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 21 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 and individuals 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 with the Association of Play Therapy (U.S.) and 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.
Since 2016, I have become the first Certified Synergetic Play Therapist in Canada. 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 adult 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.
As an adult, I also struggled with anxiety. I needed a lot of control over my life in order to feel secure in my world. I pushed myself to excel in many things, just to prove that I was good enough. My everyday life was heavy with worries and stress.
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. I felt called to walk with others their life journeys, because my experience told me no one should walk alone. So I decided to study counselling, with a specialty 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 15-minute phone consultation, let’s talk today!
Mary Yan, M Ed
RCC, RPT, BCRPT
Certified Synergetic Play Therapist
Read more about my specialized trainingsClick to expand
Here are just some of the specialized trainings that I have taken, as part of my continued education in child and adult therapy in B.C.:
- Synergetic Play Therapy Certification Training
- Trauma assessment and interventions for adults and children
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Level II
- EMDR for children and adolescents
- Depression and Anxiety treatments
- Body-oriented approaches
- Neuroscience and therapy
- Mindfulness; meditation; visualization
- Parent-child attachment difficulties and treatments
- Parent-child relationship therapies
- Jungian Sandplay with adults
- Sandplay Therapy Children and adults
- Art techniques in Play Therapy and adult therapy
- Anxiety treatments for children
- Adoption, foster care, and attachment interventions
- Complex trauma treatments for children