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INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING IN CALGARY

If you’re struggling with mental health or relationship challenges, it can feel like your life is out of control and falling apart. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, scared, hopeless, and alone. Or to feel numb. 

We all experience occasional difficulties in response to life’s hurts, but there are times when we feel particularly stuck or discouraged and we need some extra support. It can be challenging to share your most private experiences with someone new, especially if those experiences have caused you shame, and we have a deep respect for those who are willing to pursue counselling.


Our hope is to help you feel like yourself again; to find joy, fulfillment, connection and peace in your life. When working with us, you will find a safe and calm space of understanding, not blaming or shaming, in which to heal and grow. Rather than focusing just on symptoms, we will work together to understand and address the root cause of your struggle. With this understanding, you can make small changes over time to approach challenges and problems in ways that lead to better overall life satisfaction and fulfillment. 

 

We offer in-person counselling for individuals and couples in Calgary, AB and surrounding area and online counselling services for individuals and couples across Alberta and Nunavut.

FAQs

Therapy is a bit of a mystery to many. In an effort to demystify the therapy process, we have provided answers to some commonly asked questions.

How does therapy work?

Answering this question fully would require a discussion that goes beyond the scope of a FAQ list. However, we do know that the client’s motivation and engagement in the therapy process and the relationship between the therapist and client (characterized by trust, respect, and goodness of fit) are some of the most important factors.

It is also important that the way the therapist makes sense of the client’s symptoms also makes sense to the client, which relates to the goodness of fit between client and therapist.

Bottom line: You need to feel comfortable with your therapist and have confidence in your therapist’s competence. And you need to be ready to do the difficult work that counselling asks you to do.

How long will I need to see a therapist?

This depends on several factors. One is whether you are coming to address an acute problem, such as a parenting concern, or, a more long-standing issue, such as a history of abuse. The more entrenched a problem has become, the longer it has been an issue, and the bigger the impact on various areas of your life, the longer you will typically need in order to address it.

Another factor to consider is how much work you are willing to do between sessions. If you want to keep the work inside the therapy room, you will likely require more sessions.

Finally, it will depend on whether you are looking simply to learn coping strategies or if want to do more in-depth work. Keep in mind that short-term therapy is considered to be 12 sessions or less while long-term therapy is considered to be more than 12 sessions. If you are limited in the amount of time you can or want to spend in therapy, please tell your therapist so that you can develop a realistic plan together.

How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?

This is a good question because the fit between therapist and client is crucial for a positive outcome in therapy. Therapy is both an art and a science, and there is no one correct way to ‘do’ it, which means that every therapist will be a bit different from the next.

In order to assist you in making the decision to begin working with us, we offer a free 15 minute phone consultation.  

Please note that this consultation is not a therapy session. Rather, it is an opportunity for you to ask questions and for us to acquaint you with our approach, training, schedule, etc. Book your consultation here.

 

Some questions to ask yourself are: How easy is it to talk to her/him/them? Do I feel judged or accepted? Do I feel heard? Do I feel like I can be honest with her/him/them? Does she/he/they seem competent to handle my concerns? 

How long are therapy sessions?

Typically, sessions are 50 minutes and this works for most people. However, some clients may choose to do longer sessions if they find the extra time to be helpful and if we believe they can manage the extra time. More than 50 minutes will be too intense for some, so we maintain the right to restrict sessions to 50 minutes.

If you are being covered by insurance, keep in mind that your insurance company might mandate the maximum length of your therapy sessions.

How often will I need to see you?

Many people prefer to see us weekly, at least to start. This is helpful in terms of developing the therapeutic relationship and gaining momentum. Research suggests that people who attend counselling on a weekly basis have better outcomes. However, depending on the severity and depth of your concern, as well as your willingness to do work between sessions to maintain momentum, you can see us less frequently and still be successful.

We are also sensitive to the fact that many people desire to spread the funding they have available over a longer period of time. The only time we will specifically ask clients to commit to weekly sessions is when we believe weekly sessions are necessary to maintain the client’s safety and help to create stability.

Is my information kept confidential?

Yes, with a few exceptions. These are outlined below:

  • you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else,
  • a child, dependent adult or senior is at risk of abuse or neglect
  • your file and/or your therapist has been subpoenaed by the court
  • a workplace psychological injury is reported (we must report this to WCB)
  • you are a minor; your guardian has the right to impose limits to your confidentiality
  • you have given written permission to your therapist to release all or part of the information in your file

Can you prescribe medication?

No, as Psychologists and Social Workers, we cannot prescribe medication and cannot give direct guidance on medication. However, we are trained to be familiar with psychiatric medications. This means that we may suggest seeing a doctor if we believe it might be helpful to have a conversation about medication or if we believe that you are possibly being impacted by medication side effects.

What are the potential benefits and risks of counselling?

You have a right to be made aware of the potential risks and benefits of counselling. Potential risks include the emergence of unpleasant feelings that arise as a result of discussing difficult experiences, disruptions to relationships as changes are made, and lack of progress.

Potential benefits include reductions in distress, improved functioning, improved relationships, solutions to problems, improved mood, increased self-esteem, improved coping, and feelings of connection. The choice to pursue counselling involves consideration of whether the potential risks are worth the potential benefits.

What should I do if I need immediate help because I am in a crisis or having an emergency?

We are unable to offer immediate or crisis services. In case of crisis or emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest urgent care centre. You may also find these resources helpful.

We offer a free 15-minute phone consultation for counselling if you would like to connect before making a decision. Choosing a therapist is an important decision and we are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please note that this consultation is not a therapy session. Rather, it is an opportunity for you to ask questions and for us to acquaint you with our approach, training, schedule, etc. Contact us to request a consultation, or click here to book directly