Areas of practice
- Anxiety and/or Panic
- Child Behaviour
- Child Stress and Trauma
- Family Violence
- Grief and Loss - General
- Parenting Issues
- School/Work Adjustment
- Body Centred Psychotherapy
- Child Centred Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Expressive Arts Therapies
- Family Systems
- Play Therapy
Other languages spoken
Helen Ritchie is a Canadian Certified Counsellor, Certified Synergetic Play Therapist Supervisor, and EMDR Therapist who sees children, youth, and parents in Vancouver. She is registered with the Crime Victim Assistance Program.
Play Therapy for children
Are you concerned about your child’s worries, behaviours, mood changes, or ability to cope with transitions? Play therapy can help your child come back into a more balanced sense of well-being.
Benefits of Play Therapy
Parents report that after Play Therapy there is a decrease in problematic behaviours, increased self-regulation and increased self-esteem. Through the process of Synergetic Play Therapy, both parents and children will learn about how the brain and nervous system work and will develop strategies to regulate their nervous systems.
Therapy for Parents, teens and Families
Tired of feeling stressed, tired, panicked, depressed or angry? Counselling can bring you the change and peace of mind that you are looking for. My compassionate counselling approach will help you gently face your challenges and learn strategies to regulate your nervous system so that you can get back to feeling grounded and in control.
With adults and teens, I use expressive therapies such as Sandplay, and EMDR therapy for trauma in conjunction with talk-based therapies.
Having lived in Canada, France, Japan, and the UK, and from work as an ESL teacher and International Student Counsellor, I have experience adjusting to new environments and in helping people with cross-cultural and settlement issues.
I am able to provide counselling services in French.
Areas of expertise
In my 16+years of work as an elementary school counsellor, play therapist, and counsellor. I have helped many children, teens, adults and families with issues such as
- Anxiety- worry, stress, separation anxiety, OCD
- Behavioural issues- aggression, withdrawal, impulsivity
- Trauma-hospitalizations, witnessing family violence, accidents, etc.
- Grief and loss
- Friendship issues
- Coping with transitions- moves, new schools, etc.
- Cross-cultural and settlement issues
- Identity issues
- Parenting issues
Group therapy has been provided for
- Children affected by family violence Program at Family Services
- Youth requiring social and emotional support- Respect, Safety and Violence Prevention Program
- Social skills for children and youth
- Coping with anxiety
My Education and Training
After receiving a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from UBC, I trained to become a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. I have since completed certification as a Supervisor of Synergetic Play Therapy, an exciting new approach that combines the latest research in neuroscience, attachment and attunement with therapeutic work. I am currently supervising graduate students and colleagues.
I have had extensive training in Play and Sandplay Therapy, Trauma-informed therapy (EMDR), Family Systems theory, The Satir Model, and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. My passion for Play Therapy has resulted in 12+ years of volunteer work on the BC Play Therapy Association (BCPTA) board.
My clients are some of my greatest teachers. I am indebted to all of the people that I have had the privilege of supporting on their healing path.
For a free initial consultation please email or call Helen Ritchie using the information above.
I use Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT) as my main modality. This innovative new therapy model created by Lisa Dion is informed by neuroscience and allows for deep connection and faster healing for clients.
"Synergetic Play Therapy™ (2008) is a researched-informed model of play therapy blending the therapeutic power of play with nervous system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, physics, attachment, mindfulness, and therapist authenticity. Its primary play therapy influences are Child-Centered, Experiential, and Gestalt theories."
Please visit : https://synergeticplaytherapy.com/ to find out more
Inspired and informed by Synergetic Play Therapy™, I have given the following presentations:
2017: Using SPT and Whole Brain Child ( Drs Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson) strategies to support children showing anxiety and anger for an elementary school PAC meeting
2018: Synergetic Play Therapy Principles for Vancouver Elementary Counsellors; Using SPT Principles to Support Student Behaviour Challenges at an elementary school
2019: Gifted Child, Anxious Heart for VSB Gifted SEL Parent Lecture series: Introduction to Play Therapy ( co-presenter) for BCPTA, Beyond Behaviour for Elementary school staff
- Play Therapy: I am a Certified Synergetic Play Therapist Supervisor and BC Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. EMDR Therapist: Basic Training 2021
Client fee individuals:$130 per 50 minute session
Client fee couples/families:$150