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Johanne Soden

Counsellor
in Surrey, BC

Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW)

"Connecting the dots of our lives, especially the ones we would rather erase or skip over, requires equal parts self-love & curiosity" - Brene Brown

Entering counselling is an exciting and brave step towards overcoming life’s challenges. As both a clinician and client, I’ve noticed that as people we tend to enter counselling when we are feeling stuck, uncertain, or when we need help figuring out how to best move forward. My hope is that you feel safe and supported as we explore, in counselling, what life has to offer.

My counselling approach balances a recognition and acceptance of how things are, with striving for change. As we look at the space between your current situation, and how you’d like your life to be, we will create a roadmap for our work together. In order to find the courage to make important changes, I believe that we need to permit ourselves to be vulnerable. In therapy, we create a safe space for that transformation to occur. We will identify and work on changing problematic patterns in your life. I seek to empower you to discover your own path to wellness, drawing on your natural supports and inherent capacity for resiliency, growth, and healing.

I am warm, genuine, compassionate, validating, nonjudgmental, and pragmatic. I see therapy as a collaborative process, and the foundation of that process is a trusting working relationship between therapist and client. Although therapy will deal directly with your problems, we’ll also identify and capitalize on your unique strengths and passions.

Johanne is a Montreal native, who lived and received much of her clinical training and experience in Boston, Massachusetts before moving to the lower mainland BC. She is a Registered Clinical Social Worker (R.C.S.W) with the BC College of Social Workers and a Boston College graduate, with a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work (M.S.W). She has worked in a wide range of mental health treatment settings. Most recently, she worked at the Surrey Memorial inpatient psychiatry unit, where she ran their group therapy program. While at Surrey Memorial, she created a study group to train staff in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and was part of a working group that helped create a comprehensive outpatient DBT program in the Fraser Health Authority. In Boston, she completed her M.S.W practicum at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center of Harvard Medical School. She then worked there for over 10 years. In the rich learning environment of that renowned Harvard teaching hospital, she was extensively trained in evidence-based practice, including a DBT intensive training with Marsha Linehan (the creator of DBT), Kelly Koerner and Linda Dimeff. In her tenure at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, she provided individual and group therapy to adults with various mental health issues, and she led a comprehensive outpatient DBT program. In that capacity, she provided individual and group DBT, supervised and trained front-line group home staff, masters-level clinicians, as well as Harvard residents and interns.

Client focus: Individual adults, teens, groups, counselling therapists, DBT Supervision.

Johanne utilizes a variety of evidence-based therapies, including Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Informed practices, EMDR, DBT, as well as DBT adapted for eating disorders, overcontrol, trauma, and DBT Validation strategies for families. She is also available to other counsellors for clinical consultation.

She is comfortable working with a variety of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, grief, loss, medical illness and disability, intense and dysregulated emotions, impulsivity, trauma, disordered eating, neurodiversity, parenting, and relational struggles.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown

Languages

English, French

Populations

Adults, Teens, Groups, Other Therapists

Conditions

Mood Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Intense & Dysregulated Emotions, Anxiety, Trauma, Depression, Neurodiversity, Life Transitions, Medical Illness/Disability, Grief & Loss, Impulsivity, Problems with Food, Parenting, Relationship Struggles

Modalities

CBT, DBT, Solution Focused Therapy, Validation & Mindfulness, Insight-Orientated, Evidence-Based Therapies