What is counselling?
Counselling provides a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space where you can discuss your problems and any difficult feelings you encounter. It is a process people seek when they want to change something in their lives or simply explore their thoughts and feelings in more depth. The counselling process is very much a trusting relationship between the counsellor and the individual—it is important you feel safe and confident discussing your worries and problems.
A counsellor is not there to tell you what to do, rather to help identify specific patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that are causing concern. Together you and the counsellor will look at creating a plan to find ways of coping and managing. They will help you uncover your own insight and understanding of your problems so that you will have the tools to help you resolve them.
A good counsellor will focus on you and listen without judgement or criticism. They will work with you to find ways to deal with your problems and worries, but not tell you what to do.
What is a Registered Clinical Counsellor?
Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) are professional counsellors who are registered with and accountable to the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). All RCC’s are required to adhere to the Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of clinical practice, and to have also fulfilled the association's rigorous requirements with respect to education, supervision and clinical experience.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No, you can contact me directly--no referral is required
Is everything we discuss confidential?
Yes, as a Registered Clinical Counsellor I am required to maintain everything we discuss in the strictest of confidence, unless I received voluntary, written consent from you to do otherwise. There are some exceptions to this rule:
How long will it take?
Everyone is unique and has different goals for therapy. Often people feel relief and have more clarity after only a few sessions. Other times there are more complex issues that require a longer period of working together. On average, specific concerns can often be addressed within 10 sessions.
Will there be homework?
At times there will be exercises or activities I will ask you to do in between sessions. It is important to generalize what we are doing within the session to other parts of your life, so brief activities and exercises can be very helpful in doing that. Changing behaviours and patterns takes practice!
What should I expect in the first session?
I will try to get an understanding of what has brought you to counselling and what you hope to gain from it. I will ask about your current situation and the history of your difficulties. I will also ask you if there are times in the past when you’ve received counselling, and if so, what was helpful and what wasn’t helpful. I will review confidentiality and we will discuss an initial plan for working together, that we will both agree to. We will review this plan as we continue to work together.