I have been determined, as a clinical family therapist, to ensure families create an environment at home that isn’t just livable, but enjoyable.
My practice began over 15 years ago when I completed my Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology at UBC. Being a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in BC, I have had the opportunity to work with a vast array of families at Westcoast Family Centers and, now through private practice. Most of my experience has been working with complex issues such as trauma, neglect and abuse, immigrant experience, mental health, and foster care.
Use a qualified, experienced and certified play therapist and family therapist in Vancouver
As a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with the Association of Play Therapy (U.S.) and a member of the BC Play Therapy Association, I practice highly effective and research-informed play therapy in Vancouver. I have extensive experience in non-directive, child-centered play therapy. I also seek out training in many other child therapy approaches to make sure I am equipped to meet the unique needs of families.
Furthermore, I have been in the process of receiving advanced specialization training, which very few Canadian therapists have received. Through this, I have become the first Certified Synergetic Play Therapist in Canada as of August 2016. I love to seek out knowledge and discover new ways to bring families closer together. It’s what makes being a family therapist in Vancouver rewarding for both my own journey, and yours too!
I also offer therapy in Mandarin and Cantonese and am conscious of how family dynamics can differ across cultures.
My story: how I became passionate about play therapy and other forms of family counselling
I’ve been inspired by my own background and upbringing where emotions were often suppressed and even ignored. As a child, like so many others, I wasn’t necessarily getting the attention that would plant the seeds of confidence I would need as an adult.
My parents did the best they could for our family. But we know that when a child isn’t given this needed attention at a young age, they can develop a lack of confidence. They might begin to question their own self-worth. This sort of vulnerability is what fuels a child to subconsciously seek attention, and validation, in the wrong places as they get older.
When I started having my own children, I knew I did not wish for them to go through what I experienced. I wanted the best for them. Yet I also realized the challenge of being the best parent I could in the face of life’s demands. Because of my struggles, I felt compelled to help other parents and their children tackle their challenges. So I decided to study counselling and specialize in family and child therapy
Let’s make your family’s life enriching, loving, and fond to look back on
If even just the thought of a positive family dynamic or strong family foundation strikes a chord with you, I would encourage you to get in touch so I can help you as an experienced child and family counsellor. We can collaborate and come up with a plan to make your family the best it can be at this present stage of your journey. It is my hope that you realize you and your child have the wisdom within to find the answers to your problems. Often, what seems to be a problem is yet another opportunity for growth.
Imagine your child later on in life reminiscing about their memorable and loving childhood. Imagine you as a parent finally being able to sleep at night– not being suffocated by the stresses of parenting or the behaviour of your child. These things are ALL possible. Whether you are sensing impending difficulty or have been in a rut for years, I am here to help get your family on track.
I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation, let’s talk today!
— Mary Yan, M Ed, RCC, RPT
Read more about my specialized trainingsClick to expand
Here are just some of the specialized trainings and workshops that I have taken, as part of my continued education in play therapy in B.C.:
- Synergetic Play Therapy Advanced Training
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Level II
- Making EMDR Treatment Effective and Developmentally Appropriate for Children & Adolescents
- Understanding and Treating Complex Trauma/Dissociation in Children & Adolescents
- Traumatized and Emotionally Dysregulated Children
- Sexually-abused Children and Youth: Understanding the Developmental Impact
- New Frontiers in Trauma Treatment
- Trauma Assessment and Treatment in Play Therapy
- CPRT (Child Parent Relationship Therapy)
- Jungian Family Therapy
- Infant Attachment Workshops
- Understanding Adoption and attachment in play therapy
- Evidence-based Intervention for Attachment Difficulties in Parent-Child Relationships
- Filial Therapy
- Processes of Change in Jungian Sandplay
- Jungian Sandplay with Children
- Sandplay Therapy with Very Young Children
- Buddhist Mindfulness and Sandplay Practices in therapeutic Relationships
- Sandplay: A Healing Journey Level I
- Play Therapy with Anxious Children
- Working with Anxious Children: Integrating Play Therapy Principles and Cognitive-Behavioural Strategies
- Using Art Techniques for Developing Understanding of Children & Families in Play Therapy
- Art in Play Therapy
- Expressive Methods to help Dissociative Children in Play Therapy
- Narrative Therapy Practices in the Playroom