Counselling and Assessment Services for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario

Established in 1987, the Behavioural Sciences Centre (BSC) provides counselling and assessments for individuals, organizations, and corporations in Thunder Bay and across Northwestern Ontario. As part of the St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG), one of the largest healthcare organizations in Thunder Bay, BSC maintains a high standard of professionalism and integrity.

Mission Statement

BSC’s mission is to provide responsive, confidential and high-quality counselling and assessment services to the people of Northwestern Ontario.

Woman looking outdoors

Core EFAP Counselors

Utilizing an evidence based approach our team is skilled in several treatment modalities including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitizing & Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for trauma, Mindfulness-Based Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), among others.

A good relationship, the research finds, is essential to helping a client connect with, remain in and get the most from therapy. Our therapists operate on the notion that therapy is a two way relationship in which the client and therapist are equal partners working together to define and actualize therapy goals, including the direction the therapy relationship is taking.

BSC’s therapists have a minimum of a Master’s level education in the fields of clinical psychology, social work, and/or psychotherapy.

We provide support and treatment for a number of mental health challenges for adults and adolescents including, but not limited to:

  • Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders
  • Grief and Loss
  • Couples and Family Challenges
  • Body Image Issues
  • Work/Life Stress
  • Life Transitions
  • Addictions
  • Anger

Kelly Paglaro, M.A. RP

With over 25 years as a Registered Psychotherapist Kelly holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She has Advanced Training in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Level II Training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Kelly has extensive experience supporting individuals, couples, and families with life transitions; depression; anxiety; family conflict; grief; stress & burnout, trauma. Utilizing an evidence based approach Kelly works with clients to identify strategies to help make sense of their experiences and collaborates further to develop tools and coping skills that alleviate distressing symptoms. Through her approach she can help develop insights and perspectives, as well as the self-awareness and self-worth to get to the heart of the matter.

Read more

Sarah Spencer, M.A RP, CCC

Sarah is a Registered Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor and Certified Career Strategist with over 10 years of combined experience in career and mental health counselling. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a major concentration in women’s studies at Lakehead University and her Master of Counselling with a specialization in counselling psychology at Athabasca University. In addition to her education, Sarah has experience in private practice as well as various community organizations. In these roles she gained experience working with survivors of various traumas, individuals living with mental health concerns, youth struggling with the transition to adulthood, children and parents navigating behavioural and emotional difficulties and so many more presenting issues.

Sarah believes that therapy is an opportunity to start conversations about personal and interpersonal growth. In taking a step on this quest to seek healthier relationships with ourselves and those that surround us, we become aware of the thoughts, emotions, behaviours, narratives and contexts that no longer serve us or negatively impact our journeys. Sarah collaborates with her clients in their attempts to change habits, achieve growth and/or improve functioning from an integrative/eclectic perspective. Her approach includes a variety of cognitive behavioural techniques (drawn from REBT, CBT, ACT, DBT, CPT) as well as post-modern strategies (influenced by mindfulness, solution-oriented, narrative approaches).

Read more

Alana Jacobsen, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), MACP, BA PSYC

Alana works from an integrative approach, modifying therapeutic skills, techniques, and interventions to each client’s exclusive needs. She practices with a trauma-informed, humanistic-existential perspective, integrating Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Internal Family Systems (IFS) while incorporating mindfulness.
She will support you with compassion, respect, validation, and acceptance. She will gently challenge you, provide insight, and different perspectives to allow for healing and a greater connection to yourself, others, and the world around you. Alana has a background in supporting people with many different backgrounds and challenges and has extensive experience in supporting older adults, adults and teens. She offers couples counselling, individual counselling and family counselling through the Behavioural Sciences Centre.
Read more

Stephanie Biggs, M.A RP, CCC

Stephanie is a Registered Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor who has a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. Her therapeutic method is rooted in an integrative and person-centered approach, drawing from therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution-Focused Based Therapy (SFBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Narrative therapy. Stephanie has experience working with a range of issues, including but limited to anxiety, depression, grief/loss, stress, workplace issues, relationships, self-esteem, life transitions, and trauma.

Stephanie values the importance of fostering a client-centered relationship, to build trust, safety, and acceptance. She believes that everyone has the capacity to move towards change if they have access to a supportive and non-judgmental environment where they can explore their own unique stories.

Read more


John Biancospino, HBSW, RSW

John worked for 24 years at the Children’s Centre in various capacities, beginning with CYW in the residential program; Family Based Program proving in-home parenting support; Social Worker/Case manager in different roles working with parents, youth, adolescents, and children, providing therapy and counseling. He worked in the Walk-In clinic provided by CCTB/TBC in addressing many issues presented in a single session solution focused format.

John’s training, over the years, has been with issues and disorders including anxiety, attachment disorder, depression, conduct, borderline personality, addiction, workshops and practice development in different treatment approaches including DBT, CBT, family therapy, mood disorders, narrative and solution focused therapy. John specializes in addictions, DBT model, and solution focused/brief intervention model.

Peter MacDonald, B.A. (Phil. & Psych.)

Mr. MacDonald has earned Specialist Standing with the Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education, and has over 20 years of related experience. He is a recently retired employee of St. Joseph’s Care Group. BSC counsellors often refer individuals, couples, and families to Peter for grief counselling, spiritual counselling, and trauma debriefing and diffusing. He has also presented several Myers-Briggs workshops to groups in a variety of settings.

Kelly Schulz, Registered Kinesiologist

Kelly is a Registered Kinesiologist with the College of Kinesiologist of Ontario and a certified Functional Abilities Evaluator. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Physical Education Degree at Lakehead University in 1993. Kelly has worked in the areas of rehabilitation, personal training, consulting and functional assessing over the past 21 years. She has been completing EAP Wellness Consultations for Behavioral Sciences Centre for over 10 years.