Gisella La Madrid, MA, RCC
Child & Family Counsellor
DIVORCE coach & child specialist
Passionate about growth and change
I am the Founder of Strong Ties - Child & Family Services, created with the vision of helping you, your child and your family heal, grow and feel better. My goal is to provide compassionate, affordable, evidence-based and trauma-informed counselling services for children, teens, adults and families.
I believe in providing teens and adults with emotional support and practical tools to help them feel more at ease, balanced, energized, empowered and confident. With parents and families, know that we solve doubts, practice new strategies, and help you deepen the bond with your children.
With children, I provide a friendly, fun and warm environment where play is key to process experiences. As we cannot expect children to sit down and talk about their issues, at Strong Ties we use toys, games, books, and art to explore, imagine, and facilitate expression.
I have a M.A. in Counselling Psychology from Adler University and a B.A. in Clinical Psychology from Universidad de Lima, Peru.
I have obtained post-graduate training in Emotion Coaching – as developed by the Gottman Institute – and have specialized knowledge of Attachment Theory, Developmental Psychology, Play Therapy and Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). I am also trained in Gordon Neufeld's developmental theory as training has provided me with an insight on behaviour, development, and relationships which I share with all my clients.
Before opening my private practice I worked in a non-profit agency specialized in children and families dealing with complex trauma, sexual abuse and mental health issues. I have also worked for the Autism & Developmental Disorders Lab (ADDL) and the Culture and Development Lab, both at Simon Fraser University, as well as in the neuropsychiatry department at BC Children's Hospital (BCCH). I have worked with families and children providing non-directive client-centered play therapy at the Children’s Foundation and providing psychoeducation for parents at YMCA Robert Lee in Vancouver. Back in Peru, I was a Registered Psychologist working in a Psychiatric Unit with adult patients performing psychological assessments and providing therapeutic services.
I am a member of the International Association for Collaborative Practice and from the Collaborative Divorce Society of Vancouver.
Masters of Arts - Counselling Psychology
Bachelor Degree in Clinical Psychology
Registered Clinical Counsellor (BCACC)
Registered Psychologist - Lima, Peru
Collaborative Divorce Coach & Child Specialist
FNHA and CVAP approved counsellor
My practice is based on warmth, optimism, curiosity, courage and connection. One of my strengths as a counsellor is the ability to create safe and supporting environments in which clients feel cared and deeply listened to. In our work together you can expect a non-judgemental and encouraging atmosphere in which you can rediscover what already makes you a great. We will also strive to discover what lies behind the behaviours of your child or partner as understanding is one of the keys to positive change. My wish for clients is to provide practical resources, empower them through their multiple challenges, and to help them build a deep sense of balance and connection.