Dr. Vanessa Lapointe, R. Psych

Dr. Vanessa Lapointe - Registered Psychologist #1856
Clinic Founder
Clinic Founder: Dr. Vanessa Lapointe - Registered Psychologist #1856

Dr. Vanessa Lapointe is an author, parenting expert, and registered psychologist (British Columbia #1856) who has been supporting families and children for more than fifteen years. Author of Discipline without Damage: How to get your kids to behave without messing them up, a regularly invited media guest and contributor, educator and speaker, a Huffington Post Parent blogger, and a consultant to research projects and various organizations promoting emotional health and development, Dr. Vanessa is known for bringing a sense of nurturing understanding and humanity to all of her work. The founder of The Wishing Star Lapointe Developmental Clinic, Dr. Vanessa continues to work in her private practice at The Wishing Star, and has previous experience in a variety of settings, including the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development and the school system. Dr. Vanessa’s passion is in walking alongside parents, teachers, care providers, and other big people to really see the world through the child’s eyes. She believes that if we can do this, we are beautifully positioned to grow up our children in the best possible way. As a mother to 2 growing children, Dr. Vanessa strives not only professionally, but also personally, to view the world through the child’s eyes.

Dr. Vanessa is pleased to provide service and support in the following areas:

Psychoeducational Assessments
Dr. Vanessa is a trained school psychologist, having completed a School Psychology PhD at the University of British Columbia. She has expertise in the area of psychoeducational assessment and is passionate about working with children and educators from a strengths-based, family-centered perspective to ensure that children are optimally understood and supported in their educational endeavors. Although Dr. Vanessa takes a rigorous approach to understanding the cognitive and academic components of a student’s school experiences, she also believes that a student’s emotional health and well-being is pivotal to school success. Dr. Vanessa works to incorporate this belief into the well-rounded psychoeducational assessments that The Wishing Star Lapointe Developmental Clinic is known for.

Infant Mental Health Expertise
Dr. Vanessa had the pivotal and career defining experience of completing a placement with the BC Infant Development Program as a doctoral student. She was also fortunate to have completed her doctoral coursework during a time in which opportunities for early childhood specialization abounded. This led to Dr. Vanessa accepting a doctoral residency as an Infant Mental Health Clinician in a community mental health setting. She has since been actively involved in ongoing training in this area, including being an invited professor as part of York University’s delivery of an Infant Mental Health Certification program in British Columbia. Dr. Vanessa continues to be enthusiastically involved in the provincial early childhood community. She also works directly at The Wishing Star with young children (0-8 years) and their parents, supporting the deepening of relationships and reconnecting parents to the joy of their children.

Counselling & Consultation
Dr. Vanessa brings warmth and humanity to her counselling work with children across the developmental span, from infancy to early childhood through to adolescence, and their parents. Her clients may be experiencing a wide range of challenges, including difficulties in the parent-child relationship, parent/family empowerment, symptoms of anxiety or depression, and behavioral difficulties. Dr. Vanessa’s approach to counselling is one that cherishes the attachment ties that bring families closer together. She believes that children need to come to “rest” in the nurturing embrace of the parent-child relationship. Dr. Vanessa is trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches, including play therapy, talk therapy, and parent consultation to help families and children.

Dr. Vanessa enjoys presenting workshops to a wide range of professionals and parents throughout Canada. Dr. Vanessa cherishes the opportunity to collaborate with educators, childcare providers, early interventionists, mental health clinicians, and other professionals supporting children in the delivery of a variety of workshops. All of Dr. Vanessa’s workshops have at their core a focus on encouraging hope, nurturing resiliency, and awakening a collective drive for professionals and parents to be the best they can be for our children.

Photographs provided by Lindsay Faber