The Team

We have brought together an excellent team of highly qualified counselors, therapists and support staff. We have a psychiatrist, psychologist and licensed therapists that can work with our clients. Each have a unique role in thela recovery of every client. Our staff is passionate about what they do and many have personal or firsthand experiences with addiction.

Management


George A. Goldberger, B.Sc

Having over 35 years of business experience throughout North America and Overseas as well as being a person in recovery, George has the expertise and understanding to be the perfect fit to lead our organization.

With his recovery experience and compassion George is the exact individual you need to talk with to understand our process of recovery. His Motto is “Its not about getting Sober, It’s about staying Sober.”

Having a passion for Sobriety and Business has been the perfect combination to allow George to take the organization to the next level of being certified by Veterans Affairs and Department of National Defense.

PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE

Eileen Kempton, Operations Manager, RPR

Eileen has many years of experience working in Business Management, Finance and Human Resource Management. Having owned and operated her own business, she has a very strong background in operations. Along with being a Registered Professional Recruiter, Eileen is also very knowledgeable in areas of Conflict Resolution, Incident Investigation and Occupational Health & Safety and has level 1 MANDT training. Eileen attended Halifax West High School and Mount St Vincent University. Eileen has a passion for continuous learning and enjoys helping people.

Medical Team


Dr Drysdale, M.D., Medical Director

Dr John Drysdale is a family physician in the Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia.  He has a keen interest in addictions and withdrawal management, in addition to a full scope family practice.  Practicing near a military base, he also has experience with veterans affairs matters, including PTSD, mental health, and chronic pain.

Darlene Gavel RN

Darlene graduated the Registered Nursing Program from the Yarmouth School of Nursing in 1986. She has practiced at her full scope in British Columbia, New Hampshire, Arizona and then home to Nova Scotia. Darlene is also trained to teach CPR and first aid and is a Legal Nurse Consultant. She has experience in critical care, occupational health and safety, long term care and most recently in addictions. She also has experience in infection control, ICU and cardiac care.

Darlene conducts the telephone intakes on the clients before they arrive at Ledgehill or Oakhill. She approaches the clients in a kind and understanding way, which puts the clients at ease. Darlene prides herself in her sense of compassion and empathy.

Kaiti Stanton LPN

Kaiti graduated from NBCC in 2015 with an award for academic excellence. During college she focused her research efforts on substance use and harm reduction. She has a background working with seniors in long term care, acute care, and most recently at a tertiary psychiatric facility in New Brunswick. She has completed continuing education in addiction medicine and maintained a strong belief in life long learning. She has always had a passion for mental health and addiction, the two are greatly intertwined and help make up the complex world our clients face. She believes in a holistic approach to client care and strives to help improve their well being and experience during treatment and recovery.

Amanda Carson LPN

Amanda is a native of Yorkshire, England and immigrated to Canada in 1997. She graduated from the LPN program at NSCC in 1999, with an award for excellence in communication. She completed the Mental Health First Aid course in 2016 and has been recertified in Pharmacology in 2014. She is certified in Standard First Aid and in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. Most recently she has completed the NSHA Palliative Care Course. She has worked in Long Term Care, Dermatology and Research/ Clinical Trials at the Transitional Care Unit of the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax. She uses a positive approach and a sense of humor when dealing with clients.

Counsellors


Dr. Carole MacInnis, Program Consultant

Carole has her Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Psychologist in Nova Scotia. She also holds a Ph.D. in Education.

Carole has many years of experience working in the fields of psychology and education. She has been the program director in educational, non-profit and for profit organizations. She has a strong background in assessment in a variety of clinical and educational settings. Besides her work at Ledgehill, she is currently teaching in the in counselling program at Acadia University as a part-time instructor and has a private practice specializing in transitions with adults, youth and families.

