Covid-19 Information: Please see our homepage (www.richmondcounselling.com) for how we are dealing with the coronavirus.

Please note that we are offering the option for video sessions using the Zoom app (zoom.us) which is free and effective. Please contact our office (604-279-8992 or ines@richmondcounselling.com) to inform us which form of contact you prefer (video or phone). In office sessions are NO LONGER AVAILABLE and a timeline for face-to-face counselling has not been set.

With apologies, Dr. Jonathan McVicar, Kelly Kavanagh and Irina Della Rossa are at this time NO LONGER accepting new clients in order to effectively support the clients who are currently active.

We thank you kindly for your understanding,

Richmond Counselling

Adult Individual Counselling

Individual therapy / counselling involves working with one of our trained psychologists in a safe, caring, and confidential environment to explore your beliefs, behaviours, and feelings towards challenging experiences, memories, or aspects of your life that you would like to change. It can involve setting personal goals that we work towards that are related to your relationship, work, family, o... Read More

Individual therapy / counselling involves working with one of our trained psychologists in a safe, caring, and confidential environment to explore your beliefs, behaviours, and feelings towards challenging experiences, memories, or aspects of your life that you would like to change. It can involve setting personal goals that we work towards that are related to your relationship, work, family, or home life.


Couples / Relationship Counselling

Couple counselling is based on the premise that individuals and their problems are best handled within the context of the couple’s relationship. Typically, both partners in the relationship attend the counselling session to discuss the couple’s specific issues. Couple counselling is a useful modality of help for couples who are experiencing difficulties such as repetitive arguments, feelings of... Read More

Couple counselling is based on the premise that individuals and their problems are best handled within the context of the couple’s relationship. Typically, both partners in the relationship attend the counselling session to discuss the couple’s specific issues. Couple counselling is a useful modality of help for couples who are experiencing difficulties such as repetitive arguments, feelings of distance or emptiness in the relationship, pervasive feelings of anger, resentment and or dissatisfaction or lack of interest in affection or in a physical relationship with one another.

Couples counselling helps couples — married or not — understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationship. Couple counselling gives couples the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a healthier way.


Child (ages 3-12 years) Counselling

Kids, like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help kids develop problem-solving skills and also teach them the value of seeking help. Therapists can help kids and families cope with stress and a variety of emotional and behavioural issues. Many kids need help dealing with school stress, such as homework, test anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help to discuss their f... Read More

Kids, like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help kids develop problem-solving skills and also teach them the value of seeking help. Therapists can help kids and families cope with stress and a variety of emotional and behavioural issues.

Many kids need help dealing with school stress, such as homework, test anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help to discuss their feelings about family issues, particularly if there’s a major transition, such as a divorce, move, or serious illness.


Teen (ages 13-17 years) Counselling

The pre-teen and teenage years can be especially difficult for both child and parents. We provide professional adolescent counselling to help your adolescent navigate through this rough time. During the adolescent, teenager years between 13 and 19, young people experience physical growth, mental development and emotional changes. As a parent your goal during this time of life is to help your te... Read More

The pre-teen and teenage years can be especially difficult for both child and parents. We provide professional adolescent counselling to help your adolescent navigate through this rough time. During the adolescent, teenager years between 13 and 19, young people experience physical growth, mental development and emotional changes. As a parent your goal during this time of life is to help your teen become an independent responsible adult.

The pre-teen and teenager years can be stressful on everyone involved. While teenagers are no longer children, they are not yet adults. They may be confused about how they are and how they should act. Chances are your teen will make it through adolescence just fine, but they need your help. Teenager traits like self-centeredness, idealism, being critical of self and others, rebellion and deeply invested in their friends are traits that are unpleasant at times, but they are normal. And while challenge, and even some conflict, is a normal part of this stage of development, outside support, encouragement and perspective can help.


Young Adult (age 18-21 years) Counselling

Different from Teens, Young Adults have specific challenges and developmental needs. Counselling can be an important support in these transition years to Adulthood and our therapists are well trained in working with the difficulties 18-21 year olds face today.

Welcome! I’m Dr. Ronald Ma, but most of my clients just call me Ron depending on what feels most comfortable for them. There are many different reasons people come to see me for counselling. You might come in with something specific in mind and know what you need already, or that might be exactly what you’re trying to figure out. And even if you do know, it can often be difficult to express. For some clients, they’d like to return to the way things were at a previous point in time, whereas for others they’d like to find new ways of being or relating to others that they haven’t yet explored. Wherever you’re at in your process of personal growth or healing, I’m here to join with and help you on your journey.

Background and Training

A Vancouver native, I graduated with my B.Sc. from UBC before moving to New York for my M.S. in Mental Health Counseling at The University at Albany, SUNY, followed by my doctorate from Springfield College’s APA-accredited Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology program in Massachusetts. I completed my APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at San José State University and my postdoctoral residency at The University of California, San Diego. I then worked as a licensed psychologist at The University of Washington in Seattle, where I also supervised pre-doctoral interns, prior to moving back to Vancouver and joining Richmond Counselling & Wellness.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with a very diverse range of individuals across various life stages in university, community mental health, and residential settings. I’ve been in clinical practice now for 10 years and have experience with many different presenting concerns, including depression, anxiety, social and intimate relationship challenges, interpersonal trauma, family-related concerns, and identity exploration.

How I Work

My practice is highly integrative and based on a strong client-centered foundation of compassionate care and non-judgment. Depending on the client’s needs and preferences, we may engage in a combination of solution-focused, behavioral work, as well as more open-ended, exploratory depth work. I often integrate cognitive-behavioral and attachment-based approaches in my work with clients. I work together with clients in pursuing insights and moving towards values-congruent behavioral changes that you wish to see in your life. More broadly, I work from an anti-oppression framework that examines the external and systemic barriers clients may face, including those belonging to underrepresented and marginalized groups, in order to provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed care.

What Does a First Session Look Like?

Whether you’ve had past therapy experiences or it’s your first time, it can still be intimidating to meet with someone new and to figure out if you feel like it’s a good fit for you. My greatest priority is to create a safe environment for you as the client, which forms the foundation of the therapeutic space and relationship between us. Typically, the first session is a conversation about what brings you to counselling and exploring your current needs. It also involves reviewing your personal history and the intake forms that you completed beforehand, which might be a familiar part of the process to you. I try to make this feel more like a conversation than an interview to start understanding your story and who you are as a person, what’s getting in the way of your needs being met, and to discuss what our work together might look like.

Thanks for checking out my page. I hope this gives you a good idea of how I work and I look forward to meeting you if you decide to schedule an appointment with me.

Welcome! I’m Dr. Ronald Ma, but most of my clients just call me Ron depending on what feels most ... Read More

Carolyn Charest became a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in British Columbia in 2010. She licensed and practiced as a Registered Psychologist (R.Psych) in Alberta for about the past 10 years. She has a Master of Counselling from the Campus Alberta Applied Psychology (CAAP) Counselling Initiative through the University of Calgary, University of Athabasca and University of Lethbridge and an MBA from the University of Calgary. She has worked within number of public and corporate settings with many adult individuals, couples and families experiencing issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, grief/loss, conflict management and interpersonal difficulties. She also has specialized experience treating addictions and eating disorders.

Moreover, Carolyn has also obtained her Gottman Method Couple Therapy Level 1 Training, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Individual and Group Training, Dialectical Behavioural Treatment: Skills Training I & II from the DBT Centre of Vancouver, Psychological First Aid Training, and Competent Communicator (CL) and Competent Leader (CL) designations from Toastmasters International. Most recently, she has obtained her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) designation from the College of Executive Coaching in California.

Carolyn primarily uses Solution-Focused therapy (SFT) and draws from the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) perspectives. She has strong sense of self-awareness and interpersonal skills, and is adept at data gathering, assessment, diagnosis, feedback, planning, intervention, evaluation and follow-up.

