How I Can Help

My Approach to Counselling | Counselling Services | Special Needs Therapy | Abuse and Neglect | Grief and Loss | Personal Growth

My Approach to Counselling:

Feeling emotionally safe, respected, encouraged, and heard are the foundational stones of my therapeutic practice. I listen carefully to your experiences. The details of your stories are diverse and extremely important. I am committed to being a part of your healing journey through therapy and supporting you through this process which can be transformative and dynamic.

What do you know for certain about your perceptions, habits and expectations? What can you do to harness your strengths and resources?

I am interested in what stands between you and your goals. I am a listener, a supporter and a guide to help you find your own inner strengths. Counselling is about embracing and accepting your positive thoughts, feelings, passions and inner truths. This will allow you to open up and explore new ways of living.

Through counselling I will help you:

My specific approach depends a great deal on you and what areas in your life you need to work on. The factors include your age, gender, stage of life, the nature of your issue, how you have dealt with issues in the past, and your goals in counselling. Through counselling, you will begin to understand who you are and to create balance to achieve what you want in life.

Counselling Services

Special Needs Therapy

I work in a variety of ways with disability and chronic illness issues. Children and youth are seen for counselling when parents, guardians or teachers are concerned about how loss, moving, illness, hearing loss, change in family structure or stress at home may be affecting their child. The child or youth may be showing behavioural changes or ongoing issues as related to developmental delay or disability including, but not limited to,: acting-out, short attention span, withdrawn or express little interests in learning, trying new things or refusing to participate in previously enjoyable acitivities. I am trained in Child-Centred Play Therapy. I use mediums that are natural to children and youths including play, art, role-playing and writing. Children and youths find it helpful to play out, explore, and describe their experiences and express their feelings. I provide counselling for the disabled individual, the parents/caregivers trying to support them, and others who are impacted such as siblings and adult children.

Physical, Sexual, Emotional Abuses and Neglect

Other issues I work with include anxiety, stress and depression, as well as trauma and the impact that residential abuse and/or childhood abuse has on adult children. Past traumatic events or difficult experiences can feel unbearable during transition times. It can feel almost impossible to be in the moment or find the energy to keep up with daily mundane tasks. In counselling, I will work with you to create safe ways to talk about the event(s), come to terms with the difficult experience and identify key resiliencies within yourself. I am registered with Crime & Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) and Residential Historical Assisance Program (RHAP) both of which provide free coverage for victims and witnesses of crime or abuse.

I also provide counselling to parents/guardians or significant others of children who have been abused in order to build their communication skills, boundary setting and assertiveness. I work with families looking to improve their relationships with their children including attachement, nuturing, sense of play, grief/loss, separation and self-esteem.

Grief and Loss

I have specialized training in Grief Recovery Methods with the The Grief Recovery Institute. Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss whether your loss is the death of loved one, the end of a relationship, a career change, loss of health or a trauma. You may experience intense sadness, mood swings, racing thoughts, sleeping difficulties, eating more or less, increased avoidance and isolation from others, or an inability to feel happy and cherish fond memories. Using Grief Recovery Methods I can help you work through the steps for moving beyond the loss. You will look at old beliefs about dealing with loss, examine which losses have affected your life and take new steps that will lead to relief from the pain or suffering attached to those losses. You can begin to resolve your conflicted feelings around the loss and move forward to enjoy life.

Personal Growth (including stress management and self esteem)

I work with those looking for personal growth or to increase their life balance by managing stress, cultivating creativity, and focusing on wellness. It is important to feel good about yourself and to be mindful of your perspectives. It is a practice of self-acceptance and teaching you how to use discomfort including worry, sadness, depression, stress and anxiety as energy to persevere or create new goals. In personal growth counseling, you will improve your mental focus, increase your motivation, improve awareness of your positive traits, enhance your positive self-image and improve your relationships.

If you are experiencing and struggling with any of the issues above, please contact me to discuss the benefits of individual or family therapy.

Your privacy, comfort and confidentiality in counselling are priority.

"Living is
A thing you do
Now or never -
Which do you?"

- Piet Hein

If you have any questions about my counselling services or to explore if I am the therapist for you, please call 604-360-8662 or email I offer a free 30-minute initial consultation. New clients welcome. No referral necessary.

If you are an ASL user and live outside of Vancouver, e-counselling (i.e. skype, webcam) is available. Contact me for more information.

Susan Dahlgren is a Registered Social Worker, Counsellor and Deaf & Hearing Loss Specialist in Surrey, BC. Susan provides therapy for abuse, grief, personal growth, stress management and self esteem to adults, children, youth and special needs clients. Counselling services for Surrey, Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley, Cloverdale, White Rock, and the Central Fraser Valley, B.C.