During transitions, people often experience grief, anxiety and depression. To support her clients she uses evidence-based approaches such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Solution-focused Therapy to support the clients in learning new ways to deal with times of stress. Besides helping her clients to change ineffective patterns to more positive strength-based ways of being, she also works with them to examine the emotional triggers which have resulted in destructive behaviors. Through this exploration people begin to develop a different way of seeing and understanding themselves. Carole enjoys working with individuals, families and groups who are going through periods of change. She feels privileged to be a witness to the courage it takes to break old patterns and embrace the future as it emerges from one day to the next.

Agnieszka Gallina MA., Counselling Psychology, RCT-C, CCC-Q

Agnieszka has a BA in Psychology from Dalhousie University where she focused her studies on learning theory and the interplay of environment and behaviour. Following her passion in how unhelpful habits and behaviours lead to dysfunction in interpersonal relationships and connection within, she continued her studies in applied behavioural analysis, completing her advanced diploma in behavioural intervention. She has since worked with young adults with challenging behaviours, and instructed for Dalhousie’s College of Continuing education where she helped students reach academic success through an understanding of how emotional reactions and behavioural patterns can lower one’s ability to succeed in reaching goals in life.
With her Masters in Counselling Psychology, Agnieszka works as a counsellor in addiction focusing on compassion-focused therapy that is client directed, utilizing CBT, ACT and DBT. With her experience with treatment for eating disorders, Agnieszka understands the importance of reconnecting clients with their self-identity, self-worth and self-compassion in healing the whole and building emotional and physical health through multidisciplinary approaches.

D. Jennifer Smith, MA., Counselling Psychology , RCT-C, CCC-Q

Jenn’s work as a pastoral care teacher while living in England ignited her interest in counselling. Obtaining her Master of Arts, Counselling Psychology degree has led to the development of a client-based philosophy that acknowledges the importance of a biopsychosocial approach, while addressing addiction and mental health issues. Narrative, cognitive behavioural, cognitive processing, and emotionally focused are among the therapies she draws on, as well as using creative modalities with clients. A life-long learner, Jenn has degrees in business, fine arts and education. Jenn enjoys visiting her grown daughters and also loves spending time with her husband cruising the English canal system on their narrow boat.

Michael Donaldson

Michael Donaldson M.A., RCT, CCC-S

Michael is a Counselling Therapist and Therapy Supervisor at Ledgehill Treatment and Recovery Centre. He has more than 25 years experience working with individuals and families with a variety of mental health concerns and challenges in both private and public health care settings in Canada and the USA.

In addition, Michael has extensive experience in the field of addiction and mental health. Utilizing a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy, his practice is both trauma informed and collaborative.

Michael is married and has 3 adult children. In his spare time you can find him on his berry farm driving about on his tractor.

Allie Cantwell

Allie Cantwell

Allie values a person-centered and anti-oppressive approach to counselling. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC #10008167) and earned a master’s degree in Counselling from Acadia University. Before that, she studied at Saint Thomas University, while completing an undergraduate degree, double majoring in Psychology and Criminology. Throughout her career, she has worked in Social Services roles with non-profit and government organizations. It is through this work that she has witnessed first-hand the unlimited capacity for growth and resilience when surrounded with the right support. Additionally, with a passion for mind-body connection and belief in its potential to heal, she has also completed her first 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2018 along with an additional 45 hour yin yoga certification later that year.

Stefan Dunn

Stefan Dunn MSc, Cert. Med

Stefan Morgan Dunn is an experienced Family Trauma Therapist with a background in youth, adult and group therapy who specializes in addiction issues. Mr. Dunn’s training, education, and experience in psychology has provided him with a strong background in both individual and group therapy, He is adept with assessment, intervention, treatment, counseling, and many therapeutic approaches including motivational interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Centered Therapy and Family Therapeutic Mediation and has extensive experience in crisis and emergency situations. Just prior to coming to Ledghill, Stefan was a Crisis Management Specialist for Homewood Health in Alberta. His primary work was debriefing front line Hospital, University and Fire department Staff. Offering Cognitive Behavioral Therapeutic counselling involving mental health issues including; family and relationship issues, conflicts, substance abuse, trauma, depression, anger management, life transitions, personal issues and other physical, social and emotional problems. He has worked as a facilitator for over 16 years working with child and family services, treatment centers, recovery houses, schools, and international mediation firms. He has attended extensive workshops and courses on chemical dependency at Caron Institute in Philadelphia and the Hazeldon Centre in Minneapolis.

