The Most Frequently Asked Questions For Counseling

What Will Therapy Do For Me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists will provide support, and help you develop problem-solving skills and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, loss and bereavement issues, relationship/communication troubles, unresolved childhood issues i.e. family of origin struggles, stress management, life transitions, and creative blocks.

Many people also find that counsellors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, and the challenges of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. These are some of the potential benefits of counselling:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals, and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What Can I Expect Counseling To Be Like?

The first session is a time for both the counsellor and client to get to know each other. Filling out the client Intake form will reduce how much time will be spent gathering information about your past, including the experiences related to the issue you’ve come to counselling to discuss.

Each person will have different issues and goals for therapy. Generally speaking, the current events in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue will be initially discussed. In future sessions topics will include progress made on the issue you are working on, new insights and information and other goals you may want to add to the initial goal.

Therapy can be short-term for a specific issue or longer-term to address more difficult patterns and personal development. Either way sessions are usually scheduled on a weekly basis as determined between the client and counsellor.

Success of the counselling experience is determined by the client’s active participation in the process. Ultimately the goal in therapy is to bring what you learn in your sessions, into practice for your life. To accomplish this transition successfully, counsellors may suggest clients read a pertinent book, practice at-home some of the tools taught in sessions, journal on specific topics, or taking specific action on your goals.


How Long Will It Take Before I Start to Feel the Positive Effects of Therapy?

Clients most often report that they feel better at the end of their first appointment, however this is not to imply that their issue is resolved. Speaking openly to a non-judgmental and supportive therapist who hears you, will provides some relief and validation, giving hope to the client.

Depending on the reason you are seeking counselling services, effective therapy typically will take a few sessions and some case up to 12 or more to reach your goal. Goals set between client and therapist will provide a clear path of where you would like your counselling sessions to go. Together we will determine the best fit given your therapeutic goals.

Why Would I Need Therapy Now? Are There Signs I Need It?

While you have managed difficulties in the past, sometimes life events pile up, or past challenges have been unresolved and professional help is useful in getting past overwhelming or ‘stuck’ feelings. You don’t have to deal with your difficulties on your own.

How Is Confidentiality Respected?

Confidentiality is critical between client and counsellor. Trust is very important in a therapeutic relationship and it starts in the first session. Counsellors generally have a statement of confidentiality and clients can expect what is disclosed in a session will not be shared with another person.

If a client wants specific information shared with someone, medical professionals for example, the therapist will have an Informed Consent form for you to sign. By law a counsellor cannot release information without obtaining your written permission.

Additionally provincial law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

  1. When information becomes available during therapy regarding past or present abuse or neglect of children, elders or vulnerable individuals, this must be reported to authorities including Child Protection and law authorities.
  2. If the therapist suspects the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated harm to another person, the therapist must report the case to relevant authorities so that the client or person can be protected.

Consent provided in a counselling situation is ongoing as long as the client continues therapy. It is the client’s choice to continue or discontinue therapy at any time.

Do You Accept Insurance Coverage for Counseling Appointments?

Insurance plans differ in the coverage applied to counselling. Extended medical plans, ICBC, Victim Services and other sources need to be accessed by clients to determine their coverage and make a claim to have costs reimbursed.

Many clients do not have coverage and so pay the fees themselves. Method of payment is discussed at the first appointment. Etransfer is often preferred, but other types of payment can be discussed.


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