Carolyn Charest became a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in British Columbia in 2010. She li... Read More

Veralyn Chan (MC: AT, DVATI, RCC) is a registered clinical counsellor and art therapist who embraces a client- centered, strengths-based and collaborative approach. A culturally sensitive counsellor, Veralyn has extensive experience working with immigrants and newcomers to Canada where culture shock and other barriers to living in a new country might be daunting. Born in Singapore and raised in Singapore and Victoria, BC has provided Veralyn with an immense experience in cultural diversity. Veralyn is also bilingual and can provide counselling in English and Mandarin.

Her rich multicultural background enables her to relate well to those experiencing such problems and difficulties associated with immigration and acculturation. As a result, Veralyn sees great value in integrating the cultural differences in the therapeutic approaches used and being flexible when it comes to supporting culturally diverse clients.

Veralyn has supported clients with a diverse range of concerns including relationship challenges, parenting concerns, life transitions, trauma and loss, cross-cultural issues, boundary setting, self-esteem, anger management, selective mutism, addictions and mental health issues. Her area of interest is primarily with children and family. Dedicated to helping families address any concerns and issues in a collaborative manner, Veralyn resonates with the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Hence she recognizes the important role each member in the family takes on and how it can influence the family dynamics. Her focus when working with children and family is in providing skill building and a safe place for the child to express emotions and thoughts associated with the concerns while supporting the family in addressing their own concerns and help with understanding their child, along with managing the stress, anxiety, and any relational issues often result from these experiences.

With over a decade of experience with non-profit organizations supporting clients with special needs and other mental health issues, Veralyn is familiar with the health care system and community resources available for access for clients and families. Trained in conflict resolution and family mediation, she has experience running groups for parents and children exploring a range of topics such as parenting issues, communication barriers, positive body image, anxiety, trauma and loss, and self-esteem in a safe and supportive environment. As an art therapist, Veralyn has the privilege to witness firsthand the power of art making and its role in supporting clients especially children with difficulty in verbal expression. Art therapy has been used in the mental health settings for a long time and has proven to be effective for many mental health issues especially trauma, eating disorder, anger management, chronic illness, grief and loss, and life transitions. Art provides the client with a safe and fun outlet to externalize the trauma and/or issues onto the art while providing relief and help in recovery. The process of art making is more important than the end result. It is during the art making process that clients often make self-discovery and awareness while embracing the freedom to express in a non-judgmental and fun way. Hence previous art experience is not necessary.

Veralyn practices from an integrative perspective and draw from approaches including creative expressive therapies (art, play, music, and sand), person-centered therapy, family therapy, narrative therapy, solution focussed therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. This approach enables Veralyn to better support the client as a unique individual.

Veralyn is also bilingual and can provide counselling in English and Mandarin.

Veralyn Chan (MC: AT, DVATI, RCC) is a registered clinical counsellor and art therapist who embra... Read More

I hold Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia and I am certified by Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association as a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC). My therapeutic approach includes Cognitive-Behavioural theory with roots in Positive Psychology that focuses on a person’s strengths, desire to live meaningful and fulfilling life, and cultivating the best within themselves to enhance their life experiences. I also integrate Mindfulness-based interventions to help my clients to focus on the present moments to bring awareness to the internal processes and understanding of the thoughts and behavior patterns.

My professional experience includes working with a wide range of clients concerns, including anxiety, depression, stress management, dealing with transitional times, career issues, relational and communication problems and many others. I know very well life can be difficult sometimes and we all need a little encouragement, guidance, and support to get through rough times. I will meet you where you are and stay with you throughout your journey to successful change.

I strongly believe that a compassionate and trusting therapeutic alliance is one of the keys to successful change, therefore one of my main goals is to create a safe and warm environment for the client to be able to share their concerns. Together we will identify the issues to be worked on, develop the treatment plan and strategies to reach the goals of the therapy.

I enjoy helping the clients to learn how to be aware of their thinking and behavioural patterns, to bring awareness to their emotional states and, generally, to understand their inner self better. I build interventions tailored to each individual client’s needs to help them to manage and change their emotions, behaviours and to cope with whatever they are dealing with. I do that through a combination of listening, understanding, sharing the experience with the client, and gently guiding towards the change.

