Commonly Asked Questions.

Why do people seek counselling?
Some need help to respond to unexpected changes in their lives, while others seek self-exploration and personal growth. Or perhaps coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair. Counselling provides support, problem solving skills, and enhanced coping for such issues as depressions, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body images issues and so on. Some people may not realize why they seek counselling; they just realize something is unbalanced or amiss.
What can I expect in a counselling session?

       We will talk about the primary concerns and issues in your life. A session is generally 1 hour in length. Some people who are in crises or extreme distress may need sessions more frequently.

        Difficulties can usually be understood in terms of patterns of thinking, based on beliefs derived from experience, which influence emotions, body state, and behavior on a moment-to-moment basis.  We will work together to identify the specific patterns that are keeping the problem going, and to find alternative patterns.  This means learning skills and practicing those skills.  For this reason, at times, you may be asked to take certain actions outside of the counselling sessions, such as reading a relevant book, journalling, or some other practice work we agree on. 

      In the long run, the aim is to reach the point where I am irrelevant to you - you have learned how to resolve difficulties yourself, even knew ones that you have not encountered before.  After therapy, however, it is not realistic to expect that you will never have a moment's difficulty or distress, ever again - life is not like that.  But you wil have a better idea of what to do about it when it happens.  So sessions can be seen in a sense as training or coaching sessions - a chance to investigate problems and potential solutions, which you can then try out for yourself and discuss when we next meet - so that over time, you build up the knowledge and skills you need.


What benefits can I expect from working with a counsellor?

Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Counselling can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Many people find counselling to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from counselling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from counselling include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself and your personal goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that lead you to seek counselling
  • Find new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Manage anger, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications skills - learn how to listen to others, and have others listen to you.
  • Getting "unstuck" from unhealthy patterns - breaking old behaviours and develop new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems.
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

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What if I don't know what my goals are for counselling?

If you don't know what your goals are for counselling, your first task is to explore what your needs are. It may take several sessions before a direction is clarified. During the course of counselling your goals may change.


Is counselling confidential?

All communication between you and the counsellor is in strictest confidence and will not be released to anyone without written permission. Reports of physicians and insurance companies will not divulge personal material that has been given in confidence unless directed otherwise by the client. The only exception to confidentiality is the legal requirement to report circumstances wherein a client states an intention to harm self or others, and in cases of abuse.


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