Almost everyone has a time in their life when they need some help. You don’t need to be dealing with a very serious problem to benefit from counselling. Counselling is about more than mental illness. It’s about working through and dealing with issues such as trauma, life changes, abuse, relationships, and much more. In counselling you can learn to deal with stress, depression, and everyday life to allow you to feel happier and more in control.
“I am much calmer now. I am handling work stress and home stress better. My wife tells me I am not overreacting to things.”
– Jacob, 2010
From childhood through late adulthood, there are certain times when we may need help to address problems that cause emotional distress or feelings of being overwhelmed. When you are experiencing these types of difficulties, you may benefit from the assistance of an experienced, trained professional.
Professional counsellors offer the caring, expert assistance that we often need during stressful times. Good indicators of when you should seek counselling are when you’re having difficulties at work, problems with your relationships, your ability to concentrate is diminished, you feel out of balance in your life, you feel (or are told) that you are not yourself, or when your level of pain becomes uncomfortable. If you are questioning if you should go into counselling, it’s a good indicator that you should.
If you are not ready for counselling yet, consider signing up for my newsletter in the yellow box to the left. The newsletter is called “Useful Tips For Better Daily Living” and is emailed once every two months. As a free gift, I will email you an article called “35 Ways to Manage Anxiety”.
When counselling has been successful, you will feel like there have been positive changes in your life. You feel more hope and self-confidence, you have resolved past issues, your emotional state is more stable, you are trying out new behaviours and they are working, people are reacting differently to you and may comment that something about you has changed. You will likely notice that you are having different, more positive, results in your interactions with others. Please keep in mind that in the end, you are the one who makes the decision about whether therapy has been successful. If your daily life is running more smoothly, then great. If there are areas that still need improvement, let your counsellor know and you can work towards a more specific goal. Being more at peace with yourself and your life is possible.
Counselling is a collaborative effort between a counsellor and client. Much benefit can be found for clients through the development of the therapeutic relationship. Professional counsellors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil. Resolving past or present problems is possible. Clients may also seek to improve communication and coping skills, strengthen self-esteem, and create behaviour change and optimal mental health. Through counselling, you examine the behaviours, thoughts, feelings, or experiences that are causing difficulties in your life. You learn effective ways to deal with your problems by building upon personal strengths and resolving past difficulties. A professional counsellor will encourage your personal growth and development in ways that foster your interest and welfare.
Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) provide quality mental health and substance abuse counselling to tens of thousands of British Columbians each year. An RCC will have a Master’s Degree in counselling psychology or social work which included an internship and coursework in human behaviour and development, effective counselling strategies, ethical practice, and other core knowledge areas. Many RCC’s are also certified in various other counselling techniques and strategies such as EMDR. Professional counsellors adhere to a Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice that protects the confidentiality of the counselling relationship, prohibits discrimination, and requires understanding of, and respect for, diverse cultural backgrounds. The code of ethics also mandates that professional counsellors put the needs and welfare of clients before all others in their practice. An RCC maintains membership in good standing with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors.
You do not need a referral to make an appointment with an RCC. You can contact counsellors in private practice directly. Please note that psychiatrists and some psychologists require a referral from a doctor.
To be able to meet the scheduling needs of my clients I offer evening sessions. My office hours are 12:00pm-8:00pm Tuesday – Friday.
Although counselling fees are not covered under the BC Medical Services Plan, many workplace health benefit plans (like those of Great West Life, Manulife, and Pacific Blue Cross) do include counselling coverage that reimburse you for visits to a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC). Your insurance company or Human Resources department will be able to advise you on this. Some Extended Health Plans will also cover some of the cost of counselling. It is important to refer to your plan manual for details.
If you find that RCC visits are not covered under your plan, you may want to ask your employer to request a small change to the plan’s coverage. This isn’t difficult, does not cost the employer anything, and at the same time increases employee benefits. Often, plans will cover visits to a Psychologist but not an Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC). By adjusting the plan to include RCC’s, your counselling dollars, and benefit contributions, will actually go further.
Many people benefit greatly from coming to counselling to help them deal with life more easily. If you do not have a plan that covers some of the cost of counselling, you will likely still find it very worthwhile to pay for some counselling sessions.
Payment is due in full at the time of each session. You can pay by cash, cheque, or online through paypal using credit card, debit card, or bank transfer.
Ideally, counselling is finished when the problem that you pursued counselling for becomes more manageable or is resolved. However, some insurance companies and managed care plans may limit the number of sessions for which they pay. You should check with your health plan to find out more about any limitations in your coverage. During the first few counselling sessions, your counsellor should also discuss the length of treatment that may be needed to achieve your goals. To obtain the full benefit of this type of service, it is important to come to counselling long enough to achieve your goals. There is no guaranteed time-frame for how much time you will want to spend in counselling. Please remember that every person is an individual with a unique history and goal for counselling.
This experience can be quite common for people when they first come for counselling as past traumas, wounds, or losses begin to be addressed. This is part of the healing process for many clients at the beginning of a healing journey. It is important to continue to come to counselling until your goals are met. The problem will get better with continued sessions. It can be helpful to remember that when it comes to emotional problems, the body can only heal what it is aware of. Please contact me if you feel severely depressed or troubled between sessions. If we have developed a safety plan or you have learned some new grounding strategies, please access this information and make self-care a priority.
All RCC’s subscribe to a Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice which require counsellors to protect the confidentiality of their communications with clients. As a client, you are guaranteed the protection of confidentiality within the boundaries of the client/counsellor relationship. Any disclosure will be made with your full written, informed consent and will be limited to a specific topics outlined on a consent form. The only limitations to confidentiality occur when a counsellor feels that there is clear and imminent danger to yourself or others, when your counsellor or your file is subpoenaed in a court case, or if there is information shared about current child-abuse. Whenever possible, you will be informed before any confidential information is ever shared outside of the counselling relationship.