Counselling Services

Now offering online video counselling.

Read about my experience of online counselling.

Counselling, whether you are seeking individual counselling or counselling for your child or teen, involves the development of a trusting relationship. Johanna’s warmth and compassion let you know that you or your family are in good hands. She provides caring, sensitive non-judgemental counselling in both English and French. Johanna has also been trained in EMDR with adults and children.


IndividualsIndividual counselling is offered on a one-on-one basis to address specific areas of life that are of concern to you. These issues may include anxiety, depression, relationship, narcissistic abuse, life transitions, workplace stress, or trauma, to name a few.  Johanna Simmons will work with you to address your concerns by building a therapeutic relationship which will facilitate personal exploration while taking into account your individual needs.

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.


Stories to read to your children: 150 Top African American Children’s books.

Asian Chinese little girl examine teddy bear with thermometerYoung children do not have the capacity to express themselves in words. Play and toys are their words. Play Therapy provides a child a safe and healthy opportunity to work through confusion, anxiety, anger, grief, depression, and other childhood emotions. Perhaps your child is dealing with anxiety, self esteem, trauma, adoption or attachment issues. Play Therapy is designed to give your child freedom to grow and explore values, skills and beliefs in his/her own way and timeframe, giving your child responsibility for and control of the successes. He/she will work through the issues by playing while Johanna Simmons, a skilled play therapist, tracks his/her play, providing opportunity for further exploration.

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, learn to self-regulate and move toward wholeness. Johanna also believes that parents are an important part in the child’s healing process and she works in collaboration with the parents to promote positive attachments and strengthen relationships.

A highly specialized and effective form of play therapy is Synergetic Play Therapy, in which Johanna is certified, is an integral part of each play therapy session. Read more about  Synergetic Play Therapy below.


Young man looking at the view

This is the most difficult time for many young people and for their families. It is a time of rapid development and social and emotional changes. Johanna Simmons provides support for adolescents and/or their families. Some common adolescent issues that Johanna helps with are anxiety, depressions, hopelessness,  uncertainty about the future, parental conflicts and peer relations. 


FamilyFamilies face many difficulties and struggles to stay connected and healthy. Having help can forever change the climate and dynamics of your family. Family Therapy focuses on understanding, changing and improving the way family members interact with each other. Parenting education and support can also be an integral part of the process, on issues such as discipline, communication and responsibilities. Through counselling guided by Johanna Simmons, family members set both individual and family goals and expectations, and then work toward them.


ParentingJohanna Simmons is a Certified Parenting Educator and can provide parents parenting skills through one-on-one counselling or through the parenting classes that she facilitates. She combines the time-tested and widely used Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) and Positive Discipline programs combined with attachment theory and the latest information about brain development for a comprehensive, practical approach to parenting. This comprehensive program developed by Johanna helps parents hone their skills and understand their child’s behaviour.  Click here to view the upcoming parenting group.

Johanna invites you to visit her parenting blog. Here you will find articles on a variety of topics relating to parenting. As well, you will be able to post a comment or ask a parenting question. An African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child” and Johanna hopes that you see the “village” built through this blog as a resource for raising your child.

Refer to the Groups & Workshops page for upcoming workshops.

Synergetic Play Therapy


Synergetic Play Therapy™ officially began in 2008, born from the realization that it was possible to regulate another person’s nervous system by first regulating your own. Since then the fields of Neuroscience and Interpersonal Neurobiology have provided the science and research to confirm the profound healing that occurs when therapists are able to attune to themselves and co-regulate through the dys-regulation that arises in the child’s play allowing the child to move towards their challenging thoughts, feelings and body sensations. It is in this deeply resonate state that a synergy emerges allowing the child to heal and re-pattern their nervous system.

The Synergetic principles apply equally well to working with adults and teens. Synergetic Play Therapy is an all-encompassing paradigm that can be applied to any facet of life and, subsequently, any model of therapy can be applied to it or vice versa.

Clinical Supervision

SupervisionJohanna can provide either single session or ongoing clinical supervision to therapists and clinical counsellors working with children, teens, families or adults. Johanna is also a Synergetic Play Therapy Supervisor, the first in Canada. Additionally, she facilitates peer consultation groups for professionals or students. Johanna has discounted rates for students requiring supervision hours.

Contact us to arrange for a consultation.

Looking for a grief counsellor?

Dallas Shirley specializes in grief counselling. Go to

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