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Marlae Vermeer (she/her) is currently completing the clinical practicum for her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree under the clinical supervision of Nelson Szeto, MCP, RCC-ACS. She completed the Foundational Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of the Fraser Valley and is completing her MSW with the goal of becoming a Registered Social Worker (RSW). Marlae specializes in family therapy and is trained in Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). Every caregiver wants their child to be happy, healthy, and safe. But sometimes we forget that none of us comes fully prepared for the job. Marlae is passionate about supporting families from a strengths-based lens through various complexities, and challenges. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking in the mountains, tending to her flower and vegetable garden, and hiking the Grouse Grind.


What is Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT)?

EFFT is rooted in a deep belief in the healing power of families. The therapist’s role is to empower and support caregivers to strengthen support strategies to attend to their loved one’s mental health needs. Caregivers are supported to gain skills in supporting the interruption of symptoms and maladaptive behaviours (e.g., anxiety, depression, self-harming). They are coached to increase emotional support, and validation techniques. EFFT addresses obstacles that impact the parent or caregiver effectiveness in their support efforts. For example, some parents are afraid that addressing concerns with their child will lead the child to feel depressed or suicidal, leaving the parents unsure of how to respond. Other parents may feel helpless because approaches they have tried did not work and therefore, find themselves relying on controlling or punitive techniques to motivate beahvioural change.

Professional Experience

What is my training and background?

Some of my specialized training includes Emotion Focused Family Therapy therapist training with Natasha Files (MSW), Trauma Informed Practice Level I & II with Kim Barthel, Working with Aggressive and Violent Children and Youth with Dr. Gordon Neufeld (PhD), and A Process Orientated Approach to Conflict Facilitation with David Hatfield. Throughout the past ten years, I have facilitated a diversity of evidence-based, connection-focused parenting programs for parents with young children, including The Incredible Years, Nobody’s Perfect, and Make the Connection. I have also provided Parent-Teen Mediation services for over five years. I am passionate about providing targeted support to address conflict in the family home and work to support the restoration of safer communication and repair in relationship between parents and their children/youth. I provide family support for caregivers with children/youth who live with neurodiversity (e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD],Oppositional Defiant Disorder [ODD]) and/or mental health concerns (e.g., depression, anxiety, trauma) and associated risky behaviours (e.g., eating disorders, self-harming, aggression, beahvioural issues).

What are my specialties?

  • Family Therapy, including parenting support, family mediation services, intergenerational-trauma, refugee and newcomer family support, and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).
  • Mental Health, including depression, anxiety, trauma, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
  • Neurodiversity, including supporting caregivers and their children with ADHD, ASD, ODD and other neurodivergence.
  • Trauma, including Trauma-Informed Care, healing racialized and/or generational trauma, and somatic approaches to healing.

I offer individual, couples andfamily therapy in English.

Interested in working with me?

We would be happy to hear from you and book a free consultation for you. If you’re interested in getting in touch with us, fill out our contact form and let us know if there was a counsellor you’d prefer to work with. We will do our best to accommodate requests based on counsellor availability and specialty.

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