APSC Embedded Counsellor

Gordon Lai (he/him)

Meet Gordon

Gordon is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

He is the dedicated or ’embedded’ counsellor to the faculty and is familiar with the demands that come with being an engineering student. He offers short-term counselling, tailored wellness plans and referrals & bridging to external resources.

While Gordon appreciates the outdoors and nature, he is described as an ‘indoor cat’ who loves the modern conveniences that the indoors provide.

Common Questions about Counselling

What do you talk about with a counsellor?

There are many reasons why a student may wish to speak to a counsellor, but it usually starts with a problem that is affecting your life and you are unsure how to solve that problem. Some more common topics that have come up with APSC students are: 

  • Procrastination 
  • Imposter syndrome 
  • Anxiety/Test Anxiety  
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Relationship conflict 
  • Stress 
  • Depression 

What is therapy like?

Therapy can look different to different people. Sometimes therapy can be a place where someone can share a particular problem that they are struggling with. For others, it can be a place to get a new perspective or organize their thoughts while others may want to work together to come up with an ‘action plan’ moving forward.   

How do you book an appointment with Gordon?

Gordon’s office is located at the Paper and Pulp Centre (2385 East Mall), and his office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:00pm. There are two ways to book an appointment with Gordon

1. Phone Counselling Services at 604-822-3811 and indicate that you are a Faculty of Applied Science student. You will speak to one of our administrative team who will guide you through the booking process.

2. Alternatively you can email Gordon at counselling@apsc.ubc.ca. If you do wish to utilize this method to communicate with Gordon, please indicate the following in your email:

Student ID

First Name

Last Name

Phone Number and whether we are able to leave a voicemail

Permission to contact you via email and or phone (Y/N)

Preference of appointment type: In-person/phone/zoom

Gordon will respond within 24-48 business hours indicating his availability for appointments and next steps.

What does it cost to access counselling at UBC?

Counselling accessed through the APSC embedded counsellor is covered by your tuition. There is no additional cost to accessing Counselling Services while you are a student at UBC.  

Do you offer virtual services, or are the appointments only in-person?

Gordon offers both virtual (Zoom or phone) and in-person appointments to accommodate student needs.    

How long are counselling sessions?

Each session is 50 minutes. UBC counselling is short-term and will focus on working on solutions to the problems that you are experiencing. If you feel like you could benefit from more ongoing support, Gordon can help explore possible options for you. 

Can I only access counselling for academic-related matters, such as test anxiety?

While many students access counselling for mental health support around their academics, counselling is also available to students who want support around non-academic matters such as substance use, difficulty managing moods or loneliness.

Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?

Therapy is confidential, meaning that what you share remains between you and the embedded counsellor. There are some exceptions to this, such as if there is a concern for the safety of you or other people.  The embedded counsellor will go over confidentiality and possible exceptions during your initial appointment.   

What is the difference between seeing an academic advisor and a counsellor?

While both an academic advisor and counsellor’s main priority is to support your academic success, visiting one or both may be appropriate depending on the situation. Both are equipped to discuss concrete skills such as time management, procrastination or study skills that can aid your academics. It may also involve more psychological challenges that