Counselling

Who I see

All counsellors are considered generalists.  Some of us go on to specialize in other modalities after our Master’s program and round out our knowledge and resource base.  For me, I had focused most of my career in adult mental health and addictions so I decided to do my practicum with children and youth.  I trained under some of the best in BC at MCFD in Duncan.  I continue to have a number of kids on my caseload (mostly over 14 years old) and create meaningful connections with kids who are struggling.  The majority of my practice does focus on working with adults, people struggling with their relationships or work stresses, and people who have suffered trauma.

Session type

80-Minute Session

Ideal for people who are looking for more time to express their concerns. Less time pressure when you feel that there is a lot of ground to cover. This session length allows more time for goal setting and planning, or if needed, crisis intervention. This time frame is the minimum required for couples or family work.  First appointments are called ‘intake sessions’ and are also 80 minutes.

50-Minute Session

Standard session for those who want a concentrated therapy appointment and feel that their concerns can be addressed within this time frame. My most popular session length.

25-Minute Session

For established clients who have met their therapy goals and are wanting to maintain their gains long-term.

Telephone/Video Conference Counselling

While most people choose in-person counselling, telephone or video conference counselling is available to individuals, anywhere within North America. This is often a preferred choice for those in remote locations or when anxiety or physical concerns make it difficult, or if it’s not impossible to leave the home to attend a counselling appointment.  Please note that I am not able to provide telephone/video counselling for individuals who are currently experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

Regular counselling rates apply for phone/video counselling and must be prepaid online prior to your appointment time. In order to guarantee privacy and confidentiality, I do not provide counselling via Skype, I use another service that is encrypted and confidential.

A complete list of session fees is located on the Fees page.

Session frequency

People will ask me how often they should come for therapy.  Many will come for weekly appointments to start but some feel it’s necessary to come more frequently.  It’s important to look at your goals for therapy, how quickly you want to make changes, and your current financial situation.  There are a number of frequency options that can help you determine what is going to be the best fit.  I’m happy to discuss this with you further when we meet and I encourage my clients to discuss with me if and when they want to move to bi-weekly or even monthly sessions.

Intensive Therapy

For people who are in crisis and want to meet for two sessions a week or have longer sessions.  Three hour and all day sessions are available.  Weekend Intensive Couple’s Therapy is Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday for 15 hours total or it can be split into all day intensives over a number of weekends.

Making Gains and moving to Moderate Support

Weekly sessions are very common as we progress with your goals. Moving to a frequency of two to three weeks between sessions is designed for people who want to maintain the gains they have made in therapy – choose 50 or 80-minute sessions.

Maintenance

Maintaining goals and/or developing new goals is often a process that happens over time and can look like having a session every month or every three to six months.  Many people choose a longer session as there has been a gap and they feel they want to give an update on what’s been happening since I saw them last.

Prebooking and Scheduling

As my practice is busy, I recommend pre-booking a series of appointments, to avoid extended gaps between sessions. Such gaps may affect the satisfaction you receive from counselling and your progress. Pre-booking is of course, entirely optional and works best for clients who are certain that they wish to continue counselling with me.

Sessions are offered primarily Wednesday through Saturday and some Sundays.

Counselling process

Initial session

Your first session will typically include a discussion of the issues that brought you to counselling and of your related feelings and thoughts—it is a time for establishing rapport and for you to determine whether this is a comfortable therapeutic ‘fit.’ At this time, we will also set some initial goals for counselling. You are encouraged to share your feedback to ensure that the counselling is benefiting you. I may also share some initial impressions.

Second session

We begin with a brief review of last week’s session, attend to any pressing issues, and further clarify your goals for counselling. Together, we will develop a plan for achieving these goals and identify steps along the path. For best results, the action you take will be a combination of in-session discussion and practice outside of the session.

Subsequent sessions

Salient issues, as identified by you, are discussed in further detail. Progress in meeting goals is reviewed regularly and mutual feedback continues. I provide both short-term and long-term counselling depending on client prerogative and the issues at hand.

When is my counselling complete?

Sessions are complete when we are satisfied that the issues that you came to counselling for have been sufficiently addressed or resolved. Ideally this is determined collaboratively and with some discussion in advance of leaving, however I fully support any reason you may have for terminating therapy. Should you identify a problem outside of my realm of expertise, I will work to present you with the names of alternative counselling professionals.