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Centre For Expressive Therapy
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Centre For Expressive Therapy

Welcome to The Centre For Expressive Therapy, a place of retreat for those seeking healing and personal growth, a place of learning and rejuvenating for health care professionals. 

The Centre for Expressive Therapy was founded in 1990 by Marie-José Dhaese to provide counselling and psychotherapy for children, youth and adults as well as training for health care professionals in a setting that reflects and supports her approach to healing (Holistic Expressive Therapy) and the methods she has developed as a result.
Centre for Expressive Therapy

Just as every seed has within it a germ that holds the capacity and drive to grow toward the light and to become whatever plant is coded within its genes, it is my view that all human beings are born with the possibility and drive to not only survive, but to grow, flourish, and be whole.

Marie-José Dhaese


NEW Online Video Presentation
"The Art and Science Of Holistic Expressive Play Therapy,
 an Integrative Approach to Healing Complex Trauma"


Holistic Expressive Therapy is an integrative approach that takes into consideration the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs of the client.

It was developed by Marie-José Dhaese to help individuals of all ages to cope with their challenges and to also learn and grow from them. In a warm, nurturing atmosphere that speaks to all the senses, Marie-José creatively integrates:

• verbal counselling
• imagery and visualization
• art therapy
• play therapy
• sand play therapy
• story telling
• writing
• music
• movement
• photography
• sewing
• fibre arts
• family of origin work

    The Centre for Expressive Therapy

Marie-José's initial emphasis is on helping clients connect to their own inner strengths and resources, before engaging in a deeper exploration of the issues that bring them to therapy. The therapeutic methods used during the course of therapy are carefully chosen according to age, natural inclination and life circumstances to meet the unique needs of each client. The result is an increase in confidence, strength, creativity and energy to meet life's challenges.

The Benefits Of Holistic Expressive Therapy

Holistic Expressive Therapy has proven to be particularly helpful to children and adults experiencing the consequences of a variety of stresses and difficult experiences including:

• Abuse (emotional, physical, sexual)
• Accidents, illness and hospitalization
• Attachment issues, foster care, adoption
• Autism spectrum
• Chronic pain
• Grief, loss, bereavement
• Life transitions (moves, employment change,
    menopause, retirement etc…)
• Physical or mental challenges
• Separation and divorce
• Spiritual crisis
• Stress in the workplace
• Traumas of all types
• Withdrawn, overactive, controlling or
    aggressive behaviour

Marie Jose Dhaese and Dauphin at the Centre For Expressive Therapy in Parksville
Expressive Therapy can address a variety of symptoms such as:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Fears
• Sleeping problems


Marie-José's co-therapist animal companion Dauphin assists both in the teaching and the therapy whenever his presence is thought to be helpful. Since 1980, Marie-José has had standard poodles co-therapists and has witnessed over and again, how they have brought soothing, comfort, reassurance and eased the distress of adults and children alike.

This holistic and integrative approach to psychotherapy / counselling is highly effective in promoting healing for those experiencing:

• Chronic pain
• Physical or mental challenges
• Spiritual crisis


Counselling is available for individuals of all ages.

Please click here for information on Counselling Services

Counselling options include:

Counselling for Adults

Counselling for Children

Healing Retreats

Therapy for Therapists


The Centre for Expressive Therapy is an accredited facility offering unique learning opportunities that may earn professionals credit toward their educational goals (registration as a play therapist with BCPTA, certification as a child and play therapist with CAPT). The small size of the workshops (8 participants maximum) allows for safe, intensive and individualized learning. Workshops, consultation and personal/professional development are available for those in the helping professions, including:

Adult and Child Therapists
Family doctors & specialists
Foster parents

Social workers

Please click here for information on Training offered

Training options include:

Intensive seminars

Individualized Seminars

Personal/Professional Development Retreats

Consultation and Supervision

Workshops in Other Locations

Please click here for further information on Services for Therapists offered at the Centre.

Training and counselling can be conducted in French or in English.

Site Map

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     Contact the Centre For Expressive Therapy

Marie-Josť Dhaese Ph.D., RCC, ATR, RPT-S, CPT-S
Phone: (250) 248-1290
  Email: mariejosedhaese@gmail.com
846 San Malo Crescent
Parksville, British Columbia
V9P 1S5