JESSICA VAN DER MERWE

JESSICA VAN DER MERWE (She/Her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LMHC, LPC

I'm a trauma specialist who helps those affected by complex trauma, dysfunctional families, and acute traumatic experiences achieve healing.

Client Status

accepting clients

Contact

3608188322

108 SE 124th Avenue

Vancouver, 98684

At a Glance

Me

Rate: $140-$160

Provides free initial consultation

Provides telehealth services

Practicing Since: 2019

Languages: English

Services

  • Individual
  • Relationship
  • Teen

Insurances Accepted

  • Out of Pocket
  • Out of Network

My Ideal Client

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, being in a toxic or abusive relationship, or experiencing the horrors of a traumatic event can set you on a collision course with daily triggers to anger, sadness, overwhelm, panic, or dissociation. Maybe you notice your reactions in your relationships are causing harm, and you regularly experience the dreaded “shame spiral.” You minimize your pain, or others regularly do. If this is you, I’m glad you’re here. Long-term healing is possible.

My Approach to Helping

Therapy can feel heavy, but it doesn’t always have to. I use humor, creativity, and collaborate with you to achieve your goals. My goal is to establish an emotionally safe and a non-judgemental place for you to feel unburdened by expectations and get in touch with your most authentic self. Our work together will focus holistically on the body, mind, spirit, and cultural responses to stress to map a way toward healing. We might even laugh along the way. I am a certified Brainspotting therapist, which is a brain and body based approach to healing using points of vision. I come from a trauma-informed strengths-based approach. This approach is based on the science and wisdom of the body, while using a compassion-focused framework to reduce shame, excessive guilt, and trauma-related responses. I integrate attachment science, systems theory, mindfulness practice, “parts work” of ego state therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS), somatic approaches.

My Personal Beliefs and Interests

I believe no matter what you face, or how long you've faced it, there is hope for change. I've come from my own struggles throughout childhood into adult life, faced eating disorders, low self esteem, panic and trauma responses, and lots of grief. In short, I'm not too different from you. There is a always an option for healing and change, we sometimes just need help finding it. I believe that everyone, no matter race, gender identity, religious beliefs, creed, or economic status deserve the best mental health care possible (in addition to any health care and human rights)! That means a couple things: I keep myself honest with ongoing cultural and ethical education and personal growth, as well as work to accommodate whatever financial challenge you may face in order to get the services you deserve. If we aren't a match, I will help you find someone who is. If you think this sounds good, send me a message and we can connect.

Techniques I Use

Specialties

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) External link

    IFS is an evidenced based therapy that explores the "parts" of us to explore and resolve internal conflicts, depression, trauma, and anxiety. Within this framework, we increase self-compassion and value our natural protective strengths. I am also trained in Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment (TIST), an integrative approach that includes mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, IFS, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

  • Brainspotting External link

    Brainspotting therapy harnesses the body’s natural healing by locating a point of vision that correlates with inner neural, somatic, and emotional experiences. These eye positions, called Brainspots, access the subcortical brain, which is the inner part of our brain that holds emotional, non-verbal, and trauma memory. Accessing these brainspots lead to healing and resolution of issues that are held deeply held in the brain and body.

  • Humanistic  External link

    The therapist defers to the client as the expert of their experience, using a nonjudgmental stance when listening and attuning to a client’s narrative. This is paired with a processes guiding approach, which involves the gentle confrontation of incongruencies to explore paths to growth and change.

  • Emotionally Focused External link

    EFT focuses on individual emotional states (or lack thereof) as the “barometer” for the one's most important and unresolved issues. According to this form of therapy, emotions are adaptive but can become problematic. EFT works to identify core emotions and beliefs, and transform them to resolve conflict.

  • Gottman Method External link

    The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

Issues I Treat

Specialties

  • PTSD External link

    Experiences of trauma include childhood abuse or neglect, abandonment, betrayal, acute traumatic experiences, or any experience that currently impacts your ability to function fully. Your history does not define you and does not have to be a life-sentence. I work with you through brain-based, body-based, and emotion-focused approaches to heal and thrive.

  • Codependency External link

    Often we find ourselves in relationships and situations where we feel used, resentful and hurt, waiting for the other person to notice our efforts and give us the love we need. It is in these relationships we often betray our own boundaries and needs in exchange for supporting the needs of others. This cycle can leave us exhausted and hopeless. I work with you to gain insight and form new patterns of relating to finally get your needs met.

  • Body Image Issues External link

    When did we learn to hate our bodies? It's a question we explore as we process and heal the damage that has been done by society, family, or our own self-loathing. I use a Health at Every Size and Body Trust perspective to reclaim the natural wisdom and healing of the body. Whether you have struggled with food, image, or been impacted by trauma, we approach the body with a new lens that can truly turn what we thought we knew about health and wellness upside down.

Contact JESSICA

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