About Vanessa....

I have always worked with children and youth, starting with my first job in a daycare at 16 years old. I was an Early Childhood Educator and a Special-Needs Assistant for many years (graduating with my ECE in 1993 and my ECE Special-Needs in 1995). I also worked as an Autism-Interventionist, Educational-Assistant and Counsellor in many schools. I acquired a passion for helping children and youth meet their potential with the love and care of their families, coupled with the support and expertise of various professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Speech and Language Pathologists. I worked alongside these professionals for many years, being increasingly inspired by what they were able to offer. I then went on to acquire my Bachelor's degree in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, and to work for 14 years at the Queen Alexandra Centre as a Consultant for a large number of Child Care and Out of School Care facilities promoting inclusion, supporting diverse abilities, training staff on behaviour and mental-health issues. With a passion to work more directly with children, youth and their families in mind, I went on to pursue my Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology from the Adler School of Chicago, focused on children and youth, completing my clinical training with MCFD Child and Youth Mental Health. I then worked as a Clinical Counsellor on a specialized team at the Queen Alexandra Centre supporting the mental-health of children and youth of all ages and abilities, including those with complex disabilities such as ASD, FASD, Complex trauma and developmental delay, along with mental health concerns for four years in Victoria before making my new home in Penticton, BC in 2018.
My belief is that all children and youth can benefit from therapy with a flexible and sensitive therapeutic approach. I am skilled at adapting all forms of counselling and therapy to meet the needs of my clients. With my warm and humorous and playful approach and many years experience in child-development, I meet the young client where they are at, and work to form a secure and trusting relationship within which change can occur. I believe in the healing nature of creative expression, the power of play, and the potential for all human-beings to flourish. I will work with you, the family/parent/caregiver,to support this growth and healing in your special young person.

Unique trainings and offerings:

Connect- an attachment focussed parenting for teens, certified Connect Parent Group leader. (The Maples)

Emotion-Focussed Family Therapy; advanced training with the author, Adele LaFrance.

Social thinking; conference/training with Michelle Garcia-Winner November 2019

Synergetic Play Therapy 6 month introduction course with clinical supervision, 2021

Holistic Expressive Play Therapy training; Justice Institute and the Centre for Expressive Therapy (Marie Jose' Dhaese). Various other play therapy training on trauma, grief, sand tray work, aggression through membership with BC Play Therapy Association.

Child Parent Relationship Therapy; (Landreth, Bratton) teaching play therapy approaches to parents to improve relationships and behaviour for children 3-10.