Counselling

Counselling can be a rewarding and enriching experience that can enhance self-knowledge, mood and coping skills, and improve overall well-being. Coming to counselling, especially for the first time, can sometimes cause feelings of nervousness. My office is a comfortable place where people can explore their problems, and work toward solutions in a non-judgemental atmosphere. I provide individual counselling for people of all ages, including children, for a variety of issues and mental health concerns such as: anxiety, depression, stress, grief, burn-out, low self-worth, relationship issues, crisis and trauma, addictions, disordered eating, ADHD, career issues and work stress, as well as coping with various life transitions. How the counselling proceeds depends on the issue, your goals and needs. The approach I take is a general talk-therapy approach within a holistic health and wellness framework. I will ask about your reasons for coming to counselling, and collect some pertinent background and health information as part of the process, usually in the first session. My office hours are flexible, and include evening appointments; occasional weekend appointments are also available. Further details about my approach and what to expect from my counselling services are listed in the FAQs below.

Career Counselling

If you are feeling stuck or unfulfilled in your current job or career, need a change, or are thinking about returning to school, career counselling might be just what you need. I use various exercises, activities, assessments and tools to help people with career decision-making. Some assessments I use include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®(MBTI®), SkillScan®, and the Self-Directed Search®. There are several options for career counselling, depending on how many sessions you need, and on what assessments you choose. Package rates are applied to the various combinations of sessions and assessments. Career counselling can be an enlightening and exciting experience that can open the door to many possibilities, and potential opportunities. Please call me at 902-394-5826, or click here to email me about career counselling.

FAQs

It’s okay if you don’t know where to begin. Many clients struggle with this very thing. To get things started, I can ask you some questions about you, your life, and what has brought you to counselling. I take a client-centred approach and involve the client in creating goals for their therapy, and a plan for how to reach them. We will discuss current stressors, current and past coping skills, strengths, barriers to progress, and we may cover some past life struggles as well. My counselling style is eclectic and combines several approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-focused and Narrative therapies, and elements of Humanistic/client-centred theories. Psychological education to teach relaxation and coping skills is also incorporated. I try to work with each client according to his or her needs and issues.

Since much of the benefit of counselling comes from the client’s work in between sessions, I also suggest homework, and sometimes provide hand-outs, recommend books, and send links to helpful websites in order to expedite the client’s progress. Engaging clients in the process to create small goals and strategies for maintenance is important for both self-efficacy, and expediting the client’s progress towards healthier ways of being.

Counsellors have an ethical responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of clients, and client information; no information can be disclosed without written permission of the client with the following exceptions:

  1. Imminent danger to self: If a counsellor believes the client may seriously harm him/herself, or commit suicide, measures will be taken to ensure their safety, with or without the client’s cooperation.
  2. Imminent danger another person or persons: If the client indicates to the counsellor that he or she may seriously harm another person, the counsellor must inform local law enforcement (RCMP or police).
  3. Suspected child abuse or neglect: If a client discloses to the counsellor that he or she is aware of or suspects child abuse or neglect (i.e., a neighbour), the counsellor is required by law to report this information to the appropriate authorities.
  4. Court Order: When a counsellor receives a subpoena, or court order, to release information (i.e. if the client is involved in a court case).
  5. When a client files a complaint against the counsellor or claims professional liability in a lawsuit.

Confidentiality and children: Parents and guardians do not have absolute rights regarding their child's counselling. I am generally very open with parents regarding their child’s progress and often one or both parents are in attendance, depending on the circumstances and age of the child. I am very respectful of the child’s privacy and discuss with him or her information I will be sharing with their parents, including what I may have to share (i.e. child abuse, the exceptions to confidentiality as listed above). Depending on age and maturity of the child, the parent's right to know details of their child’s counselling will decrease and may end when the child reaches the ability to give informed consent (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, 2015. Standards of Practice for Counsellors: Online).

The approach and activities used in working with children depends on the age and maturity of the child. I have toys, games, books, a small indoor sand play box, drawing and colouring supplies, and cards. I also use talk therapy with kids, as well as elements of yoga and relaxation techniques. Often, parents are in session with their child, especially for younger children (approximately age 7/8-11 or so). There is a waiting room right outside my office where parents can also wait for the session to finish. I use age-appropriate talk therapy and coping skills when working with teens.

Sessions typically last approximately one hour.

My rate is $110 per session (includes 15% HST). If your employer has an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) through workplace health benefits, you may be covered as I am a provider for several EAP companies. Please contact your Human Resources department or check your health benefits plan to determine your coverage. If you will be covering the costs of your sessions, you may pay by cheque, cash or E-transfer. I will issue you a receipt which can be included in medical expenses for income tax purposes.

How many sessions you need depends on what your mental health concern is, severity, level of support and commitment to feeling better, and whether or not you have coverage. For most mild to moderate mental health concerns, clients typically feel better after a few sessions due to improved self-care and coping skills. If you are not feeling better after a few sessions, or the issue is worsening, I usually recommend you see your family doctor, and may also assist you to find more advanced services in the community (i.e. a psychologist, or your family doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist if she/he deems it necessary or appropriate).

The benefits of counselling are many. Often, clients find relief simply by talking - releasing thoughts and feelings that have been suppressed for some time. Through the talk therapy process, clients may discover wisdom and strength they never knew they had. Other possible benefits may include increased awareness of unhealthy patterns and coping styles, improvements in self-care, communication and interpersonal relationships, as well as enhanced self-esteem and self-compassion. Through the use of healthier coping skills, clients may also notice a reduction in symptoms of stress, and take a more balanced approach to life. Each counselling session is dedicated to you. It’s your time for you, so let’s work together to make the most of it.

If you require further information, or have any concerns, please call for a short phone consult to see if my services are right for you. You can reach me at 902-394-5826. There is a confidential voicemail for you to leave a message if I’m with a client, or unable to answer. You can also click here to email me about making an appointment.

Rates and Insurance

My hourly rate is $110 (includes 15% HST), and can be paid either by cash, cheque, or E-transfer. If you are paying by E-transfer, please arrange your online banking prior to the appointment so that the transaction can be made at the time of the session.

At this time, insurance companies only cover costs or reimburse for mental health services provided by Psychologists and Social Workers. As a Counsellor, however, I am covered by many Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Many employers provide EAPs to their employees as part of their health benefits plan, so you may be covered through your workplace benefits. If you are unsure if your employer has an EAP plan, please check with your Human Resources department or appropriate workplace representative.

Please give 24 hours’ notice for cancellations and reschedules. Your appointment time is booked for you, and is therefore not available for someone else. A fee of $55 will be applied to all late cancellations (with very few exceptions). For those covered through an EAP plan, the EAP company’s policy on late cancellations and no-shows will apply.

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