BA, MC, RCC
Co-Founder, Executive Director
I do not believe in hopeless cases – I believe in possibilities
Executive Director + Registered Clinical Counsellor
Specialties: Youth and Adult Mental Health, Couples Counselling, Trauma Therapy, Personal development, Neurofeedback, Emotion Focused Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, The Birkman Method®
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, UBC
Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, UBC
Graduate Diploma in Theology, Regent College
Master of Counselling, Trinity Western University
Professional Registrations & Certification:
Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). RCC #3404.
Certified Birkman Consultant
Emotionally Focused Therapy Advanced Externship
Gottman Method Family Therapy, Level I and II
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Level I and II
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Psychosis
Satir Transformational Therapy
Clinical Supervision Course (24 hours) with Dr. Vange Thiessen, AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Certified Prepare/Enrich Relationship Assessment Facilitator
There’s also an old adage in psychology education, and that is that we go into the field to figure out our own “stuff.” I can’t speak for everyone in the field, but I can speak for me and say firmly that this is absolutely true of my journey. I remember my first experience with depression at age 6. I remember struggling to find my way through my teen years and into adulthood, feeling out of place and lost, and alone. I’m fortunate in that I no longer struggle with those darkest of days, but it doesn’t mean I won’t in future or that I don’t still struggle with things like an anxiety disorder, because I might, and I do.
The journey through mental health is an up and down journey and it starts and stops, turns and dips, and sometimes, even runs around in circles. Mental health and other struggles in life are something that anyone can struggle with, regardless of our background, or income, or degrees, or otherwise. Whether you have $30 to your name, or $300 million, life is still life. We all have joys, we all have struggles. We all have triumphs and successes, and we have our fears and failures.
I’ve spent over 20 years educating myself on what makes us human, what makes us unique, and what helps us move forward. I’ve worked with kids, youth, adults, couples, families, and businesses; I’ve lived in Canada and the United States, the UK, Eastern Europe, and spent a lot of time in other places around the world. What I’ve learned is that no matter where we are, what we struggle with, and who we are, it is relationships that transform lives.
This is what I offer clients who want to move forward – a relationship based on safety and mutual respect. I’m not sitting with you because I’m the expert (even though I’ve done a lot of training to be in this profession), or because I have it all figured out (because I don’t), or because I’m here to impart all levels of wisdom (occasionally this happens). I’m here because I have the fundamental belief that there are no hopeless cases, and that everyone is worth it. I’ve spent a lot of time and money over the past 20 years educating myself through both life experiences and formal education to make sure that I’m well trained to be able to sit with you, walk beside you, and share in your journey in a way that can produce profound change.
Change happens through relationships built on trust, and yes, some clinical knowledge. Regardless of what you’re struggling with, I believe there’s hope for you because others have believed that there was hope for me. I’ve experienced the profound difference that safety, attachment, and guidance have had in my life and I feel privileged to offer that to others in the best way that I know how.
My belief is that a therapist is a bearer of hope. Sometimes we lose sight of the hope we have – and it takes someone else believing in us to keep us going. If I didn’t believe there was hope for everyone, I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have started Alongside You. There’s always hope.
How did Andrew begin the journey?
As a Co-Founder of Alongside You, Andrew has been with our Ladner based integrated health agency from the get go.
As our Executive Director and a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC), Andrew also has many other duties – which includes web and social media marketing, coffee maker, being a networking ninja, and occasionally janitor extraordinaire.
How can Andrew help You?
Given all his roles at the clinic, sometimes Andrew thinks he is a human swiss army knife. For his Director role, he has to utilize his staff management skills, business development knowledge, and networking abilities. With clients, he uses his education and counselling background in marriage and family therapy, addictions, mental health, and others to help people improve on their current situations and achieve the goals they’ve set out. In all that he does, however, his greatest skill is being able to see where someone is today, and look beyond to see what they are capable of. Andrew doesn’t believe in hopeless cases – he believes in possibilities.
The most rewarding part of Andrew’s job is seeing someone’s life transformed and seeing the joy they experience when they get to experience life without all of the baggage. In the same way, when working with his business clients, Andrew loves seeing the change from point A to point B, and how they achieve the goals they’ve set out and more. Andrew loves seeing them exceed what they thought possible and go forward making a positive impact on the world around them.
Why is Alongside You different from other agencies in Delta, Surrey or Vancouver?
Andrew loves how involved we get to be in our community. We work very closely with other businesses and organizations so that we know the local resources available for our clients, and so that we can develop our services to meet the needs of the local residents. He also loves our staff – we are incredibly fortunate to have loving, dedicated staff who sacrifice to make our services available and accessible to everyone.
What is Andrew like outside of work?
Andrew is a lifelong musician, and a car nut so he’d likely be a professional musician, or a race car driver if he did not become a counsellor. He has had the opportunity to get a taste of both in his life and while he wouldn’t find them nearly as rewarding as what he gets to do now, he could be convinced to do them in his retirement!
Andrew loves driving performance cars, listening to and playing music, and spending time with his lovely family. His family is his life, and he can’t wait to see them at the end of each day.
Interested in hearing more from Andrew?
You can read his blog posts here.