Dr. Carolyn Burns - Registered Psychologist (#2211)
Carolyn Burns M.A.

Individual Treatment


About Carolyn

Therapeutic Focus

I have a particular interest in working with first responders, trauma and resilience. The combination of work experience, clinical training and formal research has allowed me to better:

  • understand issues and concerns facing my clients
  • help them develop effective coping strategies to regain a sense of control
  • use empirically supported therapeutic approaches to help clients lead a healthy, happy, more balanced life


After a brief stint with the BC Ambulance Services on the Sunshine Coast, I spent 19 years within the Sechelt, Gibsons and Langley RCMP detachments in Victim Services.

You were someone that I quickly trusted and used as a fantastic resource while dealing with some of the most stressful investigations of my service!

- Senior Investigator

This work immersed me in the policing culture and allowed me to develop an understanding of policing organizations and the Criminal Justice System.

For many years I was on call 24/7 to respond to scenes at the time of incidents. I have worked closely with victims and witnesses of crime and trauma, and with responders including police, fire-rescue, paramedics and victim service workers.

My experience includes attendance and ongoing work with clients following homicides, suicides, fatal motor vehicle incidents, sudden deaths, industrial accidents, armed robberies, shootings, sexual assaults, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, assaults, break and enters, fraud, theft, and missing persons.

The shooting incident on Friday, January 24th and the events to follow will remain as significant moments for our Secondary School and its community. This incident has caused us all to reflect on our safety at school and in the community. Your role as a member of the Emergency Response Team will never be forgotten. In times of emergency and crisis we rely on inner strength and the support of trained professionals like yourself. Your help in determining and implementing strategies to deal with the effects of this incident was really appreciated. I would like to express my gratitude to you, Carolyn, for your work at our school last week. Your support provided invaluable assistance in a time of great need. Indeed, it was a privilege to work with you as a member of the team.

- Principal

I developed a working knowledge of the Criminal Justice System from the time of an incident through to the end of court, appeals and parole hearings. Over the years I have worked closely with Crown, Sheriffs, Coroners, Social Workers, and other therapists.

For many years I held the position of Municipal Supervisor/ Victim Services Program Manager, responsible for section budget, 14 full time and six auxiliary employees, working with 300 volunteers and 25 programs. Over the years I participated in numerous leadership, team building and management training opportunities offered through the RCMP, the Justice Institute of BC, and at local, regional, provincial, national and international workshops and conferences.

The standards you set are the ones that I talk about, and expect from Detachments we now work with. Your ability to lead your staff, and deal with any concern that surfaced in a calm professional manner is a strength that won you recognition throughout the Detachment.

- Corporal

A New Focus

While working at Langley detachment as the Langley RCMP Victim Services Program Manager and a referral agent for the Langley Member/Employee Assistance program, I became increasingly interested in the impact of the work on first responders from both a personal and professional perspective.

I completed a Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. My research focused on trauma, resilience, secondary trauma/vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue in police populations.

Master’s thesis: What Helps and Hinders Coping with Integrated Child Exploitation Investigations explored the impact of the work and subsequent coping mechanisms and strategies employed by investigators working on the “E” Division Integrated Internet Child Exploitation Team.

Ph.D. dissertation: What Helps and Hinders the Decision to Access Psychological Services in a Police Population identified factors that influenced the decision of RCMP officers to seek out psychological assistance when required, and offers insight into ways individuals and organizations can contribute to developing more supportive and psychologically healthy environments for their employees.

I currently work full time in private practice focusing on trauma and resilience.


  • Registered Psychologist (#2211), College of Psychologists of British Columbia
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Counselling Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, Trinity Western University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Simon Fraser University
  • Basic Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Training
  • Advanced One Eye Integration (OEI) Technique. Trinity Western University
  • Victim Services Practitioner Certificate, Justice Institute of BC
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Program, Justice Institute of BC
  • Responding to Communities in Crisis, National Organization of Victim Assistance


  • Commanding Officers’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, June 2013
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, May 2013
  • Certificate of Academic Excellence 2007 Masters Thesis. Canadian Psychological Association.
  • Outstanding Victim Services Staff Achievement Award. Police Victim Services of BC. June 2005.

Based out of Langley, BC, Carolyn Burns provides services to individuals and agencies in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
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