What is Counselling? How Does it Work? How Much Does it Cost.

What is Counselling

In short, counselling is talking to a trained professional, who has an ability to help you understand the dynamics of your particular life issues, and if you choose, how to begin the process of changing  how you manage yourself in your life.  Some of the negative symptoms you might be having are, deep and unyielding sadness, inability to cope with day to day issues, anxiety, nervousness, fear, anger, frustration, hopelessness, bitterness and so on.  You might notice that many of the descriptor words are about emotions.  These emotions are the emergency sirens of the mind and body. If we begin to listen to our own emotional output, we can begin to assess the thinking, and behaviors that often go with it.  Counselling is to help you to develop  a way to have a satisfying, rich and creative life, As in any counselling, I can’t “fix” you.  That’s your job.  My work with you is to give you the tools, techniques, challenges, and perspectives so that you learn how to heal yourself and your relationships.

The Counselling Process

When you get to the clinic I will invite you into my office and you can get take a comfortable seat.  We’ll take care of some preliminary paperwork and then I’ll ask why you have come to see me. The first session is essentially used to define your particular problem and get a sense of whether you and I will be able to work together on matters that may be very personal in nature. Given that you are unique, we will begin to explore your issue or issues with respect to who you are.  You are the creation of the sum total of your life experience combined with your inherent mental and biological characteristics. These basic elements can create very complicated patterns in life. Together we will explore those elements that you find distressing, and try to find solutions and perspectives for them.  Two of the most important elements we look at are your values and beliefs about yourself, and the real world you live in.  Once you begin to solve your issues and have the tools and techniques you need to do this, it is my hope that you will be able to move on with your life in a creative and meaningful way.  In general, I like to address the elements of the wellness wheel in the diagram.  Although the elements appear to be simple, the dynamics we create with them are highly complex. By dealing with each of these in balance, we may find some stability in your life.   If life seems to go a little sideways on you a little further on down the road, give me a call and we can set up a session or sessions to deal with it.  At any point in time, you are free to leave the counselling process without question.

My Approach

Inevitably there are people who feel they must know the term for my type of counselling/therapy so here it is  It’s the integrative modality.  In short, I believe that if we are having difficulties in life, we are not well integrated in our relationships.  This means all relationships including your relationship to yourself.  This model allows for a multitude of perspective possibilities for finding solutions for you as a unique person.  It makes much more sense to me that I use the approach that fits you best rather than having you fit into preconceived model.

I will bring to bear all of my experience, training, empathy, and intuition to your particular issue. And together, work toward getting you into a better space in life.

Frequency of Therapy

Frequency of therapy is highly individual and depends on many factors, most of which are determined by you the client.  These may include severity of the issues presented, time availability and financial factors. As a generality, once a week for serious emotional issues to start with, then moving to once every two weeks as you begin to stabilize,  then once every three weeks to a month as confidence in your own abilities to cope improve.

Fees and Sliding Scale

Individual sessions are $140.00/hour and are usually one hour in length.  For those of you who are facing financial hardship I have a sliding fee scale at the Nanaimo Home Clinic.  With respect to the sliding scale, I generally reserve two spaces a week.