Rachel Stege, M.Ed., M.Sc., R.Psych.

About Me

My name is Rachel Stege and I am a Registered Psychologist (College of Alberta Psychologists #3575). I have a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology (University of Alberta) as well as a Masters degree in Sport Psychology (Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, England). I enjoy this balance in my practice, working both with clients who are attending for counselling-related issues and those who want to focus on performance-related concerns. I am a firm believer that people have more strengths and solutions than they realize, and it's my privilege to work with them to discover those things.

I believe some of my personal strengths include enthusiasm and curiosity. I'm genuinely interested in the people I work with and their circumstances. This in turn provides me with a lot of energy and enthusiasm in counselling - it's so rewarding to see people grow and change as they learn new skills, find their direction, and develop strengths they may not even have known they had. I love to laugh and have fun, and clients are sometimes surprised at how much room there is for this in session.

Personally, I find a lot of inspiration in the arts. I enjoy singing and was previously a member of the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and the London Concert Choir. I have a passion for travel and the more places I see, the longer my yet-to-see list grows! I enjoy taking pictures, especially on my travels, though calling myself a photographer would be a stretch. I also enjoy swimming and being out in Edmonton's amazing river valley.

* I have years of specialized experience working with hope-focused strategies and interventions, in both counselling and research. I am listed as a Hope Studies Practitioner Affiliate and Hope Studies Research Affiliate on the website for Hope Studies Central at the University of Alberta. My publications from this work include:

  • Larsen, D., Stege, R., King, R., & Egeli, N. (2018). The hope collage activity: an arts-based group intervention for people with chronic pain. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2018.1453046
  • Edey, W., Larsen, D., King, R., & Stege, R. (2016). The “Being Hopeful in the Face of Chronic Pain” Program: A counseling program for people experiencing chronic pain. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 41(2), 161-187.
  • Larsen, D., King, R., Stege, R., & Egeli, N. (2015). Hope in a strengths-based group activity for individuals with chronic pain. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 28(2), 175-99. doi: 10.1080/ 09515070.2015.1007444
  • Larsen, D., Stege, R., Edey, W., & Ewasiw, J. (2014). Working with Unrealistic or Unshared Hope in the Counselling Session. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 42, 271-283. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2014.895798
  • Larsen, D., Stege, R., & Flesaker, K. (2013). “It’s important for me not to let go of hope”: Psychologists’ In-session Experiences of Hope. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 14, 472-486. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2013.806301
  • Larsen, D., & Stege, R. (2012). Client accounts of hope in early counseling sessions: A qualitative study. Journal of Counseling and Development, 90, 45-54.
  • Larsen, D., & Stege, R. (2010). Hope-focused practices during early psychotherapy sessions: Part I: Implicit approaches. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 20(3), 271-292.
  • Larsen, D., & Stege, R. (2010). Hope-focused practices during early psychotherapy sessions: Part II: Explicit approaches. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 20(3), 293-311.

About My Approach

In my counselling practice, I work from a solution-focused and strengths-based orientation, and use techniques from approaches such as positive psychology, cognitive-behavioural psychology, and hope-focused* counselling, depending on your needs and the issues that bring you to counselling.

When it comes to performance psychology, I work from a holistic performer first, performance second approach. While mental skills training is important and useful, it is often very effective to address performance needs while also considering the needs of the whole person. My experience in working with performance needs, as well as my Masters research with elite-level figure skaters, indicates that things that happen outside a performance setting – the stresses that can affect all of us in our daily lives – can impact people on a personal level and start to affect their performance.

While different therapeutic techniques serve an important role, psychological research shows that a safe, trusting, and caring relationship between the psychologist and the client is also a significant factor in the change process. This is a priority for me in my practice, and I recognize that not everyone “clicks”. In the case that my approach or expertise are not a fit for your needs, I can provide you with referral options for your consideration.