Q. What is counselling?
A. Counselling is a process that helps people improve their mental, emotional, and physical health while encouraging positive relationships with self, others, and the larger community. Different counselling techniques are used to increase self-awareness, gain personal insight, broaden perspectives, reframe questions, explore beliefs and belief systems, process emotion, help us understand the purpose of our behaviour, learn new coping skills, acquire new knowledge, and more.
Q. What is your theoretical orientation?
A. I use an eclectic approach to counselling and decide on a person by person interventions and counselling strategies to use. I draw from my basis what background in Adlerian Psychology and use many modalities such as cognitive behavioural, solution-focused, emotion-focused, expressive and art therapies.
Q. What are the benefits of counselling?
A. Counselling can help a person to gain insight into oneself or others; develop a new understanding of behaviour; acquire new ways of coping with and solving problems; and help a person to change behaviour patterns.
Q. Are there any risks?
A. While there are potential benefits to counselling, success is not guaranteed and there are potential risks. Counselling may stimulate memories, evoke strong feelings, and changes in awareness may alter one’s self-perception and ways of relating to others. Some clients will feel worse before they feel better. This is especially a concern for trauma clients. A person needs to understand that therapy is a process and you can continually discuss any concerns you having with your therapist.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. My fee for the standard 50 minute counselling session is $100, which is payable by cash or cheque at the end of each session. In order to help those for whom cost is an issue, I may provide services on a sliding scale.
Q. Is the cost covered by medical?
A. If applicable, your extended health plan may cover the services of a Registered Clinical Counsellor. In some cases, fees may be income tax deductible. Receipts will be issued.
Q. What is informed consent?
A. In the BCACC’s Code of Ethical Conduct, principle #2 (Informed Consent) states: “Counsellors uphold clients’ rights to informed consent, that is the client’s full and active participation in decisions which affect them, and freedom of choice based on the information shared.” The client can also withdraw consent at any time, thus effectively ending the counselling relationship. I typically use the age of 12 to determine whether a youth can provide consent.