Sophia van Vuuren

Sophia van Vuuren

R. Psych.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sophia holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and is registered as a Psychologist in British Columbia. She has worked in Private Practice in the field of mental health for the past 25 years.

Sophia was trained and she practiced in a Client-centered, Cognitive-Behavioural, Family Systems, Attachment Adaptation, Solution-focused, holistic Psychotherapeutic Model. This model guides her clients towards regaining their strength and sense of Self and empowers them to discover, utilize and develop their heart, mind, body and soul resources, to reactivate their full potential and restore their resilience.

Sophia has worked the past 15 years in West Vancouver as a Registered Psychologist for the Child and Family Counselling Centre, treating Children, Teens, Students, Adults, Couples and Families with emotional, cognitive, social, behavioural, communication, relationship, traumatic and learning problems.

Sophia provides counselling to Children, Teens, Students, Adults, Couples and Families

Psychotherapeutic Interventions:
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectic Behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing (EMDR II)
  • Self-Regulation Therapy/Somatic Experiencing Therapy (SRT III)
  • Developmental Attachment Adaptation Therapy (DARE III)
  • Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Developmental Couple Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
Counselling for Children & Teens

Sophia has been trained and has experience in treating Children, Teens and Parents in counselling, the past 30 years. She has a client-centered approach in Play Therapy with children and a Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioural approach with parents. Her clinical background provides her with the ability to assess how the child’s behaviour might be influenced by physiological problems, attachment problems, relational problems, emotional problems, learning problems or cognitive problems, that can result in the behavioural presentation of distress in the child’s life. She guides parents and families to find a compassionate understanding about the child or teen’s stressors and support parents on how to guide their child to emotional wellness, balance and growth.

Learning Difficulties, Attention and Memory Problems, ADD/ADHD
  • Underachievement & low motivation
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Grief and Loss
  • Anger problems: tantrums/acting out behavior/discipline
  • Oppositional Behaviour like Oppositional Defiant Disorder/bullying/lying/stealing
  • Emotional problems like stress management
  • Anxiety/panic attacks/phobias
  • Depression/suicidal talk/self-harm
  • Eating Disorders
  • Adoption and attachment problems
  • Traumatic memories and reenacting behavior
  • Learning Disabilities like Dyslexia/Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia/NLD
  • Relationship problems like bullying
  • Life changes due to divorce or relocation
  • Screen time overload
  • Addictions
Counselling for Adults

Sophia’s interest in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder started in 1992, when she had to treat soldiers returning from the war with debilitating symptoms of PTSD. Since then she has expanded her knowledge and gained specialized training and experience in psychotherapeutic techniques like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She also trained in Self-Regulation Therapy (SRT) or Somatic Experiencing Therapy (SE) to support her clients with various psychotherapeutic treatment techniques to reactivate the client’s full potential as human beings and help clients to restore their resilience. She also worked at the North Shore Family Services in 2001 as a Trauma specialist, consulted with the MCFD and provided trauma counselling to children, parents and families who were survivors of war trauma, sexual abuse and violence.

She also provides counselling to War veterans, First responders, RCMP, Police force, Immigrants and Refugees.

  • Grief and Loss
  • Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Phobias & OCD
  • Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts/behavior
  • Anger/Conflict management
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms – Motor Vehicle Accident/Natural disasters/Rape/
  • Emotional, Physical, Sexual Abuse/Violence/Torture/War
  • Eating Disorders-Bulimia/Anorexia/Obesity
  • Addictions
  • Life Transitions-job change or loss/ immigration/retirement
Couple Therapy/Family Therapy

“To Love without knowing how to love, wounds the person we Love”-Tich Nhat Hahn.

Sophia also has a deep compassion for providing counselling to Couples who struggle with the impact of modern stressors on their relationship. She is trained in Emotional Focused Therapy developed by the Psychologist Dr. Suzanne Johnson. She also added to her training the Developmental Couple Therapy Model of Drs. Ellen Bader and Peter Pearson. Sophia is also inspired by the Relational Couple Therapy model of Dr. Terry Real, who addresses the issue of the paternalistic power struggles in a relationship, combined with the development of narcissistic traits and the challenging impact, on a relationship. Sophia also supports couples through the painful experience of infidelity, which does not need to destroy a marriage and family. With counselling support couples can learn what motivated the infidelity and have choices on how to proceed in the future in a more connected, mature relationship.

Relationship problems in Couples or Families
  • Infidelity
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Guiding Parents to healthy Co-parenting during and after Divorce

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