Niki Knight spent much of her summer teenage years helping people. When she wasn’t taking orders at Burger King, she was volunteering with the crisis line.
Today, the VSS grad of 1991 is a Masters level social worker who has been in the social work and counselling field for 20 years.
Knight, who turns 42 in November, has made a major life change and opened up a private practice at the Balance Natural Health Clinic in Vernon.
“My mom always said I was always on the phone helping my friends,” said the amiable Knight. “I think being a therapist was in my nature, it’s how I’m wired.”
Confident and articulate, Knight’s clinical background saw her deal with individuals of all ages with many life issues that spanned from prenatal to end of life, at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, She offered grief and loss counselling while working in the emergency room, ICU, and surgical and maternity wards.
She offered solace to such people as a young mother who lost her newborn, an adult who lost their spouse or a person requiring assistance dealing with various government agencies.
“I was also on the initial sexual assault team with volunteers and police at VJH. Our job was to make a difference and be of support while they (survivors) are trying to navigate the system.”
Knight joins Balance Natural Health as they round out their list of services to help clientsachieve a sense of health and well-being.
Balance Natural Health already has a trio of massage therapists (Lana Henry, Sarah Robson and Melanie Giroux), a physiotherapist (Cathy Watson) and two naturopath doctors (Nicole Shortt and Krista Ingram).
“I’m friends with Nicole Shortt. I met Nicole at the Silver Lake Forestry Camp (near Peachland) one summer; we were little forest rangers,” chuckled Knight.
“Having a private practice here is a good fit. I work with individual adults and teens on life transition, grief, anxiety, depression, life changes and coping strategies.”
Knight’s counselling sessions provide a supportive and confidential place where she discusses real, practical solutions that make a difference.
“Together, we will talk about how you can create change that lasts. I am easy to talk to, caring, organized, focus on solving problems and finding solutions,” said Knight.
She loved her 15 years with Interior Health – almost eight years in a leadership role – but is up for the new challenge.
“I really found the maternity and pediatric wards at the hospital rewarding. I felt very valued and supported there by the team; it’s an honour to be trusted by people. You feel empowerment when you help people make good choices and informed decisions regarding rights and responsibilities.”
Raised on a hobby farm in the BX, where she rode her bike and hung out with friends, Knight also played softball.
Away from the office, she enjoys an active lifestyle with family and friends – hiking, walking, running, boating, yoga, pilates, kettlebell and meditation.