Will our counselling session be confidential?
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance in counselling and I respect your right to privacy. I am bound by the professional code of ethics of the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada to maintain confidentiality, with the exception of the following circumstances:
- When there is reported or suspected abuse of a child or dependent adult. I am obligated by law to report the abuse to authorities.
- Concern that you may seriously do harm to yourself. I am obligated to involve other parties, such as family or hospital.
- Concern that you may seriously do harm to another person. I have a duty to warn the intended victim.
- When I, or my records are subpoenaed by a court of law.
What is the counselling environment like?
My counselling office is comfortable and private. Your environment can impact your feeling of safety, so I like to ensure that you feel as safe and welcome as possible.
What if you can’t help me?
It is important that you not only find the right personality fit, but also that the therapist has the right training to help you with your particular issues. This can usually be determined within the first session. Your well-being is of the utmost importance, so if the compatibility or specialty area is not the right for you, I will happily refer you to another therapist who would provide the best match for your needs.
What if I need additional therapeutic services?
Sometimes clients would benefit from other therapeutic services in tandem with talk therapy. This could include bodywork such as Reiki or psychiatric help, group therapy, or a culturally different approach to emotional healing. In these cases, I would be glad to refer you to other trusted health practitioners within my network. This tandem approach to therapeutic counselling often serves to provide a more complete approach to your healing.
How long does therapy take?
Each session is 55 minutes long, and therapy can be short in duration (6-12 weeks) to longer (6 months to 1 year or longer). It all depends on your particular goals and issues. For example, a client who would like help with a specific phobia, or reaching a goal such as finding a new job, or grieving the loss of a pet may take a shorter period. For clients who are dealing with intense emotion surrounding past childhood abuse or recovering from addiction may take longer. Sometimes clients like to take a breather from therapy sessions, and may decide to return later. Everyone’s pace, needs, finances, and journey is different. My door is always open.
What happens during a typical therapy session?
Our first meeting will be about getting to know each other, finding out about your goals for therapy, and going over a bit of paperwork (intake form, informed consent, confidentiality, terms of service, etc.) If clients are feeling tense, I usually invite them to take a few moments to do some gentle relaxation and grounding exercises. We will then discuss the issue you came in with, and will identify, together, the best course of therapy suited to your particular goals.You will always be in control of the pace, and I will never overwhelm you with more than you can handle.
You are in no way obligated to follow the self-help techniques I suggest, or agree with anything that doesn’t feel right for you. I will help you to identify opportunities, outline some problem-solving techniques, tap into your inner resources, and celebrate your positive attributes. My goal is to help you become your “own therapist” long after our counselling sessions have ended. My job is to be a positive role model and provide consistent, reliable mentorship throughout your therapeutic journey with me.
Can you handle my problems?
If this is your first experience with therapy, you may be feeling worried that the counsellor might be shocked by what you say, not able to handle the depth of your emotions, or judge you harshly if you say something unusual. Let me reassure you that by the time therapists have finished their training and conducted many hours of therapy sessions, they have been exposed to all kinds of personal struggles and emotionally intense moments.
We are trained to deal with many different situations.Good counsellors regularly engage in self-care, part of which involves seeing our own therapists and dealing with whatever issues we have so it doesn’t interfere with our work. Ideally, we are genuinely empathetic people who are passionate about helping others. So when we are in session, the focus is all about listening non-judgmentally to you, and collaborating together to find the best solutions that will work for you.
I would be happy to answer any questions you have. Contact me anytime.