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Ashley Shankar 


Registered Clinical Social Worker


British Columbia #13783

Alberta #17958

Ontario #846786

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As a settler, I acknowledge with gratitude and respect that I live and work on the unceded homelands of the Coast Salish nations, including the territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoplesI’m a cis South Asian woman.  I am privileged to have worked extensively in community mental health settings for over 10 years. I work with individuals (19+) and couples using a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and compassion focused approach. I am registered with the British Columbia College of Social Workers as a Registered Clinical Social Worker (#13783) in good standing and am a member of the BC Association of Social Workers. I hold a master's in Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University.  

It takes courage to reach out and connect with someone unknown to talk about feelings and emotions. Facing mental health challenges alone can be overwhelming and isolating.  We all need someone in our corner as we take steps towards healing. I support individuals to understand their thoughts and emotions, and discover how family and other significant relationships have influenced their inner worlds.  When we fully acknowledge and experience what is happening in the moment, we can maintain a stronger sense of self and control over our lives.


Relationship issues are among the most stressful conditions people face. The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. For these reasons, I help couples who are stuck in repetitive cycles of conflict and a lack of intimacy to repair even the deepest wounds to reconnect fully.

I offer individual and relationship therapy with a wide range of therapeutic approaches including:

  • Internal Family System Therapy (IFS)

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Observational and Experiential Integration (OEI)

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Having worked my entire professional life in the helping field, I’ve had the privilege of sitting with people in their most vulnerable moments to offer support, compassion, and more effective ways to move through life's challenges. I am able to adapt my approach based on your needs and foster comfort through offering non-judgement and steady encouragement. My clients describe me as warm, easy to relate to, trusting, and reliable. These qualities allow my clients to feel safe, heard, and respected.


Investing in my own mental health have afforded me the opportunity to experience first hand the growth that is possible. Therapy has taught me how to be the most authentic version of myself by digging deep into my limiting beliefs and arriving at a place of self acceptance.

What Is an RCSW?

Scope of Practice:

I am a Registered Clinical Social Worker. The British Columbia College of Social Workers (BCCSW) offers two main classes of registration: The Registered Social Worker (RSW) and the Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW). Indeed, RCSW is a separate class of the registered social worker designation, which recognizes advanced psychotherapy practice skills, training, and supervision. By law, the term “clinical social worker” can only be used by those who have met the BCCSW’s rigorous requirements to register as a clinical social worker.


To qualify to become an RCSW, the following additional minimum requirements must be met:

  • Graduation with a Master of Social Work degree from an accredited and approved university;

  • Proof of course work in three areas of study: Human Development and Behaviour, Assessment and Diagnosis (DSM), and Psychotherapy and Clinical Practice;

  • Evidence of 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised clinical social work experience;

  • Passing the comprehensive Association of Social Work Boards North American clinical exam.

This advanced designation, in turn, allows RCSW's to practice “clinical social work”, which means the application of Bylaw 42(1):

(a) social work knowledge and theories; and
(b) the independent use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association, in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders and conditions, for the sole purpose of providing advanced intervention to enhance personal, interpersonal and social functioning.

RCSW's are authorized in the province of British Columbia to use and apply the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

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