Phone: 604-377-5277

A telehealth service for British Columbia

Dr. Derek Swain

Registered Psychologist #1006



I have been working with young people and their families since beginning a teaching career in 1973. I began counselling in 1985 and qualified as a Registered Psychologist in 1991, one year after completing my doctorate in Counselling Psychology. In addition to private practice, my career has involved counselling assignments at Vancouver Community College, Emily Carr College, and Vancouver schools. I have been involved in the training of future counsellors and psychologists as a sessional instructor in the UBC Department of Counselling Psychology and as a clinical associate with the Clinical Psychology Department of Simon Fraser University.

From 2000-2008, I served on the board of directors of the College of Psychologists of BC and from 2009-2012 on the board of directors of the BC Psychological Association. In addition, I have served on the founding board of directors of the BC Roster of Parenting Coordinators and on the board of the Hear the Child Society. In 2011, I received the B.C.  Psychological Association's Donald Sampson Award for excellence in the teaching of psychology. I am frequently called upon by the media to comment on psychological experiences (see Vita).

My interest in counseling and psychology emerged from my involvement with high level athletes. I was the manager of the UBC Thunderbird Basketball Team from 1967-73, a team which won two national championships - 1970 & 1972. I was a manager of the Canadian Men's National Basketball Team in 1971 and, following completion of a master's degree in physical education, I represented Canada at the International Olympic Academy in Greece in 1977. My first professional career was as a physical education teacher in Canada and Australia and later as a college athletic director and basketball coach. In working with athletes and staff, I was interested in improving learning and performance. Such issues as stress,
anxiety, depression, and interpersonal dynamics have a significant impact on the performance for athletes and, of course, these issues affect the lives of others as well. Helping people deal with these common issues is a major component of my psychology practice.

My approach to counselling and therapy is typically described as humanistic with a focus on building a trusting and supportive relationship with clients in order to help them address the issues which concern them. I use an eclectic psycho-educational model of therapy, helping people to gain new awareness of themselves, others, and their circumstances along with new skills which will help them live their lives more effectively. In this manner, I largely use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy.