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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

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
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

Separation and Divorce
Guiding Parents to healthy Co-parenting during and after Divorce