Some Commonly Asked Questions:
- Why go to therapy?
- What can a therapist offer?
- What can I expect from therapy?
- Is therapy confidential?
- What if I miss or need to cancel an appointment?
- Are there any risks to therapy?
- How many sessions will it take?
- Can I bring any issue to counselling?
- How much do you charge for a typical session?
- How long is the typical counselling session?
At some point in time everyone goes through difficult situations, and although you may have successfully navigated through challenges in the past, it can be helpful to gain support and direction from a therapist. Many people come for therapy because they realize they need a hand. They are feeling stuck in the same patterns of coping, or they have come across a situation they haven’t experienced before and are not sure how to get through it. There are many reasons why people seek therapy. It could be to deal with a stressful work situation, the loss of a loved one or an unexpected change such as a divorce. Many individuals seek counselling for personal growth, to increase self-esteem or learn to set better boundaries. Other times it is to work on deeper issues such as childhood abuse, sexual trauma, dysfunctional eating patterns, depression or anxiety symptoms.
Working with a therapist can provide a safe and supportive environment as a person explores the vulnerable pieces of their lives. A therapist can assist in providing insight, direction, strategies and ideas for handling life’s challenges. The therapeutic relationship offers validation, non-judgmental support and someone to listen. Not everyone has a support network in their life and therapy can be that safe place to go to.
The initial counselling session will focus on gathering information about your presenting concerns, past history of the issue, some family and personal history and an idea as to the changes you would like to make in your life. Ongoing therapy sessions are determined by your own goals and needs. There are times when change is swift and you quickly learn the tools you need to move forward and other times you may require more ongoing support. As part of the therapeutic process homework is often assigned to allow you to develop skills and foster insight between sessions. This is a vital part of the counselling process as it allows you to fully participate in therapy and integrate learned skills into your own life. Our therapists will continually check in with you to ensure that you are satisfied with your progress and moving in the right direction.
All counselling sessions and any information about attendance is kept confidential and will not be released without your informed, voluntary and written consent. There are a few exceptions to this rule which are:
- If a client is threatening harm to him or herself the counsellor is required to make every effort to ensure their safety.
- If a client is threatening serious harm to another person the counsellor is required to contact the police.
- If there is suspected or disclosed physical or sexual abuse to a minor the counsellor is required to report this to the proper authorities.
- When records are subpoenaed by court order.
We take confidentiality seriously and we make every effort to discuss any circumstances with you before releasing or involving other professionals. When counselling is through your benefits (with an EAP provider) the third party provider keeps the records and confidentiality in this situation will be discussed at the onset of counselling.
We require 24 hours notice for cancellation of appointments otherwise the full session fee will be charged. We do understand that emergencies happen but there are certain times of the day that are in high demand for counselling services. When a session is booked it becomes unavailable to others.
Although there are many potential benefits to therapy there is no guarantee that therapy will be a success and there may be potential risks. Therapy may stimulate strong emotions, uncover repressed memories, it may bring awareness to certain behaviours that change how you see yourself. There are times when therapy can be difficult and emotionally exhausting, the process is not always an easy one. Especially for those who have suffered significant trauma in their lives. However, it can be extremely rewarding and a very positive experience. We will always invite you to discuss any concerns you may have on an ongoing basis with your counsellor.
There is no set number of sessions for therapy. There are times when therapy is short-term, focusing on a specific issue, and resolution of the presenting issue is swift. For more complex issues therapy may take longer. We continually check in with clients to see how they feel therapy is progressing. Clients often know when therapy is complete for them. The duration of therapy also depends on being an active participant in the process. For therapy to be effective it is important to take what is learned in session and integrate it into your life between therapy sessions. Sessions are generally scheduled at weekly intervals to begin with, then often move to every two weeks and then to follow up sessions on an as needed basis.
Yes! You can bring any issue to counselling. Our counsellors however are not experts in all areas so if you bring in something that is outside of the scope or ability of one of our counsellors we will assist you in finding a counsellor that can best support you. We will help you make any transitions that would be in your best interest.
A typical counselling session fee is $120 per therapeutic hour and $130 per hour for couples, which are the recommended fees by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Our counsellors do offer a sliding scale to help those who cannot afford the full fee. The fee will be discussed with you and will be determined in the first session when counselling begins.
A typical counselling session is 50 minutes in length, however sessions can also be scheduled for 1½ hours if needed or requested.
Contact us today to discuss how counselling can benefit you or your relationship.
778-838-0046 or 604-250-9056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.