Bess McCarville

MSW, MSc, Registered Social Worker #16249 (BC)

Bess McCarville is currently accepting new clients.

Somatics (Somatic Experiencing certification in progress)
Parts work (Inner Relationship Focusing)
Anti-capitalist, anti-oppressive practice
LGBTQI2S+ affirming
Sex worker allied
Sex + kink affirming

Bess is registered in BC with the BCCSW.

I trust in the body’s innate wisdom and capacity to heal from difficult emotional experiences and know that this work can only truly happen when the body feels safe. I see my role as that of a trusted collaborator, allying with you to co-create a space of safety, dignity, and belonging around whatever it is you are seeking to work through and heal. I believe that you hold all of the skill and knowledge you need to move forward in your life and toward the things that matter most to you and am here to support you along the way.

As an intersectional and trauma-informed practitioner, I hold awareness and curiosity around the ways in which we are each uniquely shaped by things like lineage, family and upbringing, community, culture, institutions, and social norms. This shaping is often reflected in both our resiliencies as well as our struggles. I hold that there is deep wisdom in the strategies you’ve developed to keep yourself safe, even those that may no longer be serving you. With reverence for the ways in which you’ve been coping, I strive to offer affirming space in which you can move toward more of a sense of choice and possibility with regards to the changes you most long for. 

As a queer and non-binary practitioner, I hold a strong sense of commitment toward, and allyship with, those who have not historically found safe and competent care within health and healing spaces. As a person of white settler ancestry, I am equally committed to the personal work of lifelong learning, humility, and practice informed by the ways in which systems of oppression intersect with individual and collective well-being to create conditions of inequity, harm, and trauma. 

I hold an MSW with a specialization in Social Justice and Diversity and have spent the past 15 years working in a variety of community and healthcare settings, with children, families, and individuals. I have advanced and ongoing training in trauma and somatics, the latter of which is an approach to healing and change that centres the experience of our full selves moving beyond thinking alone to include the ways in which our bodies store and process experiences through feeling and sensation. I believe healing work to be the work of stepping more fully into alignment with the things that we most care about and would be honoured to accompany you on this journey. 

Bess offers accessible counselling.

Bess’ informed consent form can be found here.

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

There is an inherent courage and rigor required to show up to the work of healing and change and I am continually astounded that I get to witness these qualities on a daily basis. I feel deeply inspired and galvanized by the vulnerability and willingness folks bring into the counselling space. As a naturally curious and unconventional cat, I also love hearing people’s stories and holding imaginative space for all of the incredible and diverse ways in which we can structure and live our lives, to most fully reflect our personal and collective needs and values.

What have you learned from your work?

Healing the way we relate to ourselves is possible! It is by no means a linear journey and can take us to some really unexpected places at times but sticking with ourselves and this work can and does yield meaningful change. I have also learned that when we heal, we do so not only for ourselves but for one another (including both our human and more-than-human kin). As we learn to relate more lovingly toward ourselves, we bring this integrity into all of our interactions with the people and places we encounter and are better equipped to contribute to the societal changes we long to see in our own lifetimes and for future generations. No small thing!

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