Peter Vaughan

Peter's approach to therapy is direct, relevant and comprehensive. He works with couples, individuals, families and family businesses.

In his work with couples, Peter specializes in Gottman Method Therapy, where he is the first Canadian to be certified by Drs' John and Julie Gottman. Prior to founding West Vancouver Therapy, Peter's career in therapy, coaching and team leadership spans three decades. Since 1990 Peter has also been leading workshops for couples and providing training and supervision for professionals.

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Peter's Therapy Approach

Peter's style is direct, reality-focused and comprehensive in addressing the personal and interpersonal facets of your life which help or hinder your success in relationships and living.

The therapy that he practices is grounded in sound theory and research about individuals, couples, and families. Peter works to make his input stimulating and definitely not "cookie cutter" advice; it is tailor made to fit your world, with immediate application and value.

Peter is committed to Gottman Method Therapy (www.gottman.com) because it delivers tested and sustainable benefits to relationships. As well, he has practiced Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (www.eft.ca), cognitive therapy, and structural family therapy for over two decades.

Peters View of Couples Therapy

Couples therapy is designed around the hopes and challenges of each client couple.

The first step in our works will be to decide together on why we're meeting, what we are hoping to accomplish and how we plan to do that. During this goal setting my job is to help you to say everything we need to know, ensuring our goals are relevant and realistic. I may also give you some questionnaires to help identify your relationship's strengths and challenges.

The remainder of the therapy will be informed and directed by this assessment step. It may be that your friendship and affection is strong, but you are poor at problem solving, and arguing too much. If so, that's our focus. It may be that the years have taken a toll on your connection. Or you may be in the middle of a crisis caused by something outside of your control (health, financial losses, job crises). Or maybe there is a crisis caused by a violation of trust or fidelity within your relationship. My role is to support, inform, guide and coach you as you reach for sustainable solutions to your greatest concerns.

Our time together will also help you to rediscover and enjoy the parts of your relationship that really work well. Although it may be the challenges in your relationship that brings you to counseling, reflecting on the good things, smiling or even laughing together is not unusual.

Peters View of Individual Therapy

My goal is to help you get "outside the box" which has captured or restrained you from reaching your hopes and aspirations. I like an approach that balances your desire to change with the reality that some changes are "easier said than done. Individual therapy attempts to be a concentrated version of healthy living, providing just the right mix of support and challenge as you reach for your goals.

It is very important to establish some way of measuring progress and success in individual counseling. Although I will certainly help you establish these guidelines for our work, you are the boss. In that sense, I am guided by your best interests; bringing perspective, experience, information and strategies for change to the table.

Warning: It is possible to find some lightness and humor to most personal challenges. Having said that, if you weren't facing some pretty important and serious concerns, we wouldn't be meeting.

Peter's View of Family Therapy with Teens

Your family with teenagers… Suddenly there is a lot on the line. As parents, (my kids are 25, 23, and 19) we all fluctuate between times of gratefulness for the amazing blessing that our children bring into our lives and the fear that our offspring are doomed to make themselves miserable and take us down with them.

In the midst of the best and the worst of my family life with teens sits family therapy. The goal is simple: An honest, respectful dialogue about parents' fears and hopes for their teens and the young adults' rights and responsibilities. As everyone approaches "launch date", the parents are attempting the right balance between tough love & expectations and a safety net. The teens are reaching for the right balance between being their own boss and respecting the love and wisdom of their older family members.

Remember that bumper sticker, "Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your kids!" There is no doubt that the ride can be wild. But hang on to your hats and your hearts. There almost always is a path forward to the successful launch of a young adult while also allowing family relationships to be preserved. Sometimes parents are interested in coming to sessions without their teen, hoping for some perspective or support during this challenging chapter in family life. This is a great idea. Sometimes, teens want to talk to an adult outside the family, also hoping for some perspective or support. This can be very helpful to the family and the teen.

Gottman Method Couples Therapy

Gottman Method Therapy (GMT) is based on the ground-breaking and scientifically rigorous research of Dr. John Gottman (www.gottman.com/speakers/john_gottman).

His 35 years of studying the relationships reveal the secrets of success practiced by the couples he referred to as "masters of marriage". These marriages not only survive, they also thrive through good and bad times. Gottman also discovered the predictable and often preventable habits that plagued the "disasters of marriage". He has authored forty books and 200 articles on his findings, including the New York Times' bestseller "The Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work".

One of Gottman's most significant breakthroughs was integrating his research findings with the theory and practice of couple's therapy. This led to the founding of The Gottman Institute by Drs. John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman. Following the demonstrated success of this unique blending of therapy and science, The Gottman Institute invited therapists from across North America to apply for training and undergo an extensive certification process. Peter Vaughan was the first Certified Gottman therapist outside of the USA.

