches. Annika holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology with Distinction through Yorkville University. She also received her certification as a Canadian Certified Counsellor and is a Master’s Level Counselling Therapist. Annika is an experienced counsellor who has worked with individuals of all ages, couples and families. In her quest for advanced education, she has become more specialized in working with all aspects of trauma. To enrich her expertise in trauma work, Annika completed advanced trainings in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy).
Working from a person-centred and trauma-informed perspective, she believes in creating a warm, empathic atmosphere–providing a safe and nonjudgemental space where clients can learn how to take steps that promote their healing process.
Annika helps clients with a wide variety of mental health concerns including: depression, anxiety, trauma (including PTSD – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), psychosomatic disorders, emotional regulation, communication and relationship challenges, grief and loss, and life transitions. She utilizes various therapeutic modalities including Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT), Polyvagal Theory, Trauma Informed Approaches, Strength-based Techniques, Narrative Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Mindfulness-based interventions as well as relaxation techniques supplement the sessions and support the client in their process of change. With resources gleaned in her many years of working in pastoral settings, Annika is a skilled Christian Counsellor and will bring this into sessions for those who desire faith-based counselling. Annika is bilingual and can also conduct assessments and therapy in German.
To Annika, being a counsellor means significantly supporting people to improve their life, and she can’t think of a more rewarding and fulfilling way to spend hers. Knowing that she has the privilege to be a meaningful part in affecting another person’s life gives her a deep sense of fulfillment and joy. We are confident that you will find Annika easy to connect with.
Annika was born and raised in Germany and came to Edmonton for her Post-Secondary studies, where she also met her husband. They were married in 1995 and have two adult sons. In her spare time she loves to garden, and is an avid chef — cooking is her therapy! She loves the outdoors, long hikes in the mountains and after many years abroad, is feeling deeply blessed to be able to spend as much time as possible with her husband’s family.