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Our Mission

Grove Centre’s mission as a respectful member of the community, is to support children and families within home, school and community environments in collaboration with community members by providing:

  • Therapy, counselling and skills training services to children, adolescents, parents and families;
  • Training to mental health and school professionals;
  • Supervision to mental health professionals; and
  • Consultation to mental health professionals, school staff and other community members.

Services Offered

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Therapy services for children, adolescents and families

Therapy for children, adolescents and families including play therapy, sandplay therapy, and expressive arts therapy, family therapy, parent education, parent-child therapies, adolescent addiction counselling, advocacy and collaboration with community members, and consultation.

Mental health professional with family

Professional services for mental health professionals

Training, supervision and consultation for mental health professionals. Training topics including child-centered-play therapy, advanced topics in play therapy, Filial Therapy, family therapy.

New training dates for April, 2024.

Toddlers in classroom setting

Professional services for school professionals

Training and consultation for school teachers, educational assistants, and school and district administrators. Training topics include on Relational Strategic Classroom Management.

Note about funding: Therapy services are covered by some health insurance plans and BC Autism Funding.

Areas of Expertise

Christopher has significant experience and expertise in a number of clinical areas including:

  • Mood and anxiety

  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders

  • Oppositional and conduct-disorder behaviour

  • Trauma and abuse

  • School issues

  • Parenting

  • Family issues

  • Addiction

  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

  • Autism spectrum disorders

  • Attachment

  • Parent-child relationship issues

He is known for his intensive integrative therapeutic approach that addresses serious child and family issues and often facilitates faster child and family change and longer maintenance of change over time. This approach often integrates child therapy, attachment-based strategic parent education, family therapy, and at times filial therapy.

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Therapeutic Approaches

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Why Cognitive-Based Therapies

Cognitive-based or talk-based therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) have been proven effective with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, addiction, eating disorders and others. CBT is a research- and evidenced-based approach to a number of therapeutic problems. It is helpful with reducing distress and emotional dysfunction, and improve daily functioning. It is known for creating insight that can lead to functional and behavioural change. CBT assists children and teens with understanding their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and the interaction and interrelatedness between.

Why Expressive Therapies

Play is critical to healthy child development. Play provides a child with the opportunity to learn and practice essential skills necessary for life success including problem solving, conflict-resolution, leadership, social skills, and developing emotional regulation. Play is a child’s natural way of learning about the world and expressing themselves. .

Children can often find it hard to talk about what is going on inside of them or may not be consciously aware. Play therapy allows a child to communicate their internal world and to work through difficult issues in a safe environment created by a skilled play therapist. Play therapy is often the most effective way to assist a child in understanding and expressing their feelings, increasing self-esteem, reducing problem behaviour, overcoming trauma or abuse. Play therapy is a theoretically- and evidence-based therapeutic child intervention.

Generational hands stacked on top of each other
Generational hands stacked on top of each other

Why Family Therapy

Children’s issues do not occur in isolation, they occur within the context of their environments, mostly home and school. Family relationships and interactions often impact the presence and maintenance of child issues. As such, to best understand a child and their presenting issues and thus how to help them, it is important to understand the child in context of the family. Often engaging family members in a child’s therapeutic process will lead to much faster resolution of presenting issues and enhancement of the family.

Why Filial Therapy

Parent-child attachment is critical to a child’s healthy development. Personality characteristics critical to life success are developed through healthy attachment. Emotional regulation, executive functioning, critical thinking are all dependent on healthy attachment. Often the behavioural issues that children present with are most effectively resolved by involving parents in a child’s therapeutic process and strengthening the parent-child attachment. Filial Therapy is an evidence-based short-term intervention that is cost-effective in facilitating positive and long-lasting child and family change.

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Chris Conley

Christopher Conley


Christopher Conley is a child and family therapist in clinical practice in Burnaby, British Columbia. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Counselling and Psychological Services from Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is credentialed as a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a Certified Play Therapist Supervisor with the Canadian Association for Play Therapy, and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor with the (American) Association for Play Therapy.

He is also a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and an Approved Provider of Play Therapy Continuing Education and Foundation Training with CAPT and an Approved Provider of Play Therapy Continuing Education with APT and BCPTA. He was previously credentialed as a Licensed School Counsellor in Indiana, as a Certified Addictions Counsellor in Minnesota, and as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Minnesota. Christopher is a Certified Filial Therapy Instructor and provides intensive filial therapy trainings to mental health professionals.

Christopher has over twenty-five years of clinical experience with families and children ages 18 months to 18 years. He has worked in out-patient, residential and in-home settings providing individual, group, family, filial therapy and play therapy, and parent education.

Christopher has competency in a number of areas including mood and anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, oppositional and conduct-disorder behaviour, addiction, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, autism spectrum disorders, trauma and abuse, school issues, family issues, attachment, parenting and parent-child relationship issues.

Christopher is actively involved in the professional community. He has written articles on play therapy, attachment therapy, parenting and classroom management and has conducted presentations and workshops across Canada and in Minnesota on play therapy, therapy with young children, filial therapy, parent education and classroom management. He is a board member of the International Institute for Filial Therapy Professional Education. He is a past board member of the British Columbia Play Therapy Association and the Canadian Association for Play Therapy.