With Decades of Combined Experience
We invite family members to become active participants in the recovery process.
With over five decades of combined personal and professional experience, the Legacy West clinical team invites family members to become active participants in the change process.
The clinical team at Legacy West Healing includes dedicated professionals with a range of skills and expertise in mental health and addictions, psychology, social work, trauma, interventions, and family systems.
While the team’s founding clinicians share years of professional experience with substance use disorder, they also share the lived experience of growing up in homes where active addiction was present.
The wisdom gained through this personal recovery has been incorporated into every aspect of programming.
Legact West Healing is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors with diverse expertise in the field of addictions, treatment, and recovery, as well as the shared experience of loving someone living with a substance use disorder.
The Clinical Team
Donna is proud to be the first in her family to change a legacy of addiction into a gift of healing and recovery for the next generation. She is a pioneer of family healing personally and professionally and has used her lived experience of generational substance use disorder to inform her work with families. Donna has served in the mental health and addiction field for over 20 years, and her top education in child-and-youth care and complex family systems has supported the design and facilitation of several of Canada’s leading family and children’s programs. Her extensive education and personal life experience bring safety, compassion, and connection to those she serves.
When Sonja was twelve years old she told her father, it was her or the heroin. Although it was unclear at the time, it was in that moment that her career in the helping profession began. Today, Sonja holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and has 15 years of professional experience providing mental health and addiction services in several of Canada’s premier treatment centers. She has worked across the continuum of care and has devoted her career to facilitating and developing family and children’s programming. Sonja’s ability to fundamentally shift how substance use disorder is understood brings tremendous relief to those she serves. She converts complex concepts into practical, easy-to-apply actions in an inspirational way as a clinician, a teacher, and a person with a shared experience.
Board of Directors
Fariba began her career as a practicing Psychiatrist in Iran in 1994 and has continued practicing since moving to Canada in 2009. Having completed her residency in Canada, she holds a Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Fariba is currently a faculty member at the University of Manitoba. Her dedication to addiction recovery comes from her field of study and lived experience.
Jill is a retired mother and grandmother living in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Her background and career spanned more than 40 years in the commercial construction trades, where she worked alongside her husband for many years. Jill knows first-hand what it is like to have a family member struggle with substance use, as her husband ultimately succumbed to the disease. As a result, Jill is committed to creating opportunities for families to heal from their experiences of loving and living with someone battling addiction. In her spare time, Jill enjoys travelling the globe and photography.
Kim has lived and raised her family on the North Shore in British Columbia for over 25 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science with a major in Kinesiology. She has worked as a clinical exercise therapist in chronic pain programs, community-based programs and as an occupational health consultant since the early 90s. Kim was instrumental in developing the addiction treatment program at Seaspan in 2006, including developing policies and procedures for accessing treatment, an addiction treatment benefit plan, and company-wide training. Outside her professional work, Kim enjoyed coaching community and high school sports for years, and continues to be an avid fan of any sports her daughters play. She volunteers her time to many initiatives and events in her community, with a particular passion for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
Matthew currently resides in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is a proud member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and a father of two. Throughout his career in law enforcement and now in Saskatchewan’s public service, Matthew has been an advocate for stronger supports for families impacted by mental health and substance use. His work and advocacy have helped him develop expertise in high conflict mediation and dispute resolution. Matthew is an active Rotarian in Prince Albert and serves on the Board of Directors at Prince Albert’s local Nordic Ski Club and the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital Foundation. In his off time, he enjoys pursuing outdoor activities with his family, including Nordic skiing in the winter and trail running in the summer.
Sadly, Neal Berger died on August 20, 2022. His dedication to recovery has been inspirational, and he was working on Legacy West right up to the end of his life. He is sincerely missed.
Neal is an internationally recognized Senior Professional Addiction Specialist with over 35 years of experience consulting with hospitals, treatment facilities and other professionals in Canada and the United States. Neal has founded two treatment centres and was a member of the Canadian government’s Recovery Expert Advisory Group from 2015 to 2018. He has developed and implemented workplace and community intervention strategies to prevent or reduce the many risks associated with undiagnosed or untreated substance use disorders and mental health conditions. Neal has dedicated countless years to conducting research, establishing treatment facilities, and understanding recovery in support of individuals and families.
Nora is a nationally and internationally recognized leader and innovator in organizational transformation, strategic planning, governance, and workplace wellness. She has the rare ability to balance the big picture and strategic thinking with a roll-up-your-sleeves, move-the-needle approach to getting things done. Nora founded Work-Life Harmony Enterprises in 1998 and has worked with organizations across Canada and internationally. From 2011 to 2021, Nora served as CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family, where she gained a reputation as a leader with a conscience. Nora is dedicated to creating meaningful opportunities to support family well-being across the lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Developed by a team with over 5 decades of combined experience in addictions, trauma, and family systems.
About Substance Use Disorder
Witnessing active substance use disorder affects the entire family but so can recovery. Let us show you how.
We Want You to Know You're Not Alone.
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Healing from the trauma of witnessing active addiction requires support. We can't do this alone.