My multicultural background and immigration experience help me to relate well to clients experiencing difficulties with acculturation and immigration and helps me to connect with people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. I do have respect and appreciation for differing views, as well as the ability to build a good rapport with diverse populations in multicultural settings.

If you wish to have more information about me or my availability, please contact our office. I look forward to meeting you and the opportunity to work with you!

I hold Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia an... Read More

Christy Waisman is a seasoned therapist with extensive experience working with complex issues and diverse populations. Christy graduated with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from Adler University in 2008 and been practicing as a Child and Family Therapist with a MCFD-funded agency since then. Christy has also worked at the Burnaby Youth Clinic for five fast-paced years and for three years was chosen by Quest University to be their Clinical Counsellor. The university counselling broadened Christy’s expertise in working with international youth focusing on academic, career, personal and social adjustment issues. As part of her commitment to continuing education, she has completed post-graduate training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and is a trained Sexual Abuse Intervention Program counsellor.

Christy believes in the ability for families and individuals to learn new strategies for coping and brings to each session a sense of optimism and positivity. As a counsellor, Christy excels in working with adolescents, teens, young adults and parents. She is trained to facilitate STEP parenting groups and is passionate about working with families providing support and educations based on the principles of Alfred Adler. The issues she most often sees in her practice are anxiety, self-esteem, trauma, sexual abuse, depression, parent-child conflict, anger management and bullying. She also works with many youth who are GLBTQ.

While primarily an Adlerian therapist, Christy draws upon other psychological theories such as Attachment Theory, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Therapy as needed.

Christy has two children who help keep her up-to-date on adolescent and teen issues. Prior to becoming a counsellor, Christy worked for a local airline, volunteered for the Coast Guard Auxiliary on their fast-response vessels and spent summers during university as a fishing guide. These practical experiences create a unique counselling environment when working with adolescents and youth as she has a variety of real-life experiences to draw upon.

Christy Waisman is a seasoned therapist with extensive experience working with complex issues and... Read More

About me:

I am a registered psychologist who works with adolescents and adults dealing with anxiety, depression, addictions, grief/loss, conflict management, work stress, life transitions, and self-esteem. My personal experience with immigration and the interest I have in my clients’ cultural understanding and background, allows me to work well clients who want to explore their cultural identity, address issues related to diversity and acculturation, or need help with the challenges related to immigration and settlement.

My goal is to create a supportive and non- judgemental atmosphere in which clients feel safe and empowered to explore and address life’s challenges. I find it immensely rewarding to see clients leave the therapy process with a renewed understanding of themselves and the desire to practice novel behaviours. I feel privileged to help enact change and renewal through the therapeutic relationship. By working collaboratively with each person, I aim to accompany clients as they grow, thrive, and discover their full potential during the course of therapy.

My therapeutic approaches consist of well-researched treatment approaches including: Solution Focused Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Emotion Focused Therapy. As the needs of each person are unique, I believe in creating a personalized therapeutic experience for each client.

If you choose to work with me, it would be an honour to assist you in creating the enthusiasm-filled, satisfying life you deserve.

Credentials:

• Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia 2013 – Present

• Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Alberta 2012- 2013

• M.A. in Counselling Psychology, Yorkville University, 2010

• B.A. Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2007

Professional Associations:

• Canadian Psychologists Association

Interests:

I enjoy reading, travelling, trying new restaurants, and participating in group fitness. I also love spending time outdoors enjoying the beauty and green spaces Vancouver has to offer. For relaxation, I enjoy listening to music, taking walks on the beach, or spending time with my family. I am passionate about volunteering within my Religious community and actively assist in planning health related events for seniors and youth.

