About Johanna Simmons


JohannaJohanna Simmons, MA RCC, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who specializes in children and family therapy. A graduate of Simon Fraser University with a Certificate in Education and of The Adler School of Professional Psychology, now Adler University,  with a MA in Counselling Psychology, Johanna has worked with children since the 1990s in an educational setting: as a classroom teacher, a special education teacher and a play therapist. To supplement her education, Johanna has completed extensive additional training and certifications:

  • A certificate in Expressive Play Therapy
  • EMDR Level 1 and 2
  • A certified Roots of Empathy facilitator, a program designed to teach empathy to school aged children
  • A F.R.I.E.N.D.S. facilitator, a program that provides school aged children tools for dealing with stress and anxiety
  • A certified Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) facilitator
  • A certified Positive Discipline Parent educator
  • Foundation Training in Bodynamic, a body-based therapeutic approach to counselling, from the Bodynamic Institute of Canada
  • Basic certification in NeurOptimal neurofeedback

Johanna continually updates her knowledge by attending workshops on child and family-related issues, such as Child Play Therapy, and regularly attends courses offered through the various professional associations with whom she is affiliated as well as courses in Expressive Play Therapy from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. As a member in good standing of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, the British Columbia Play Therapy Association and the North American Association of Adlerian Psychology, Johanna incorporates new research into her daily counselling practices. She is past president of the British Columbia Play Therapy Association and remains on the board. Additionally, she is adjunct faculty at Adler University. Her network in the counselling community is extensive. She works collaboratively with other professionals, including medical doctors, should the need arise.

Fully believing that everyone possesses and can locate his/her own source of healing, Johanna helps clients discover their strengths and resources.


Johanna integrates age-appropriate empathy with clinical skills to allow children the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills, master troubling situations, express and explore their values, and move toward wholeness. This is all done using play as the medium and a child-centered approach to Play Therapy which can also be integrated with Adlerian and Rogerian theories, Family Systems, family counselling and parenting education, depending on the unique needs of the child.


Johanna also believes that parents are an important part in the child’s healing process and parents are supported to make changes as needed within the home and family. The Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) and Positive Discipline programs combined with attachment theory is a comprehensive program developed by Johanna that she uses to help parents hone their skills and understand their child’s behaviour.  Click here to view the upcoming parenting group.


Johanna uses humanistic and holistic approaches with all of her clients: viewing each unique individual within a social and physical context.  Client-centred Adlerian theory forms the basis of Johanna’s counselling approaches.

Paramount in all of Johanna’s counselling relationships is that her clients feel safe and comfortable. As well, she adheres to the code of ethics of her professional associations and carries full professional liability insurance through the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.