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Frequently Asked Questions about Counselling & Therapy

What is counselling / therapy?

Counselling/Therapy provides an opportunity to understand and resolve the underlying issues that reduce your quality of life. It will allow you to explore your problems with a non-judgmental, objective listener who can assist in viewing your struggles differently and developing creative solutions.

Although therapists will not be able to solve your problems, they will be there to help and guide you through the process. During the first couple of sessions, your therapist will obtain information about the various areas of your life in order to determine the best course of treatment. Your counsellor will be knowledgeable about a wide variety of issues and able to provide services to meet your needs.

Is going to therapy weakness?

Not at all. People who ask for help, know when they need it and have the courage to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, I’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

How do I know if counselling is for me?

You may wonder whether it would be appropriate to talk about your concerns with a counsellor. Specific indicators that counselling services might be beneficial include: 

  • emotional difficulties such as sadness, anxiety, anger, etc. 

  • relationship problems 

  • difficulty sleeping 

  • recent or ongoing traumatic events

  • recent loss of a loved one

  • concerns about substance use 

  • suicidal thoughts 

  • difficulty functioning on a day-to-day basis

How does it work?

Are counselling sessions confidential?

Because each person has different issues and goals for Counselling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

Yes! I take confidentiality very seriously, and no information will be exchanged with individuals or agencies outside the therapy office unless you provide me with explicit consent to do so. 

In rare circumstances, the confidentiality policy requires unauthorized disclosure of information. Such circumstances would include when a counsellor believes the client’s life is in danger, when the safety of others is at risk, when there is suspicion of child or elder abuse, or when requested by subpoena or court order. If you have any questions or concerns about the confidentiality policy, please feel free to ask me about it.

What types of issues do you work with?

I see clients of all ages who struggle with a variety of issues. Some of these concerns include stress, anxiety, depression, abuse, relationships, grief, struggles with academic issues, anger, suicidal thoughts and self-esteem, family issues, body-image concerns, addictions, trauma, violence, and identity issues. Please note, this list is not exhaustive.

How long will I be in counselling?

The length of a session is typically fifty minutes.

As for the number of sessions, it is unfortunately not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time Therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek Therapy in the first place.

How can I get the most out of therapy?

Is there a difference between counselling and therapy?

I am so glad you are dedicated to benefitting to the greatest degree from your sessions. Your active participation and commitment  will shorten the timespan of the therapeutic process and is crucial to your success. 

It is not possible to make a generally accepted distinction between Counselling and Psychotherapy, which is why I use the terms interchangeably.

Some professionals argue that Counselling is used for more short-term issues and more solution-focused, as there is a clear issue that needs resolving. Psychotherapy on the other hand allows for you and your therapist to go more deeply into issues that continuously show up due to learned behaviours, or past events that were significant in building your perception of your sense of self and others.

Most psychotherapists, including myself, use collaborative approaches to ensure that you are heard and your needs are met. In both Counselling and Psychotherapy, you are encouraged to voice your needs.  

How do I know if my therapist is qualified?

Unfortunately the professional terms “Counsellor" and "Psychotherapist” are not yet regulated in BC. This is why it is important for a client to look for a professional designation such as CCPA’s Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC)  or BCACC’s Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC). Both ensure that their members demonstrate qualifications and adherence to a code of ethics and standard of practice, as well as requirements to update their skills regularly to maintain their certification. In order to be a member in either association you need to have a Masters in a qualifying field. 

How do I find the right therapist for me?

What is EMDR Therapy?

Searching for the right fit for you can sometimes take time. Find a counsellor or therapist who you feel comfortable with and who you feel understands your goals. Feel free to ask questions and even explain what has and hasn’t worked well for you in the past if you’re not new to counselling. Getting started is often the hardest part!

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a widely recognized, well-researched trauma-focused therapy first developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.

When we suffer traumatic experiences, we sometimes have a hard time "digesting" or "processing" this experience. This can happen when we are subjected to an extremely difficult event (such as a natural catastrophe or an accident) and/or if we suffer ongoing abuse, neglect or other long-term challenges. The disturbing memories can get stuck in the form of thoughts, images, body sensations, and emotions.  (One example of this is PTSD, where the events/experience of the trauma seem to remain trapped in time.)  EMDR helps individuals to process these experiences and be able to view them as difficult events of the past without being impacted by memories or associated triggers. If you want to know more, these videos are excellent explanations:

10 Minute Description

Short Animated Version

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