About Me

Cheryl Berto RSW (#9129)


What I Believe about counselling

We all need help – none of us can exist in a vacuum. Sometimes we have friends or family, who are good listeners or who have sage advice, but many of us are unable to lean on our friends for the kind of help that we need, or our family is part of the problem that we are trying to solve. Working through conflict in our relationships is also very challenging. Most of us do not handle conflict well or would rather run away from it.

Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and courage. I believe that we are our own expert – we have more wisdom or understanding about ourselves than someone else does, but a well-grounded therapist is sometimes needed to help us unearth the wisdom that is lost or lies deep within. I believe that it’s not my job to tell people what to do but to draw that wisdom out by asking sensitive and insightful questions rather than telling people how they should live. Counselling is a journey of discovery, and that journey needs safety, respect, caring, and open hearted engagement.


INformation About Me

About Me

I am a registered social worker (#9219) and have been trained in family therapy through Pacific Coast Family Therapy Institute and have extensive experience in working with couples and individuals, with people who have experienced trauma and abuse, narrative therapy, and working with men or women who batter. The baseline or heart of my work is Systems Theory (Murray Bowen), which means that part of the journey of discovery typically leads to questions about family and or childhood. So much of our perspective and how we look at things, how we behave in relationships, and what we believe about ourselves is formed by our experiences in our families or during our “formative” years.

Layered over the skills, understanding, and experience that I draw from; is my passion to hear God speak to me and through me to people. It is a great blessing to be a part of someone’s journey toward wholeness as well as their relational and emotional healing, so there is also an element of spiritual direction that is woven into my work with: individuals, couples and families.

More About Me

I am an adoption social worker for a Family Service agency. (I write Home Studies and other reports about people who want to grow their family through adoption.) I have been doing this work part time since 2008.

I have experience in leading volunteers and groups. (Chaired the Board of directors for a youth drop in ministry, Parent Advisory Council president, Strata Council president, ran a single parent support group, lead church prayer ministries, lead other church groups and endeavours.)

I’m married to a senior pastor of a medium sized evangelical (protestant) church.

Past Work Experience

  • Worked at Vancouver Christian Counselling Centre as a staff therapist: from 1990-2014.
  • The centre closed its doors at the end of 2014 and plans to reopen once its building program is completed in 2017.
  • Worked as a family counsellor/social worker in an inner city elementary school (An early intervention program called - Family Advancement Program) 1988-1994
  • family counselling, parenting support, play and art therapy with students, single parent support group, teaching presentations for parents
  • Worked for the Ministry of Children and Family Development 1986-1988; 1994
  • Worked with acting out teens and their families as well as street involved or “at risk” youth: 1985-1986


  • 1 year certificate from Northwest Baptist Theological College in Vancouver – 1980-81
  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University of British Columbia – 1984
  • Pacific Coast Family Therapy Institute (2 year program) completed in 1988
  • Various Seminary courses from Regent College in Vancouver - 1994-95
  • Attended multiple therapy conferences and seminars – 1984 – present