FAQ

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions

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About Counselling

If you are anxious, feel trapped by overthinking, are grief-stricken or depressed, struggling with low self-esteem, stuck in unfulfilling relationships, engaged in self-defeating behaviours, or overwhelmed by stress or life events that seem beyond your control,  counselling can help you overcome personal hurdles, create resilience, and help you find the path to the life you want.

Many expect that success, motivation and the skills needed to maneuver all of life’s obstacles are automatically within all of us. What happens though when you’ve learned ineffective methods of communicating, developed problematic patterns, or find yourself stuck among options?

Counselling can help! By providing individuals a dedicated time to examine patterns, build skills, and develop a deeper understanding of one’s strengths, and how to use them, people can become more effective in their lives. They can feel competent managing stressors and pain, create resilience, adapt to life’s never-ending uncertainty, and find the motivation to overcome personal hurdles and reach their goals.

Seeking out counselling is an individual choice, and there are many reasons why people start.  Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing emotional issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one’s life such as relationship stress, loss or work transition. Many seek the guidance of a counsellor as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a counsellor can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. A counsellor can help you address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, relationship concerns, and general life transitions. Counselling is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.

As each person’s needs are different and counselling is tailored to your needs, this is discussed individually with clients. I will likely recommend weekly or bi-weekly sessions at the beginning to establish a working relationship. Sometimes issues you are facing will be resolved in a shorter amount of time (6-12 sessions), while others require longer-term, more in-depth work. It is always your choice whether you want to continue, and the eventual goal is to have you functioning well without counselling.

During therapy sessions it is standard to talk about the primary issues and concerns in your life. I will help you develop a deeper understanding of past and current emotional issues and outline the sources of your concern and help you identify patterns of unhelpful thoughts. You can expect to review emotions, thoughts, and beliefs to gain insight into your present-day challenges and to evaluate the patterns you have developed over time. Recognizing recurring patterns helps people see the ways in which they avoid distress or develop defense mechanisms as a method of coping so that you can take steps to change those patterns.

Confidentiality is an ethical responsibility of all counsellors and mental health practitioners. In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all conversations between client and clinician.  Information about your work with your counsellor is not shared with anyone else without your written consent. Even the fact that you are attending counselling will remain confidential. If you happen to see me in the community, I will not greet you unless you greet me first.

The only thing that takes precedence over confidentiality is safety, meaning there are limits to confidentiality where your therapist has a legal obligation to report to the appropriate authorities, which include:

  1. Intent to harm one’s self or others,
  2. Risk of harm to children and/or dependents,
  3. If your counsellor receives a court order for your clinical records or to testify.

When appropriate, I may consult with other mental health professionals and engage in clinical supervision in order to provide you with the best possible service. When discussing aspects of your case in supervision or consultation, every effort will be made to exclude information that could identify you in order to protect your privacy.

Individual therapy focuses on the emotional experience of your life. We examine how relationships, all your relationships -to self, family, friends, culture, environment, and so on- and how they have worked toward shaping who you are. By establishing an awareness of the context you live within, specifically the different systems you are a part of, a clearer perspective can be gained.

Once a clearer perspective is established, we collaboratively start creating healthier ways to relate to yourself individually, and as result to others around you. The core to all the work is the way you first relate to yourself.

  • Developing new skills for handling stress and anxiety,
  • Modifying unhealthy behaviour and long-standing patterns,
  • Attaining insight into personal patterns and behaviour
  • Increasing confidence, peace, vitality, and well-being
  • Improving ways to manage anger, depression and moods
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems
  • Navigating life’s obstacles more effectively
  • Improving listening and communication skills
  • Developing new ways of relating to self and others
  • Revitalized relationships and increased intimacy
  • Enhancing the overall quality of life

About Working With Me

I am currently a student counsellor accessing regular and ongoing consultation with a supervisor. Counselling supervision involves frequent sessions with a Master Level Therapeutic Counsellor (MTC) to enhance the quality of service provided and contribute to continued professional development and support. Please be assured that your personal information will remain confidential within the supervisory relationship. I am a student member of the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada.

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