Meet Therapist Annie Vance
MFC 40007 CA
MFT 136 HI
Annie Vance is a Marriage and Family Therapist licensed in California and Hawaii who has chosen to have her clinical practice in Lahaina Maui. She was raised and educated in the Caribbean islands and Canada, She has lived in California and previously in Hawaii.
Her Career began in Early Childhood Education, Infant Stim, Child Development, and Special Education where the importance of development in the early years was an emphasis. She owned a Preschool and a Children’s Educational Toy Store, called Teacher and Child, where the emphasis was ‘You are your Child’s First Teacher.’ She provided Educational and Creative Materials, Resources, and Workshops guiding parents and teachers to take advantage of the learning and development that takes place in a child’s first five formative years.
Later after a divorce she moved to Maui with her daughter Kristy, and produced a line of art in Watercolors, and Batik on Silk Paintings that were marketed throughout the islands as fabrics for Aloha Shirts, prints, cards and original art.
On remarriage she moved to California, where she decided to pursue a career in counseling, returning to school, doing a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and Art Therapy, followed by a Doctorate in Christian Counseling Psychology and many Specialized courses of interest found on her continuing education page. Her husband died of cancer while she was back at school. She stayed on and opened two very successful Therapy Practices in Simi Valley and Santa Barbara, California.
In mid 2017 Annie and her Therapy Dog Rio responded to the call of the island by returning to live at her place in Puamana, where she resides near the ocean. She has opened a part time practice here and creates art in her spare time as her therapy. Annie enjoys working with couples and individuals as they face life’s challenges, assisting in moving them to decrease discomfort and pain and increase pleasure, safety, security and purpose in their lives through a wide variety of tools and resources she has acquired over her almost 20 years in the field.
Roscoe was a puppy found trying to cross Roscoe Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. There was heavy traffic and this tiny puppy was wandering out into the traffic. I stopped, retrieved him and knocked on nearby doors to see if he belonged there. No one knew who he belonged to or where he came from.
Being on my way to a meeting I dropped him off at my friend Tamara’s, and asked if she would keep him in her garage in a box until the meeting was over.
She had another plan! She told me she had been wanting a puppy and asked could they keep him. I said yes, and he was theirs, a new addition to a family with a toddler. They named him T.O. for Time Out, that mom got when she would take him for a walk.
The family shortly after went on vacation to Maui and I gladly dog sat him for the week. He was adorable, no longer a tiny puppy but a tall straggly almost dog no longer cute puppy, but a wild thing with lots of energy! He spent most of his time tethered on a line under the trees in my back yard. He had bolted a couple of times across the street to the park with no regard for the traffic. He was too wild to let in except at night to feed him.
Our friendship and contact continued… then one day Tamara called to say that her husband no longer wanted him at their home, he was too wild to have around their small son. She was heartbroken. Would I take him was her next question… Without a doubt! Later that day he arrived with all his toys, leashes and gear.
I had never planned to have a dog, I had always had a Guinea Pig, Roscoe had touched my heart with his spunk and playful heart and I was open to a change.
Off we went to obedience school, he was a great student, then off to the therapy dog exam, he was a success there too. He outgrew his wild stage and has settled down to be such a loyal friend and companion.
He moved on to greet clients at the gate with his toys in hopes that he will get a chance to play tug or fetch, with them. The fun would ensue, until it was time to go in for their appointment, and he would often be there to walk them to the gate as they depart after a session with me. Gotta love him. You can almost see his smile some days! Roscoe died in 2014 after a battle with cancer at only 7 yrs old.
Rio is a rescue from Nevada. Jill Scrudato had a passion for rescuing Australian Cattle dogs also known as Heelers. One day she asked if I would be interested in adopting a Heeler… I suggested that a lab would be a better fit as a Therapy dog. The next week she called to say she had found a Lab Heeler mix and it was on its way to Simi Valley! He arrived, I immediately loved him, we have become best of buddies. He accompanied me to my Santa Barbara Office, While commuting as a puppy, he snuggled on my lap. When I decided to return to Maui, there was no question, he would accompany me so pre quarantine procedures were started and his tenure accompanying me to see my clients qualified him as an emotional support animal and Therapy dog in training. He proudly accompanied me in the cabin thanks to United Airlines, on our journey to Maui at the end of May!! He is a great alarm system here, protects me like a bodyguard, accompanies me almost everywhere and especially to the beach where he loves playing fetch. He has learned to swim out and get the tennis ball and is working on learning to catch the surf waves back in!! He loves greeting and being with people. He would be delighted to greet you!