Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises. Using these tools, MBCT therapists teach clients how to break away from distressing thought patterns. This can be especially useful for anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is counselling right for me?
For many situations in our lives we can get support and help from our friends, families, and self-help literature. However, sometimes these supports are not enough. Talking with a trained counsellor can offer additional, neutral support. Working with a counsellor can offer a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings, to be listened to, to offload and explore issues you are struggling with that perhaps lead you to feel frustration, uncertainty or emotional pain. Counselling can also help you develop new and existing resources and tools to help you move forward now and in the future.
Will insurance cover my counselling costs?
Check with your extended benefits provider (e.g. Blue Cross) to see if your plan covers Registered Clinical Counsellors.
What should I expect from the first session?
During our first appointment, I will ask you a series of questions to help me get a better understanding of your situation. We will discuss the reasons that brought you to seek counselling, your personal history, and your strengths and resources. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what to say or where to start; I will guide the process and give you an idea of how we can proceed in working together.
Fees can be paid at the end of the session by e-transfer, cheque or cash. A receipt will be provided.
How many sessions will I need?
Unfortunately there is no concrete formula for session numbers. Research suggests 10-12 sessions as a baseline number. In my experience this has been accurate. After 10-12 sessions, while the issue is generally not completely resolved and checked off the list, you will have a clearer understanding of why you are experiencing what you are experiencing and tools with which to experiment. You will then be in the position to say: ‘that’s enough for me to work with for now’ or ‘now that I have a clearer understanding I’d like to go deeper.’
What is the difference between a counsellor, psychologist, and psychiatrist?
Clinical counsellors and psychologists do very similar work. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who then specialized in psychiatry. Only psychiatrists can prescribe medication.
In Canada there is currently no regulation of counsellors (although hopefully this will change soon). Therefore it is important to ensure that your counsellor is registered with either the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors or the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Membership in these organizations requires a minimum of a Master’s Degree in counselling, as well as clinical experience, and there are strict guidelines for professional behaviour.
Psychologists in B.C. require a minimum of a PhD and clinical experience is required before a practitioner may call him or herself a psychologist. Psychologists’ fees are generally higher than those of counsellors. Psychologists are regulated by the government.
Is counselling confidential?
The law protects the confidentiality of communications between a client and psychotherapist/clinical counsellor. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client. However, also by law, there are some exceptions to this rule.
- Child abuse or elder abuse. By law the therapist is required to report.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. By law the therapist is required to report.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
- If client records are subpoenaed by a court of law.
Please ask if you have any concerns prior to engaging in services.
What is Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy?
Focusing-Oriented Therapy is a body-centered approach. In other words, it helps you connect with your felt sense or body sensations related to an issue. With this approach you can share a lot or a little about your experience, and you have control over the pacing and depth of our work together.
Often, especially with issues that feel particularly stuck, we have thought about and talked through the problem over and over again with little or no change. In such cases a focusing-oriented approach can provide a new way of exploring the problem, and in turn allow you to discover fresh perspectives and gain a sense of direction for moving things forward.
Research at the University of Chicago, since replicated in more than 50 studies, showed that the way that clients pay attention to their own experiential process, even in the first session, is predictive of success or failure in therapy. Focusing is a way to bring that successful client process into any kind of psychotherapy.
What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)?
- EMDR = Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
- EMDR’s focus is on the brain’s ability to constantly learn, taking past experiences and updating them with the present situation.
- This is referred to as “The Adaptive Information Processing Hypothesis.”
- Adaptive learning is constantly updating memory network systems (reconsolidation).
- EMDR’s focus is the person’s inability to update experiences.
- EMDR therapy uses a set of procedures to organize these negative and positive networks and then uses bilateral stimulation, i.e., eye movements, alternative tapping, etc. as the catalyst to effectively integrate the past experiences with the present adaptive learning. Much like eating, we digest food, keeping the nutrients necessary of health, letting go of the waste, we keep what is necessary for adaptive learning. And let go of unnecessary information (from EMDR Consulting Website).
What is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
What is Bader-Pearson Couples Model?
This couples model helps us to understand the normal and natural stages and struggles that growing couples encounter. The model provides a structure for therapy through identifying the developmental task, developmental stalemate, diagnosis and specific treatment interventions for each stage of development. This model creates a structure through which partners can better understand each other’s vision, learn to change the way highly charged issues are discussed, manage emotional reactivity, and gain a deeper understanding of each other’s behaviour.
What is Gottman’s Couples Counselling Model?
The Gottman Method is a highly structured and goal-oriented form of couples therapy that is designed to help couples maintain healthy, lasting relationships.
What is the Prepare-Enrich Couples Assessment?
PREPARE/ENRICH is the leading relationship inventory and skill-building program for couples.
Over the last 30 years, the PREPARE/ENRICH relationship assessment has empowered and energized more than 3 million couples. It is built on a solid research foundation and provides a powerful platform for in-depth conversation about the topics and issues you might not even think to ask but that are essential conversations needed to build a solid relationship foundation to build on. PREPARE/ENRICH is custom tailored to a couple’s relationship and provides couple exercises to build their relationship skills.
What is Nonviolent Communication?
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is the integration of 4 things:
- Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity
- Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
- Communication: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move toward solutions that work for all
- Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others”
NVC is a communication skill-set that can be used to improve both personal and professional communication and conflict-resolution. NVC was developed by Marshall Rosenberg.
What is Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)?
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a process intended to protect the psychological and emotional health of those involved in a critical incident. This technique is generally used in a group setting, but can be used individually as well. It is intended to be used within hours or days after the occurrence of a Critical Incident.