About

Megan Vandersluys

Traditionally, this space has been used to detail one’s education, training, work history in order to let you know that I’m qualified to do what I do! But, after 10 years in the field, I’ve learned that all the degrees and workshops and training’s can’t teach a counsellor the number one most important skill of counselling – and that’s the relationship that grows between counsellor and client. No matter the counselling approach, success depends on having a good fit between us. So let me tell you a bit about who I am and who I help.

I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2003 from the University of Victoria. After a year teaching in South Korea, I returned back to the island and started my Master’s of Education degree in Counselling Psychology again with the University (I heart Victoria!). After completing my Master’s degree, I worked for various agencies in Nanaimo, from being a Youth at Risk worker with teens, a counsellor in a Parent – Teen conflict program, a Mental Health Outreach counsellor for children and teens involved with Child and Youth Mental Health, and then as a Mental Health Clinician with MCFD. I also had a small private practice where I saw clients through their Employee Assistance Program.

After having my first child in 2013, I decided I wanted to spend more time at home with my baby and left my position at mental health. I then had my second child in 2015. Now that they’re a bit older, I’ve decided that I want to focus on providing counselling services for children and youth as well as step and blended families.

I have two step children, and as a step parent, I know there are many challenges that come from the dynamics of remarriage, half siblings, step kids, ex spouses plus court and all the other stressors. It has a life of it’s own! Because I recognized these challenges in my own family unit, I sought out specialized training in this area. I went to New York City to the Step Family Foundation that has specialized in training and counselling Step Families for over 30 years. I am now a Certified Step Family Counsellor by the Step Family Foundation and love that I have more tools in my tool belt to assist families facing challenges in their own step and blended family situation.

I love to help children and families in transition, whether you’re in the process of separating, divorcing or blending a family, change is afoot. I’m part of a blended family too. And there’s always something new that develops that we hadn’t thought of and sometimes I too feel like I’m scrambling to respond. Situations come up that you have to address, and you’re not sure of how to proceed. You’re worried about messing things up again, or starting things off on the wrong foot. You’re not sure if you’re making a big deal or not a big enough deal out of things! What do I say when this happens? How do I respond to this? Do I let the kids know? Who is supposed to do what? Do I say something or the other parent? Do I stay quiet? Blending a family is not like gently swirling paint colors in a pot, I think it’s more like putting all the frozen fruit in the blender and hitting power level 10! It’s pretty intense, overwhelming and a lot of emotions get stirred up.

In addition to helping step-families, I love to help kids that are having worries that are too big to manage. They’re not enjoying activities (if you can even get them to go to one) and any family outing is rife with worry about how they’re going to handle it. How do you even go about carving some time out for activities and family time plus some ‘YOU time’ when your child is having meltdowns, tantrums and refusing to go anywhere without you. Play-date’s are a far off dream right now, as you worry about judgment from other parents as well as how your child is going to cope with a new place. You worry that they’re not socializing and can’t even imagine how you’re going to tackle getting to school when you can’t even get out the door. Maybe they’re shut down, or they’re having meltdowns of an epic proportion; one thing for certain is that something has to change.

As a parent of young children too, I find that in this culture of Pinterest perfect parties; happy, positive Facebook feeds of the perfect family pics, and culture of parent judgment and shaming, I know it’s hard! The anxiety that comes with trying to just get through the day to day of parenting and life, when you’re constantly seeing images of other moms, kids and families who seem to have it all together, can be so overwhelming that you don’t even want to bother getting out of the comfy pants. You know that things can’t continue on like this, but you don’t know where to turn and what to do. Parenting groups may have been suggested to you, but your child clings to you and you can’t get a sitter. Well meaning family members all have differing opinions of what you should be doing and you’re so tired of being told what you should be doing. Add co-parenting or step parenting dynamics to this, and it feels like it’s all too much.

So let me help you turn down the noise when you’re feeling like you’re going to lose your temper on the next person who suggests changing your child’s diet or giving them a ‘time in’ to fix things!

A rundown of my work history and education:

Member in good standing with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association
Blossom Tree Counselling
October 2017
Maternity Leave
October 2013 – September 2017
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Child & Youth Mental Health Clinician: 2010 – 2013
NARSF Programs
Living in Families with Teens Parent Teen Conflict Program Counsellor: 2009 – 2010
Mental Health Outreach Counsellor For Children & Youth: 2008 – 2010
Ladysmith Resources Association
Youth at Risk Counsellor: 2007 – 2008
The Step Family Foundation
Step Family Certified Counsellor: 2017
Justice Institute of BC
Certificate in Expressive Play Therapy: 2017
University of Victoria
Masters of Education, Counselling Psychology: 2007
University of Victoria
Bachelors of Education, Major in Psychology: 2003


megan@blossomtreecounselling.com
(250) 714-1641

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