Frequently Asked Questions
What is counselling?
Counselling is a mental health support that involves your meeting with (or talking with) a professional counsellor about personal concerns or issues that are getting in the way of your life, your relationships, or your overall wellbeing. Counselling provides a safe, supportive and confidential place to explore the ‘why’ behind some behaviours or ways of thinking that may be holding you back, creating distress, or strong emotional reactions – and to talk about what’s going on, and getting more perspective on what to do/how to respond. Counselling is not about coming to an ‘expert’ for answers – it’s about coming to your own solution(s) in the caring, non-judgemental, collaborative space of a therapeutic conversation with a therapist.
How do I know I need counselling?
From time to time, everyone runs up against a difficult life situation, an unexpected or challenging event, or a tough decision to make. Sometimes, experiences of abuse or trauma from childhood or past occurrences surface, or are triggered, causing significant distress in the present (work, relationships, or day-to-day life). Other times, life transitions seem overwhelming or it may seem you’ve exhausted or run out of ideas for coping/resources/tools to manage life stressors. While some concerns could well feel like ‘life-or-death’ crises, counselling can also help with many other questions and personal issues as well. A counsellor can offer a sounding board, additional perspective, resources, emotional support, and training/techniques in a very wide range of areas (i.e., relaxation, anger management, parenting, communication, relationships, etc.).
What happens in a typical counselling session?
Your counselling session is a 50-minute confidential, therapeutic conversation. Your concerns and your needs determine the agenda – you will decide how counselling can be helpful for you. Together, we’ll explore the concern you raise, your emotions and thoughts about what’s happened (or is happening), what you’ve already tried to resolve things – or where you’re getting/feeling ‘stuck’ – and then collaborate on what’s needed, alternatives or options, skills or techniques you may benefit from learning, resources or additional information that might be beneficial, and possibly new insights that open up space for change.
How will I know I am ready to end counselling?
Life very seldom runs always smoothly, just as yours is unlikely to happen without incident or concern. In counselling, you’ll learn and practice ways to examine your own thoughts and behaviours – and ways to explore new or more helpful responses. You’ll learn or develop new habits of thinking or relaxation or coping – healthy ways of responding to the inevitable ‘bumps’ in life that will help you change some things . . . or accept some things . We’ll talk about what you’ve learned, and next steps, and how you will continue checking in with yourself after counselling to stay on track. Many clients benefit from occasional check-ins with a counsellor after initial concerns that brought them into counselling have been resolved (or better managed), and many clients return from time to time to talk things through when a new problem or situation arises that feels hard to manage on their own, or where a professional support might again lend additional perspective.
What happens in the 15-minute consultation?
The 15-minute consultation is a ‘meet and greet’ opportunity for you and me to talk together and get to know each other a bit more. It’s a chance to ask questions about counselling, treatment options I may provide or therapeutic approaches that might be utilized in your counselling. It is not a counselling session. The brief, no-cost consult provides a more personal interaction to help you decide if counselling with me is the best fit for you, and to schedule a counselling appointment if you wish.
What is the cost of counselling?
50-minute session (individual or couple) – $200
Longer sessions prorated in 15-minute segments