Selected Research & Education

  • Delivered research at the Turning Point treatment Centre in Smith’s Parish, Bermuda studying “The Effects of Family Functioning with Abstinence Following a Family Member’s Treatment for Substance Abuse” finding the powerful influence of family relationships on abstinence.
  • Graduated from University of Liverpool with a master’s in psychology specializing in Mental Health.
Billy Corbett

William Corbett (Billy), House Manager

A Nova Scotia resident all his life, spending the last 20 years in the Annapolis Valley area, but has also lived throughout our beautiful province. A recovering Alcoholic with 30 plus years in recovery, and service to others in many levels of 12 Step World Services, he has a great level of understanding in all aspects of 12 step recovery programs and feels very comfortable in sharing his experience, strength and hope with others. He is also a member of SMART recovery and has become very familiar with their ideals and is incorporating them into his life and studies. Billy has also gained experience and knowledge in training, motivating and leading people throughout his 30 plus years in various roles in Management in Production-based industrial plants. A people person who enjoys sitting down and chatting with others about anything in life and its challenges, he has compassion for the plight of homeless people and low-income families and shows this through his volunteer work with Open Arms, a homeless shelter and resource centre.

Stacy Darku MA. RCT-C

Stacy has obtained his Masters of Counselling Psychology degree through Yorkville University. She began her career working at a homeless shelter for women in New Brunswick. She has worked with people that have faced addictions, trauma, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. She uses a variety of therapeutic approaches and will adjust to support the client’s needs. Stacy supports clients facing addiction by unpacking their trauma and help them learn skills to cope with their trauma in a healthier way. She utilizes elements of Narrative Therapy, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Focusing. Stacy’s aim is to support our community and support people that are facing trauma and addiction.

Healthy Living


Elena Basevich, Recreation and Healthy Living Coordinator, BA Psy.

I have been teaching yoga for nine years and have been practicing for over sixteen. During these nine years I have taught yoga in the Annapolis Valley, leading public classes, specialty groups and meditation workshops. I love my work! I have also set up yoga classes in many of the public schools in this area, making yoga part of the gym curriculum and facilitating after school programs for staff and students alike. I enjoy cycling, skating, hiking in the woods with my dog and practice yoga every day. I feel that my calling is bringing health and fitness into people’s lives, becoming aware of their body and moving it as much and as often as possible is the path of happiness and health. Rural Annapolis valley is an amazing place to enjoy nature, the forest, the stars, and the stillness associated with country living. Being close to nature brings us back to ourselves.

Susan MacDonald, Program Assistant

Susan grew up, lived and worked most of her life in Nova Scotia. In the year 2010, after a career in private business and public service she relocated to the Annapolis Valley to begin her journey in recovery. Rather than return to the business world, Susan chose to become part of our team as she truly believes part of her recovery is to “pay it forward” by sharing her personal “Experience, Strength and Hope” with others beginning their journeys in recovery. Susan’s passion for life and recovery is reflected in the growth she inspires with each client with whom she shares.

Olivia and Wally (Our therapy dogs)

Olivia has just recently joined the team all the way from Texas, with her southern drawl and her the most beautiful brown eyes. We are lucky to have Olivia running around and interacting with our clients, and they are lucky to have her. What a great addition to our family.

Wally joined our team all the way from Florida. Wally is a pure breed Standard Poodle. Still a pup he comes from a long line of therapy dogs. The clients love him as much as he loves them. Take Wally snowshoeing on our beautiful trails brings total serenity and is therapy in itself.
What a great addition to our team.
We all luv you Wally & Olivia