Child and family counsellor in Coquitlam and Burnaby

Strong Ties - Child & Family Services

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Gisella La Madrid, MA, RCC

Child & Family Counsellor

DIVORCE coach & child specialist

Passionate about growth and change


I am here to help you, your child and your family heal, grow and feel better. With emotional support and practical tools you can feel more balanced, energized, empowered and confident!


With children, I provide a safe, fun and supportive space where play is key to process all the hard stuff kids cannot express in words.


With parents and families, we solve doubts, practice new strategies, and develop new and better relationships. We got this!



My passion for working with you stands from a strong belief that change and growth is possible. With a bit of encouragement you will see behaviour can improve and bonds can be strengthened.

My background

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). This 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 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.

I am a member of the International Association for Collaborative Practice and from the Collaborative Divorce Society of Vancouver.

Therapeutic Approach                                                    

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 an 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.