About: Dave Vass (MA, RCC, RTC)
I have been in the therapeutic field since 2013. I am a registered therapeutic counsellor, #2182, through ACCT (Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada) since 2016, and recently became a registered clinical counsellor, #16628, through BCACC (British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors)
My Background and Interests
Before pursuing counselling as a career, I was completing a Masters of Urban Studies program at SFU, fascinated by how thoughtfully planned infrastructure can facilitate healthier lifestyles. Halfway through the program, my interests became more personal, as I recognized the importance of attending to one’s inner life as paramount for establishing a more connected society. An opportunity to put my studies on hold and volunteer at a wellness center in Costa Rica came up, and I jumped at it. That year turned into a staff position as a full-time group and one-on-one facilitator, leading to two more years working abroad before coming back to Vancouver.
While deeply grateful for the experiences, I began to appreciate the necessity for multiple approaches to work with each client. Being a firm believer in continual personal work and self-inquiry, I am continually looking for more ways to promote deeper connections that inspire an integrated life. A recent graduate of my Masters in Counselling at CityU, my passion for this profession is expanding daily with my desire to grow as a therapist and fellow citizen, knowing that our interests are shared and mutually reinforcing.
* Clinical areas of interest include: trauma; dissociation; chronic pain; stress and mind/body connection; men’s issues; identity issues; couples work; anxiety; depression; life transitions
Clinical Areas of Interest
* Men’s Issues: Having researched and written my thesis on current concepts of masculinity and its impact on help-seeking, and perhaps more importantly, from being a man myself, I understand the complex pressures that men face in today’s society. In seeking to uphold the traditional ideals of manhood--based on radical independence, emotional repression, and dismissing health concerns—we isolate ourselves from our most primal sources of connection and vitality. This is a real issue that affects all men to some degree but oftentimes goes unspoken. Creating a space for men to confront their conditioning and find more honest ways of being is a source of my most meaningful work.
-> a copy of the complete thesis on the topic can be found here:
* Chronic Pain: Addressing chronic pain from a mind-body perspective is another passionate area of interest for me, based on my own history of dealing with somatic complaints that were not getting resolved through the typical medical routes of recovery. Fortunately more attention is being given to this growing epidemic, resulting in a number of evidence-based psychological treatment approaches that have proven to be effective with this population. I have incorporated a number of the techniques of these approaches into my personal practice.
* Trauma/Complex Trauma: "Trauma is a fact of life, but it doesn't have to be a life sentence" ~ Peter Levine Ph.D
Every life has been affected by trauma--whether it be acute trauma (singular incident: ie. a big fall as a child, a car accident) or complex (ongoing over time: physical/emotional abuse or neglect by parent, peer, or spouse). These events are traumatic in the sense that they were overwhelming experiences that exceeded our capacity to cope, and as a result, the unprocessed material gets stuck and stored in our bodies. This 'freeze' response can wreak havoc on our nervous system, leaving us feeling either constantly numb, agitated, or fluctuating between the two. As the quote above declares, these symptoms can be treated, through accessing our body's innate healing abilities backed by the latest development in neuroscience, so that you can begin to re-experience a felt sense of safety and aliveness.
* Certificate in Treating Complex Trauma with Internal Family Systems (06/02/2019)
* Multigenerational Trauma: Healing the Past to Heal the Present (10/06/2019)
What does Connect-IN Counselling offer?
TRAUMA TRANSFORMATION - we humans are social creatures, and thrive when we are in connection with others. Trauma severs us from our felt-sense experience, creating a ripple effect that negatively impacts all areas of our lives. To heal this requires approaches that attend to both the body and the mind.
* Gain insight into beliefs/narratives which are limiting your potential * Discover ways to tune into the body that addresses symptoms and fosters resiliency * Develop a more conducive relationship with your thoughts and emotions * Reawaken a felt sense of safety and aliveness * Come home to yourself, and reignite that drive to explore.
To learn more about what Connect-IN Counselling can offer you, Click Here: