How does counselling work?
People seek counselling for a variety of reasons; often when struggling with difficult emotions or behaviors, in times of life transition or loss, when relationships are not working well, and when dealing with overwhelming experiences. Counselling may address current challenges as well as long-standing issues. Because early life experiences are influential in the way we understand and relate to the world, counselling may involve exploring unresolved issues from the past if they have led to difficulties in your present life. Most of the emphasis in counselling is on the here and now.
You choose what you want to work on. I will suggest therapeutic approaches that are effective in working through those issues.
Counselling provides you the opportunity to talk openly and confidentially about your thoughts and feelings in a non-judgmental setting. Sessions are typically 60 minutes in duration ranging in frequency depending on your needs and situation. Assessments, interventions, and homework are used as needed and agreed on.
I believe you are the expert on your life. Therefore, I will not tell you what to do. At times I will teach you skills and give you information and resources to help you in your decision making. I will support you and compassionately help you throughout the process of counselling. My goal is to help you to face the challenge you came to counselling with, in the future without my intervention. However, many of my clients return for further sessions as needed to care for their mental health on an ongoing basis. Many clients also enjoy regular sessions for their personal growth.
What happens in the first session?
In the first session I will gather some basic information about you and answer any questions or concerns you have about counselling. We will go over the issues that you bring in to counselling and will begin to set goals for how you would like to see your life as a result of our work together. I may also suggest other resources for you in addition to counselling. At times the first session is about crisis management.
Is counselling always confidential?
I keep what you share with me confidential. However, by law there are a few exceptions to confidentiality. I must disclose information to the appropriate authorities in case of
- Abuse or neglect of a child or dependent adult
- You or someone else being in danger of immediate physical harm
- Being ordered by a court of law
If you have any concerns about confidentiality, please feel free to discuss further.
What can I expect from my counsellor?
Within the context of the therapeutic relationship, you can expect your counsellor to
- Accept you the way you are
- Share your pain
- Help you explore and understand the nature of your concerns
- Provide insight into underlying reasons or root causes of your issues
- Assist you in setting goals that you desire for yourself
- Help you recognize and mobilize resources and strengths that reside with you, your family, and the larger social context
- Give feedback
- Teach you new ways of coping and new skills that not only reduce tension, but help you solve problems
- Help you to make choices, consider consequences and accept responsibility for the results
- Facilitate lasting change in the way you think, feel and act
How long will counselling take?
The number of counselling sessions required will depend on an assessment of the issues you bring to counselling, the type of work you wish to do, such as coping strategies or in-depth exploration of root issues, and the effort applied in between sessions. Some issues may require 2 – 8 sessions while others can take much longer. We will assess your progress towards your goals on a regular basis. It is your right to end our counselling relationship any time.
How can I get the most out of my counselling?
You determine the amount of time and energy you put into counselling. To get the most out of counselling, it takes effort, determination and dedication. Counselling works best if you attend sessions on a regular basis. This typically ranges from weekly to monthly sessions. Usually, you have more frequent sessions in the beginning. Although you choose what you reveal in counselling, to get the most out of counselling, it is important for you to be open and honest. Much of the work of counselling is done in between sessions. Homework between sessions facilitates progress. It is important to tell your counsellor what you find helpful or unhelpful.
How much does counselling cost?
The fee is $180.00 for each 60-minute session. When finances are a concern, I have a certain number of sliding fee scale appointments available based on gross family income and other circumstances. Please feel free to inquire. Some clients may also be able to get fee assistance through their church or faith community.
Fees are payable each session. You will be provided a receipt that you may be able to use for partial or complete reimbursement through your insurance provider. Every benefit plan is different so please check with your benefits provider to determine your coverage. My services may also be a tax-deductible medical expense.
What are your hours?
For your convenience, daytime appointments are available Monday through Friday and evening appointments Monday through Thursday.
Where are you located? Is online counselling available?
In-person counselling sessions are offered in a very private and comfortable office in the Calgary community of Monterey Park. It is easily accessible from downtown Calgary, Highway 1, Deerfoot Trail, McKnight Boulevard and Stoney Trail. The location is convenient for clients from Chestermere (15-minute drive), Strathmore (30-minute drive) and other areas east of Calgary, as well as from Airdrie. Free parking is available.
Online counselling via Skype and phone counselling is available to anyone no matter where in Alberta you reside. Online counselling is comparable to in-person sessions in its efficacy and can make therapy more convenient and accessible. It is easy using any device including a smart phone. You can choose sessions in your home, during a break at work, while travelling, in your car, while walking. Many find it eases anxiety. You save time and money by not having to drive.
You may also choose a combination of in-person, online and phone counselling sessions.
How do I set up an appointment?
You may simply call or e-mail to set up an appointment. No referral is needed. If you would like me to work together with another healthcare professional or a member of the clergy, I am open to this.