Cecilia Yee

Cecilia/Cici (Qian Qian) Ye-O’Neill

Registered Provisional Psychologist, M.Sc.

Services Offered: Counselling, Academic Counselling, Behavioral Consultations, PACE/MTC, (Brain Training and Reading Program) and Assessment

Client Focus: Children, Teens, Adults, Couples, Families

Types of therapy: 

  • Counselling for Neurodivergent clients (autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, giftedness, etc.) 
  • Early intervention support and/or functional behavioral strategies 
  • Trauma and/or attachment-based challenges using Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
  • Depression, anxiety, and general mental health challenges
  • Relational conflict 
  • Emotional literacy and regulation
  • Identity concerns and life transitions
  • Couple’s counselling (including neurodiverse couples; Gottman trained)

I am LGBQT2S+ allied, trauma-informed, neurodiversity-affirming, and culturally sensitive. Finally, I can speak Mandarin-Chinese for those who need a language bridge.

How would you explain your style and approach to therapy when working with clients?

First, I want to acknowledge how tough this process of finding a therapist can be! It can be intimidating going into a stranger’s office and then being expected to just share all of your inner thoughts. This is why, I am a firm believer in making sure that our therapeutic relationship is as collaborative as possible. Together, we will navigate the twists and turns of life, learn different ways of understanding your big, beautiful brain and helping you reveal strengths that you did not know you had (but have always been there!).

My goal? To empower you to tackle life’s challenges head-on, leaving you feeling not just okay, but competent and capable of taking on whatever comes your way. 

In addition to therapy, I support students through academic counselling and brain training. Supporting students with unique learning profiles (Learning Disabilities, ADHD, ASD, Gifted) one-on-one ensures every child is given the opportunity to reach their academic potential. Academic counselling differs notably from tutoring in that tutors tend to focus on helping students with their current curricular content whereas an academic counsellor tends to help students develop their repertoire of learning strategies. In the context of academic counselling, I help my students develop motivation for learning and skills for regulating their emotions, which enhances their preparedness to learn. I educate them on how their cognitive processing and executive functioning skills can be strengthened, so fewer obstacles are present in school.  Finally, I teach my students to advocate for themselves; they develop the confidence and competence to ask their educator for what they need – a skill that becomes increasingly important as students progress into the post-secondary realm.

I also love to present for businesses, organizations, and schools on topics such as parenting strategies that build strong relationships between you and your child, how raising a child who is neurodiverse requires different tools and understandings, helping frontline workers build their skills and knowledge in supporting neurodivergent clients, and couples workshops focused on Gottman’s Sound Relationship House, a highly acclaimed, evidenced based model for enhancing your relationship with your partner.

What training and expertise do you bring to your sessions?

Academically, I finished my M.Sc. in Educational Psychology with a specialization in counselling from the University of Calgary.  During these years, I did my practicums at a local domestic violence shelter and a disability support facility. I also completed a thesis that focused on autism. However, I believe I am a life-long learner and have a never-satiated curiosity for new knowledge!

Professionally, I have over twelve years of experience working in the mental health field. I have worked in a variety of disability-focused community organizations, and have spent some time in a variety of psychology labs, a neuroscience lab and a microbiology lab at the university (see what I mean about my curiosity?).

Personally, I have always had a strong passion in working with neurodivergent folk that grew out of a bit of necessity and a lot of “resisting the status quo” of growing up in an immigrant household. I am proud to be an ally for the marginalized communities I work with. Specifically, I take great pride in giving back to the community. I started a non-profit during my undergraduate degree to help provide support and resources to women and children with disabilities and I have been a director of both a First Nation’s cultural group as well as a local animal rescue.

Outside of your therapist role, what are some ways in which you express your uniqueness as a person?

Beyond the realm of psychology, you will find me either in the fantastical worlds of video games or some kind of fantasy-related activity where imagination knows no bounds. Additionally, I have a passion for movement and expression, whether it’s through the art of dance or simply just seeing where my body can take me in circus arts and the gym. Truth be told, I like to embrace life to its absolute fullest and I believe in exploring all facets of existence and encouraging my clients to do the same, fostering growth, resilience, and authenticity along the way. My two fur-babies (a white shepherd and a 5-lb Pomeranian who believes he’s bigger than he is) and my husband helps me be able to do just that!