About me: I am a registered psychologist who works with adolescents and adults dealing with anxi... Read More

I’m Dr. Jonathan McVicar, but I prefer that my clients call me Jonathan if they’re comfortable with that. My belief, when it comes to counselling, is that most people don’t want to come for counselling for the rest of their life. They usually want help with an area or aspect of their life that is causing them pain or discomfort and once that issue is resolved, they want to go back to living without counselling. This is my goal in working with my clients. How I usually explain it is that my job is to put myself out of a job and I take this very seriously.

Background and Training

I’ve often had clients ask me about my training and how long I’ve been counselling and I’m always happy to provide this information as I want my clients to have confidence in my ability to help them. I’ve been working with clients now for 20 years around many issues such as: depression, anxiety, relationship challenges (including infidelity, and divorce / separation among others), grief and loss, trauma and abuse, OCD, and personal growth.

All of my degrees come from UBC (BA, MA, and PhD) with my graduate degrees being in Counselling Psychology. I completed my Doctoral Internship and was hired on as an Assistant Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Counselling Centre in St. John’s, NL where my wife Kelly and I lived for 3 years.

How I Work

The style of counselling I’ve been trained in is Client-Centered in its approach. What this means is that one of the most important things to me is that my clients always feel cared for as they’re telling me about their lives. I want them always to feel and understand that their concerns matter and that they are never being judged for any of the thoughts, feelings, or behaviours that they tell me about.

I use a variety of different techniques and approaches based on the concerns that each person brings in. However, as each person that I’ve ever met is a unique individual, it’s impossible and ineffective to try to use the same technique with every person. What this means is that I tailor my sessions to the need of each person based on their goals, backgrounds, personality, and learning styles.

I’m Dr. Jonathan McVicar, but I prefer that my clients call me Jonathan if they’re comfortable wi... Read More

My name is Kelly Kavanagh (MA, MEd, R.Psych) co-owner of Richmond Couples and Child Counselling (RCCC), located directly across from the Richmond Hospital. I am a psychologist working exclusively with children, adolescents and families in need of help. Before opening my private practice, I worked in Richmond as a Mental Health Therapist at both the Richmond School Program (RSP) and the Child and Adolescent Program (CAP) and have over 15 years of experience in mental health with children. As I am a Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of BC, my clients can use their Extended Health Benefits to get reimbursed for the cost of counselling sessions.

I work exclusively with children and adolescents (ages 3-19) around such issues as: school related problems; ADHD & ADD; behavioural support; separation and divorce; step-families; social skills; anxiety; phobias; OCD; depression; abuse histories; trauma and debriefing; grief and loss; and parenting concerns. I use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Graduated Exposure Therapy, Play Therapy, Sand-tray work, and Art Therapy to help children express themselves, problem-solve, and combat rigid or unhealthy thoughts or beliefs, and make new meaning of traumatic situations. During family therapy sessions I advocate for the needs of children when parents are trapped in divorce or separation proceedings and offer parenting strategies to deal with diagnoses that impact the whole family.

I have successfully treated children with a variety of issues as an Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, a Child-Abuse Treatment Counsellor, a Brief-Intervention Counsellor, a Mental Health Therapist in the community, and a crisis response therapist with the Child and Adolescent Response Team (CART) in Vancouver. These work experiences and my work with RSP and CAP have allowed for lots of experience collaborating with school staff, classroom teachers, school counsellors, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, psychiatrists and paediatricians to assist children with mental health issues. My additional training as a teacher and special educator helps direct my work with children struggling with ADD or ADHD and other school related issues and helps me understand the constraints of the classroom environment.

In my private practice at RCCC, I work very closely with parents to make sure that we set up an environment where children can have the best chance of academic, social, and behavioural success and a harmonious, happy and loving space at home for all family members.

If you have any questions about how I could help you and your family, please contact me by email or phone. I would be happy to talk with you about the services I provide, my fees or any other questions you may have.

I would be delighted to get the opportunity to work with you and your family and help put your child(ren) on the path to a happier and healthier childhood.

My name is Kelly Kavanagh (MA, MEd, R.Psych) co-owner of Richmond Couples and Child Counselling (... Read More

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450 - 6091 Gilbert Road, Richmond
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