About Gina

Psychotherapist / Counsellor / Workplace Consultant

Specializing in addiction recovery, trauma,
depression, anxiety and couples counselling.

I have gratefully been a therapist since 1992. My mission and passion as a counsellor is to help individuals and couples recover from addictions of all kinds, as well as their underlying symptoms of trauma including depression and anxiety. I love my work and look forward to helping you.

My Story of Addiction Recovery

My story is a rather dramatic one, which led to huge changes in my life. My family initiated an intervention with me in my early twenties as my addiction and my life were out of control. Thankfully, with the help of my family, a residential treatment center, my own personal therapy, the 12 Step program and the grace of God, I stopped drinking and using drugs and entered therapy to heal the root causes of my addiction.

I now have been clean and sober since 1988. I have loving and healthy relationships with my family and friends and am honored to have a career where I can accompany others on their healing journey. My own personal journey has been an enormous help in my work as a psychotherapist as it helps me connect deeply with my clients, understand their struggles, and help them move forward.

Staying on the Road to Sobriety

I believe in myself because you have shown me how important I am and that what I have to say is valuable to my growth and self-esteem. Learning to be assertive has helped me to speak up when I need something and am entitled to it. My opinion matters without reservation, no matter what someone will think or how they will react. I am number one, putting myself first instead of thinking of others and how I might hurt their feelings. I understand the importance of attending my NA meetings, getting a sponsor, having a home room, getting involved, laying down boundaries, eg. with my children. I thank you!!!

My Experience as a Therapist

I have worked in the field of addictions counselling for over 20 years in detox centres, residential treatment centres, addiction outpatient clinics, and drinking driver programs in addition to one-to-one therapy in private practice.

I have extensive post-degree training related to therapy including as a Spiritual Director, which makes me uniquely qualified to help you ground your recovery in your spirituality.

My areas of therapy focus are vast, but center on helping people overcome problems with addiction, trauma (PTSD), anxiety disorders, phobias, self-harming behaviors, depression, relationship and family issues.

Successful outcomes – with the aforementioned as well as the following – are commonplace in my practice: improved communication skills, better anger management, greater assertiveness and boundaries, enhanced self-worth and generally being at greater peace and feeling happier.

Client Gets Stronger Through Therapy

I came to see Gina as I was at a turning point in my marriage. I had been in a very dysfunctional and abusive relationship, so I sought Gina’s help in gaining a different perspective. She helped me tremendously, particularly in the way I viewed myself and the options available to me. After seeing Gina, I began to regain my self-confidence and independence. She was very supportive and provided me with resources to become a stronger me.

I have conducted trainings for schools, non-profit organizations, corporations and government agencies on various topics including addiction, eating disorders and mediation.

Professional Therapist Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology: Emphasis Marriage, Family and Child Therapy, College of Notre Dame, California.
  • Approved Substance Abuse Professional – US Department of Transportation (SAP).
  • Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor – Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF).
  • Certified Employee Assistance Professional – Employee Assistance Professional’s Association (CEAP).
  • Licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist – American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
  • Certificate in Chemical Dependency, College of Notre Dame, California.
  • Certified Spiritual Director, Mercy Center, Burlingame, California.

Addiction in the Workplace Experience

  • Helped thousands of individuals and their families overcome problems with addictions.
  • Speaker at numerous conferences and events in Canada and the United States on the topic of addiction.
  • Developed policy and procedures for organizations to help chemically dependent employees.
  • Case managed addiction-related long term and short term disability insurance claims for addicted employees.
  • Facilitated successful return to work processes after residential treatment programs.
  • Trained managers on dealing with addicted employees in the workplace and advised on policy.
  • Monitored employees and facilitated successful return to work processes.

Specialized Therapy Trainings

  • Interventions – University of Santa Cruz, CA.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Level II – San Diego, CA.
  • Additional EMDR Training at various conferences.
  • Clinical Hypnosis.
  • Therapeutic Touch.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique.
  • Spiritual Direction – Certified at Mercy Center, Burlingame, CA.

I have over 1000 hours of specialized training in psychotherapy topics in such areas as:

  • Eating disorders.
  • Sex addiction.
  • Chemical dependency.
  • Problem gambling.
  • Concurrent disorders (depression, anxiety and addiction).
  • Addiction and the workplace.
  • Couples therapy.
  • Children’s therapy.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for addiction, depression and anxiety.
  • Counselling theories.

Discouraged after Seeing Other Therapists, I was Surprised at How Much Gina and EMDR Helped Me Overcome Depression

I came to Gina for counselling after going through a divorce I didn’t want, ending a 17-year marriage. In addition, I have been plagued by clinical depression off and on for the past ten years.

I was having difficulty accepting my marriage was over, and my depression was recurring. To be honest, I was doubtful Gina could help me. I have been to see counsellors in the past, and was beginning to wonder if anyone could help me. I had accepted that this was just the way it was going to be for me.

Gina introduced me to EMDR therapy. I was skeptical, but willing to try anything. To my surprise, I started to notice a difference after just a few sessions. I couldn't believe it could be this simple to heal from the scars of my youth. As my belief in the treatment grew, so did the results.

My depression is all but gone. If it does come back in the future (which I doubt), I now know the best treatment to seek out.

Thank you Gina for your kind ear and constant encouragement, I am fortunate to know you.

Professional Therapist Memberships

  • Past President and Vice-President of the British Columbia Association of Employee Assistance Professionals Association.
  • Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage, Family and Child Therapists, (Member # 30266).
  • Certified Member of the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation, (Member # 1019546).
  • Certified Member of the Employee Assistance Professional’s Association, (Member # 023577).

Speaking Engagements

  • “The Effects of Alcohol and Drugs in Mediation Clients” – The British Columbia Society of Mediators.
  • “Addiction in the Workplace” – The Employee Assistance Professionals Association.
  • “Youth and Eating Disorders” and “Burnout in the Professional Counsellor” – Working Together Conference.
  • “Addiction in the Workplace” – International Society for Performance Improvement.
  • “Proven Effective Treatment for Chemical Dependency and Eating Counselors – The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors’ Conference.
  • “Addiction in the Workplace” – West Fraser Timber.

Corporate Clients Have Included

 

  • Telus Mobility
  • BC Society of Mediation
  • BC Builders Association
  • Ministry of Children and Families
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Washington Marine Group
  • The Cedars at Cobble Hill
  • The Orchard Recovery Center
  • W. J. Stelmaschuk and Associates
  • California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors
  • National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors
  • International Society for Performance Imporovement
  • The Employee Assistance Professionals Association
  • Warren Shepelle Employee Assistance Program
  • Ceridian
  • Solareh
  • Humanacare
  • Family Guidance Group
  • THINK
  • Prima Enterprises
  • GT Hiring Solutions
  • Great West Life
  • Health Care Benefit Trust

 
 

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Please call me for a telephone consultation in Vancouver, BC at 604.733.7428 or email me at gina@ginavanderham.com to find out more about how I can help.