About

WELCOME
 

Salish Sea Psychological Services is based in Nanaimo, British Columbia. We respectfully acknowledge that we live, work, play, and create on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun and Tla’Amin Nations.

 
 
WHAT WE DO
 
We offer a range of services for children, adolescents, and adults including assessment, psychotherapy, counselling, parent consultations, vocational counselling, clinical supervision, and training. We work from a strength-based, neurobiological and trauma informed attachment framework with culture and creativity at the centre.
 
 
Playfulness is something that most people give up, often at an early age, because of early relationships, or school, or having to take on what is perceived as a responsible role. However, affective neuroscience tells us that play is a core emotional system that is essential for learning, growth, and creative living. We explicitly incorporate play and creativity in our work with younger clients using child centred play therapy. We also invite our older clients to engage in “serious play” by exploring how playfulness, humour, expressive arts, sand tray, and creativity can lead to understanding ourselves and helping us feel more alive even as we engage in what can, at times, be difficult therapeutic work.
 
 
WHO WE ARE
 
Barbara Smith, M.Ed., M.A., RCC is our award winning Registered Clinical Counsellor who conducts assessments and therapy with children, youth, and adults with mental health, trauma, learning, relationship, and career concerns. In addition to her M.A. in Counselling Psychology (UBC) and M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Global Change (UBC), she completed her clinical training for her Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology at The University of British Columbia. Barbara is currently investigating the neurobiology of play with adults in accessing core emotions, using the lens of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) for her dissertation in order to complete her doctoral degree.

Barbara strives to walk with her clients, taking a strengths-based, anti-oppression perspective not just in her psychotherapy work, but also when she conducts psychological and psychoeducational assessments, provides supervision, and teaches. All of her work comes from a trauma and neurobiologically informed, integrated attachment perspective. She uses AEDP, play, expressive, and sand tray therapies with youth, and invites her adults clients to play, when appropriate, as a means to holistically and creatively utilize multiple channels of emotional and somatic experiences more deeply. She also incorporates ecotherapy principles and opportunities into her work when she can.

Barbara provides clinical supervision to counsellors, incorporating expressive modalities, including sand tray, into Bernard’s supervision model. 

In terms of research, Barbara was awarded the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association award for her master’s thesis as well as several awards for her work in the career development field. She also received a Killam Award for teaching at UBC having been nominated by her previous students. She has co-authored several peer reviewed articles and book chapters.

Barbara believes play and creativity is essential for wellbeing so she kayaks whenever she can. She also knits, paints, nunofelts. Her latest passion is learning how design, construct, and plant water gardens, having recently created one outside her office window for her clients to enjoy with her.

 
 
 
 
Dr. Joanne Crandall, R. Psych. is our supervising psychologist. She is an infant mental health and trauma specialist, who has worked extensively with Child and Youth Mental Health throughout British Columbia. She also worked for Vancouver Island Health Authority and the VISCAN and VICAN Assessment Clinics. She is a former Elementary and Special Education Teacher.

Joanne conducts assessments and psychotherapy with children, youth, and adults using an integrated approach that is neurobiologically and attachment based that incorporates play therapy, humanistic-existential, and EMDR modalities based on her individual clients needs.

She received her Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from The University of British Columbia, and she is also an award winning researcher, having written her dissertation on The Lived Experience of Recovery from Sexual Abuse for Young Adult Women. She recently completed level one of Animal Assisted Therapy and is currently training in Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model. 

Joanne uses the Reflective Supervision model when providing clinical supervision. Reflective Supervision consists of process work often using journalling and other forms of self-reflection.

Joanne believes that play is vital for self care, creativity, and wellbeing so she swims, bakes, quilts, and is learning to felt.