Our Counsellors


Amanda Sawatzky has worked as a counsellor for Cowichan Lake Community Services since 1994. Amanda holds a Masters degree in Counselling from the University of Victoria, a BA in psychology from McMaster University, as well as a certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

She is a certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and also has certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Child and Youth Anxiety through the Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia. Amanda is also a Certified Canadian Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling Association.

Amanda was born in England, raised in Oakville Ontario, and is now a true converted west coast island girl who likes to migrate south in the winter. Along with trauma work, Amanda has extensive experience working with adults, children, groups and families using a variety of approaches. Amanda brings enthusiasm and a passion for healing to her work and uses a playful approach to learning.

Email Amanda directly - amanda@comserv.org

Amanda Sawatsky

Sarah DeBodt


Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Vancouver Island University. Her work experience has focused on supporting marginalized populations, working with high-risk children & youth and rights education & advocacy. She has also completed training in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, Resilience and Applied Psychology, Conflict Resolution, Motivational Interviewing, Girls Circle Facilitation and Community & Workplace Leadership.

Sarah’s interest in counselling developed while working with incarcerated and high-risk women and youth for the Elisabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver. Her experience working in group homes for high-risk children & youth with challenging behaviours nurtured this interest and created a passion for early intervention and prevention practices.

Born and raised in Lake Cowichan, Sarah is excited to be back in her home community. Despite spending almost 5 years on the Mainland she always knew in her heart that the Island was home. Sarah brings a youthful energy and enthusiasm for transformation to her work. She believes in meeting people where they’re at and encouraging self-empowerment and personal growth.

Email Sarah directly - sarah@comserv.org



Sarah Van Boven


Sarah holds a Bachelors of Child and Youth Care from Vancouver Island University. Her education emphasized a relational focused work of developing, supporting, and enhancing positive change in the lives of children, youth, and families.

Sarah’s work experience began when she was involved as a children and youth camp counsellor for two summers where her interest for counselling was first sparked. Since then she has worked in the helping profession in a variety of different capacities including youth and family counselling, substance use and mental health services, school based programming, community development work, and group facilitation. She has also participated in a recent research initiative that explored practitioner encounters and opportunities for engaging families of individuals accessing substance use services.

Sarah was born in the Cowichan Valley where she grew up on a dairy farm. Spending many summers visiting Cowichan Lake, she feels very grateful to be working in this beautiful island community. Sarah enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors, traveling, music, volley ball, spicy food, and tea.

Practicing from a place of collaboration and constant learning, Sarah is passionate about the work she does and desires to empower and honour the individual strengths and capacities of the people she works alongside.

Email Sarah directly – sarahv@comserv.org