Keet Neville, President, Vancouver, BC

“Sawubona" I see you, I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your dignity and respect." African Zulu greeting

Keet Neville, ACCT's Past President, has an innate sense of curiosity and a passion for listening. She also has a great respect for the healing which can result from working with another person in a safe, non-judgmental relationship.

A master therapeutic counsellor and former nurse, Keet has worked in intensive care, coronary care and psychiatry.

She is also the mother of 3 grown children and an award-winning documentary filmmaker who, along with her husband, Nicholas Kendall, founded Orca Productions in 1978. Together, they created films on subjects such as the legalization of midwifery, improving relationships between police and aboriginal communities, and increasing cultural awareness amongst mental health caregivers.

Over the years, Keet has discovered how developing a practice of self-awareness, appreciation for the diversity of others, exercise, and wholesome foods can lead to optimal health. “I believe our minds and bodies are one entity working together,” she says. “Looking at the possibilities of what the world has to offer each person in their search for health, peace and happiness is limitless and exciting.”

Her interests include activities in nature, meditation, reading, music and film.

“Youth is a gift of nature.   Age is a work of art”.

Keet and her husband have two grown sons and a daughter. Keet is a well respected member of her community of Vancouver, BC and a great asset to our Board.

At the time I met my future husband, a filmmaker who invited me into his world, I was a Registered Nurse having worked in a variety of areas in England, Vancouver and Toronto.  While continuing to nurse part time, I ventured into the world of documentary film and haven’t quite left.  We worked together for four years, co-founding Orca Productions Inc. before bringing our three children into the world. It wasn’t long after the birth of our third child I abandoned paid work and for many years joined the grand ranks of mothers who stay at home and of volunteers in our schools.  These were very busy, rich and memorable years.

When I think about how I came to counselling I realize in any area of my life, personal or professional, what satisfies me most is connecting with others.   In film I valued the diversity of people I met, fascinated by their worlds and honoured to be invited into them.  In nursing, my passion for listening led me to work in psychiatry after working in intensive care and coronary care.   On a daily basis discovering who people are gives me energy and helps me grow.   When the space came to my life, I researched counseling training options, and found Mahmud Nestman and his school, Cura – Institute for Integrative Counselling.

Now I am thrilled to work, as a counsellor at Connect Health – Centre for Integrative Health in Vancouver.   Connect Health is a great fit for me because of the team’s belief in the innate healing capacity of each person and the humility with which each practitioner offers support along side every healing journey. While science is an important informant, the mystery of not knowing and instead trusting in the client and the process of working together is also validated.  The model of supporting all parts of a person toward their optimal physical, mental and spiritual health is at the centre of my care.

Since my 20s I’ve been involved with coops, from Mountain Equipment to Agora Food coop in Vancouver. Coops encompass values that are important to me; working together on an equal basis, cooperating rather than competing and sharing in the challenges as well as the benefits of our work.  I’m excited to join with other ACCT members to help build a cooperative culture in our new association.

I’m grateful to do regular jogging, hiking, biking and yoga in the welcoming climate of the west coast. Meditation and mindfulness are important practices in my life.