More Information about Peter

Peter is the principal of West Vancouver Therapy, co-founder of TGIM Group Inc. and Greater Vancouver Therapy Inc. and previous Executive Director of Burnaby Counseling Group. Peter was pleased to be the first therapist outside the USA to be certified in Gottman Method Therapy. He is also a certified Gottman Couples Workshop leader and was the first Canadian to present Gottman's two day professional workshop, "Marital Therapy: A Research Based Approach". He has provided therapy and workshops to individuals, couples and families since 1982; and consultation and training to groups and organizations since 1990. Peter's M.A. in counseling psychology specialized in systemic theory and practice. He is a Registered Clinical Counselor and a Registered Social Worker in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

Peter also specializes in providing executive coaching to leaders in both the corporate and non-profit sectors and to professionals. Peter believes that the Gottman Institute's research into relationships is highly relevant to corporate and organizational health. With a special interest in assisting family businesses, he is a past member of the Professional Advisory Committee of UBC's Business Families Centre. Peter and his wife Drusilla have been vigorously married for 30 years, and have two daughters (25 & 23) and a son (19).

Workshops for Couples

Peter has been leading workshops for couples since 1986, mostly using material which he personally authored and created. Since 2006 his interest in couple's workshops has focused on helping couples to access and benefit from the ground-breaking research of Dr. John Gottman.

Gottman's 35 years of studying relationships reveal the secrets of success practiced by the couples he refers to as as "masters of marriage". These marriages not only survive, they also thrive through good and bad times. Gottman also discovered the predictable and often preventable habits that plagued the "disasters of marriage". He has authored forty books and 200 articles on his findings, including the New York Times' bestseller "The Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work".

Peter will bring Gottman's research alive with stories from his own marriage of 29 years, enhanced by PowerPoint slides and short clips from Hollywood movies and TV advertisements.

Family Businesses

Peter has provided over 28,000 hours of therapy to families, individuals and couples since 1982; as well as ongoing and extensive consultation, coaching and training to professionals, family groups, businesses and organizations since 1990.

With a special interest in assisting family businesses, Peter’s M.A. in counselling psychology specialized in systemic theory and practice. In his work with business families, Peter is informed by the pioneering work of Dr. Salvador Minuchin (Structural Family Therapy), and the Gottman Institute’s world-class research & work on family life and relationships. Peter is a past member of the Professional Advisory Committee of UBC’s Business Families Centre, Sauder School of Business.

Therapy Approach With Business Families

Peter’s approach is highly relevant to the most common relationship issues facing business families including:

  • Confidentiality & communication issues
  • Multi-generational dynamics
  • Productive conflict management
  • Building functional alliances while addressing dysfunctional triangulation
  • Helping the family to heal and trust following destructive encounters
  • Coaching in emotional intelligence (E.Q.)
  • Encouraging & exploring the younger generation’s leadership potential
  • Appropriately integrating the perspectives of all family members
  • Respecting the founding or older generation as mentors and leaders
  • Understanding and honoring the family’s unique history & culture

Peter’s style is direct, reality-focused, and comprehensive in addressing the personal and interpersonal factors that help or hinder success in relationships and living. The therapy that he practices is grounded in sound theory and research about individuals, couples, and families. Peter works to make his input stimulating and definitely not “cookie cutter” advice; it is tailor-made to fit each family’s world, with immediate application and value. Service may be delivered individuals, sibling groups, whole family gatherings, or key couples.

Peter Vaughan’s Terms of Engagement with business families are available upon request.

Collaboration With Family Business Advisors

Business families are both quite unique and very ordinary. In their uniqueness, they often require specialized assistance in areas such as vision & mission development, succession planning, leadership coaching, ownership and management issues, and trustee/beneficiary relationships. Business families are ordinary because they are still families, with all the hopes, challenges and resources that lie at the core of relational dynamics. These dynamics are understandably magnified when interacting with shared business, financial and lifestyle interests.

The art of working with business families is found in successfully addressing both the unique and the ordinary aspects of their world. It is Peter’s view that this success requires the skillful and coordinated collaboration between the family therapist and the family business advisor.

Peter enjoys collaboration with several advisors with specialized training and experience. This ensures that “family” receives as much attention as “business”, which is what this work is all about. See the advisor profiles below.

David Bentall

Client Testimonials

Client testimonials from Peter Vaughan’s coaching & training services are available at www.tgimgroup.com/alumni.html

Family therapy references are unavailable due to the confidential nature of this service.

 

WVT