Registered Clinical Counsellors

Andrea Sharpe, M.Sc., M.Ed.

Andrea is a counsellor with over 25 years experience working with people with developmental differences and their families.  She completed her Masters in Health Psychology at the University of Southampton in England, and subsequently worked as a supervisor-in-training in a program providing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) in the UK.  She continued to follow her interest in ABA through an internship in California, before returning to Vancouver in 2001.  Since then, she has worked alongside children, youth, young adults and their families in BC, Alberta, and Yukon.  Andrea compassionately supports children and youth who struggle with anxiety and social skills through a creative and individualized approach.   She has completed training in the Sibshops model, and offers individual and group supports for siblings of people with developmental differences.  She is the proud recipient of the 2020 Edna Nash Scholarship at UBC, where completed her Masters in Education in Counselling Psychology in April 2021. Andrea loves living and playing in nature on the North Shore with her husband and her two children.

 

Alison Brazier, PhD

Passionate about neurodiversity, Alison is a coach and consultant working with parents to provide the support they need to embrace their neurodivergent children and empower them to live fulfilling and authentic lives. She also works with children and youth to help bring awareness to their own strengths and support for their challenges. Alison assists families with a range of neurodevelopmental conditions, with a specialty in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She assists with all aspects of the journey from understanding and accepting a child’s diagnosis, finding resources and supports, advocating for a child at school, improving the relationship between the parents and child, managing challenging behaviours, and improving a child’s executive functioning skills. Instead of seeing neurodivergent people as broken or flawed, Alison encourages each of us to embrace the brilliance of differently wired minds.

Alison has a PhD in Health Care and Epidemiology from The University of British Columbia with 20 years of experience in academic health research where she studied integrative health care for chronic illness and the mind/body role in health and healing. It was when she began learning about neurodiversity firsthand through raising a son with neurodifferences, she decided to transfer her analytical and innovative skills into a commitment to making the world better for neurodiverse kids—starting with her own. She completed her ADHD coach training at the ADD Coaching Academy in New York, with a specialization in parent and family coaching.

Robyn Lalani (she/her)

Robyn holds a Master of Social Work Degree (MSW). She is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) in the Province of British Columbia and is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). Robyn approaches her work from a trauma-informed, systems and intersectional lens, recognizing the intricacy and uniqueness of each of her client’s lived experience.

Over the past 15 years, Robyn has worked in various capacities within the mental health field. She has supported children, youth, and adults across the lifespan, working through issues related to anxiety and depression, adoption transitions, adjustment to medical diagnoses, abuse and neglect, trauma, LGBTQ2S+ identity, grief and loss, separation and divorce, and complex familial relationships. More recently, Robyn has specialized in gender affirming and transgender care, supporting gender diverse children and youth, and their family members. In addition to her work as a therapist, Robyn works as a social worker at BC Children’s Hospital.

Robyn’s therapeutic approach is anti-oppressive, strengths-based, and client and family centred. She is flexible and integrative in that she incorporates various therapies to best serve her clients unique needs. She has been trained in Attachment Theory, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Emotionally Focused Family Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.

Piers Samson, CCC

In addition to ABLE, Piers Samson also works as a clinical counsellor at a school for students with Neurodiversity. For many years he has worked with students with neurological differences such as Autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and a variety of learning differences (such as Dyslexia, processing disorders, sensory disorders and others). In addition, he has counselled individuals with a variety of mental health disorders and trauma experiences. Besides one-to-one work, he has also run parent support groups, groups for learning differences, and trauma. He has conducted his counseling practice in a variety of settings, school, family treatment in the home, family support agencies and mental health clinics.

Piers has an undergraduate degree in Biopsychology and a master’s in counselling from UBC. His master’s thesis was on counselling those with learning differences. He is a Certified Canadian Clinical Counsellor. In addition, Piers has a variety of approaches to therapy, including Family Therapy, CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing,

Some of the issues he has focused with clients on working through are school refusal, bullying, trauma experiences, learning difference-related issues, life transitions, career, school success skills, life management, family issues, parenting, attachment disorders, behavioural challenges, mental health and many others.

His practice is characterized by a creative, strength-based approach that incorporates neuroscience, attachment and psychology to create a rich environment for self-exploration and growth. He enjoys working with children in Grade 7 or above, youth and families of all ethic and life backgrounds.

Piers’ personal life has greatly informed his skill development and motivations. He has two children by international adoption, has been married for almost 30 years and has lived in a variety of places in the world. He has significant Dyslexia himself. Consequently, what he has experienced personally he can use to support the neurodiverse community. Personal struggles with his own learning; including attending 9 schools, many psych-ed assessments, struggles in post-secondary and many self-advocacy adventures. He was on the board of directors of the Vancouver Learning Disabilities Association and has been working with those with learning differences in a variety of circumstances for more than 30 years.

He also has many connections in the community with other mental health professionals, other champions for those with learning differences and a huge variety of resources, from personal experience and study.

He endeavours to always empower, strengthen and encourage others in their adventures with their own learning differences and is passionate about supporting families to build strong thriving lives.

Paola Zorrilla Steenbock, MCP

Paola (she, they) holds a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology, specializing in School and Youth counselling. Her expertise lies in supporting neurodivergent children and adults. Paola believes in creating a safe and supportive space for her clients to explore their emotions, needs, and values. She understands that building a trusting therapeutic relationship is crucial. By taking an empathic, honest, and non-judgemental stance, Paola strives to build a collaborative relationship where her clients can feel heard and understood. Paola is multilingual and can comfortably provide counselling support in English, Spanish, and German.

Clients can expect a strength-based approach to help understand and cope with the specific challenges they are facing. By leaning on what’s already working, the client can view situations realistically and look for opportunities that support and complement the individual. Her holistic approach views challenges from multiple perspectives, including the individual and environment, such as history, culture, and lifestyle. The goal is to be affirming to the client, which includes using sensory and other accommodations, while respecting that everyone has unique needs. Paola draws from various counselling approaches, including synergetic play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), narrative therapy, and mindfulness. This allows her to accommodate each client's unique needs and goals.


For the other disciplines at the West Vancouver Clinic, please click the buttons below: 

WV - Psychologists

WV - Speech-Language Pathologists

WV - Behavioural Consultants

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