About Mary Ann – Trauma and Abuse Specialist

In the beginning

I grew up in a log cabin in the foothills of Kentucky… Actually, that’s not true. I grew up in the suburbs of Burnaby. Not quite as romantic as Kentucky, but home nonetheless. I graduated from SFU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. I wanted to be a counsellor and save the world!

Unfortunately, by the time I finished getting my first degree, I was too exhausted and frightened of my enormous endeavour, to pursue my passion in psychology. I decided it was time to stay home and start a family instead. This diversion turned out to be a wonderful experience. I was where I wanted to be, and I have three grown children to show for it.

However, there were hurdles along the way.  I’d lost track of myself, and my passion. Instead, I found depression, anxiety and confusion. My despair was further compounded and intensified by several life threatening family illnesses and very difficult and frightening family struggles. I was a mess!

content_4Improvement began when I sought counselling. It changed my life and got me back on track. It helped remove the years of strife that had covered over my hopes and dreams.  I discovered how counselling could help me clarify my problems, teach me effective skills to deal with my issues, and help me recover from the traumas. I wanted to help others recover too.  I went back to school and got my Masters of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from City University.

By this time, I knew much more about life and what it took to recover from adversities, and I had overcome more traumas than most people ever experience. I also learned that I couldn’t save the world! However, I did learn that, I could help!

I expanded my education and experience by counselling at Family Services of Vancouver and also Options Community Services Society, counselling men, women and families.

Since then

I’ve also developed a passion for helping women recover from the effects of trauma and abuse in their lives. In addition to my private practice, I also work at Sources Women’s Place (formally South Fraser Women’s Services Society) as a Trauma Counsellor.

From my work, as well as my personal life, I’ve discovered over the years that one of the areas men and women often struggle with is learning how to set and maintain boundaries in their lives. Typically, we have never been taught these skills, or believed we had the right to have them! By learning how to improve your boundaries I have found it can help you successfully overcome adversity and depression.

Better Boundaries provides the Foundation for improving your Self Esteem and dealing with Stress!

To achieve this end I employ a comprehensive therapeutic model to my work, which I have found to be very successful. It includes Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Family Systems Theory, and Focusing Oriented Therapy. Every client is unique. Your history and circumstances are individual. This integrative approach allows me to adapt my model to your issues. I employ a mind, body and spirit option to your growth and recovery.

I also teach a highly regarded course for groups on Anger Boundaries and Communication.


And more importantly, I bring to each of you my warmth, compassion and understanding… I know how hard it is to seek help. It’s diving into the unknown. And even though the current place in your life may not be working, it may feel chaotic and out of control, it’s still home. Change is always hard.

But remember, not changing is even harder…

Call for a Free 15 Minute Consultation

Let me guide you to the life that you want…