About the Centre

The Centre
for Expressive Therapy

Located in San Pareil near Parksville on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, the Centre for Expressive Therapy is an accredited facility offering therapy for people of all ages, as well as training in Holistic Expressive Therapy for healthcare professionals. Counselling and training can be offered in English or French.

There is nothing as powerful as the beauty of nature to soothe and heal the senses and help connect with body, soul and spirit.
Marie José Dhaese
Be one with

The therapy studio is surrounded by the island’s natural beauty, creating a soothing and nurturing environment that facilitates the healing process. It is designed to accommodate many ways of being and of expressing oneself, from quietly sitting in a comfortable chair and talking, to painting, making a sand play image, or whichever mode of self-expression the individual is drawn to. Each expressive therapy has its own area in the studio that can be gradually opened or closed depending on the client’s needs.

The large garden has become an extension of the playroom and is evolving to be a haven for people and animals alike. The Centre backs onto the Englishman River Estuary and is only a few minutes walk from the beach and forest of Rathtrevor Park.

The Centre for Expressive Therapy is wheelchair accessible and is a smoke-free and scent-free zone. Please do not wear any scented products in consideration for those suffering from environmental allergies.

Accommodation & Travel Information
Marie José

Marie José Dhaese, Ph.D. was born and educated in France. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), a Registered Art Therapist (ATR and BCATR), a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S) and a Certified Play Therapist Supervisor (CPT-S and BCPT-S). The Centre for Expressive Therapy is a continuing education provider with the Association for Play Therapy (APT provider #95-010), Canadian Association for Play Therapy (CAPT provider #09-102)

Marie José celebrates over 45 years of experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist. She is the creator of Holistic Expressive Play Therapy, a nature and animal assisted integrative approach that includes a wide variety of multisensory expressive therapies. Marie José has been teaching her approach internationally for over 35 years. She has been a frequent speaker at art therapy, play therapy, and mental health conferences throughout North America, presenting the approach and methods she has pioneered, particularly in the field of abuse, loss, and trauma.

Marie José is joined by her co-therapists—her standard poodles, Dauphin and Gisèle—who assist with counselling, training and workshops when appropriate.

Questions about Holistic Expressive Therapy?