How it works
The goal of counselling is often to develop healthier coping strategies to cope with a problem clients are experiencing. For some, a few sessions will be helpful, for others, it is often more beneficial to investigate the root cause of the problem, as this helps to ensure greater success of managing the problem overall.
How does counselling work?
Counselling allows for self-discovery, better self-acceptance and the development of a sense of contentment, which fosters unprecedented growth from within. It will encourage hope, optimism and bolster self-confidence. Typically, counselling fosters new insight, which increases the ability to openly communicate with a newfound respect for others and openly work through issues with more motivation and ownership. Counselling can help you tap into a new you!
A client may attend individual counselling for as few as three or six sessions, or as long as several years, depending on the goals for therapy.
Some clients bring notes of what they want to talk about, others are mentally prepared and don’t need any prompts. Asking questions in your consultation is one way to confirm what will help you get ready for your first session.
SEEKING HELP THROUGH COUNSELLING
What to expect from counselling
The best form of counselling is that which addresses and respects your emotions, needs, desires, and personality. I make it a point to take the time to respect each of these areas when working with clients, as this helps to better understand all the issues impacting you to be effectively laid out and addressed. Through careful consideration, curiosity and open dialogue, together, we can identify a newfound way of thinking about, understanding and improving your situation.
I respect that you know your own mind and life better than anyone else, and consider this a benefit and an opportunity to help you move forward, through encouraging the consideration of your emotions and from your own perspective.
Your values will be explored, to see if you are living according to them, or contrary to them. Your strengths and weaknesses will also be explored – a lot! I will tap into your wisdom, sometimes even when you don’t believe it exists, and help you set small, achievable goals to work towards. We will identify potential obstacles to your goals and develop plans to address them. Your progress will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to keep you moving forward towards long-lasting change.
Typically, counselling is about stages. The first stage, exploration, involves helping clients examine their thoughts and feelings. The second stage, insight, helps clients understand the reasons for these thoughts and feelings. The third stage, action, involves the client making changes.
Meeting you where you are at
I offer in-person counselling in Barrie/Simcoe County or virtually via video conferencing across Ontario.
The First Session
Preparing for Counselling
To take some of the pressure off, bring an open mind, but also bring your questions and concerns to that first session.
Be open to doing some work together–that’s the best way to navigate the process during the first session. Some clients prefer to write down a few notes before the session, others have their talking points in their heads and come ready to discuss things.
During the first session, I will confirm a few things related to confidentiality and get your informed consent to proceed. I will always ask if the session is staying on the topic you were hoping to discuss. At the end of the session, together, we will decide next steps. As the session wraps-up, you may want to jot down a few notes.
Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship stress, grief or anger, you have the power to create change.
How many sessions are required?
Of course, this is impossible to answer, but there are a few principles I follow that may help bring clarity to that question:
Getting right to work: In any counselling, you want to get right to work. It’s important to address the issues of concern and set a goal in the first session, as this guides future sessions
A short-term/brief framework is often used to guide individual counselling. Some clients need fewer sessions (4 to 8), while others need more sessions. Some clients prefer to develop a long-term counselling relationship. There is no pressure to commit to a certain number of sessions or the frequency of the sessions.
Counselling with Jeff
Step 2 - Consultation
During a consultation, we briefly discuss what you are looking to work on in counselling and determine whether doing the work together seems like a suitable fit. We can confirm a date and time for your first appointment and discuss some of the ‘housekeeping’ tasks related to attending.
Step 3 - The First Session
When you attend the first session we will have an open discussion about what you have been experiencing. Through careful consideration, curiosity and open dialogue, together, we can identify a newfound way of thinking about and understanding your situation.
Step 4 - Goal Setting
Once we have enough information about your situation, in order to be effective, it’s typically best to aim for setting SMART goals for change, as they are easier to achieve. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. Remember, change is tough, so this requires a lot of work and a lot of self-compassion.
Step 5 - Implementation
Together, we will explore and create habit-forming strategies to support you and help you achieve your goals. Your progress will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to keep you moving forward towards long-lasting change. I will provide feedback about some of the barriers you may encounter as you move forward.
Individual counselling means choice, not force, not advice. With counselling, it is the client who takes the decisions so that the solutions adopted are more likely to be appropriate. An appropriate solution will be one that the person can follow with successful results.
Once refreshing, full of life and fun, relationships can begin to feel like too much work. It’s normal for relationships to get stagnant, as life gets busy. Maybe it’s due to kids, jobs, or something completely unknown, counselling can help to identify the type of change needed to bring back the relationship you want.
I offer a safe and empowering environment for clinical supervision, which allows for two-way learning to happen. I meet the standards outlined by CRPO for clinical supervision and can sign-off on supervision attestation forms.
What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and psychotherapy usually mean the same thing, as they have a lot in common. Both terms are used to describe talk-based therapies to help someone address a problem they are dealing with. Problems could include mental illness, mental health problems, relationship issues or any stressor they are dealing with.
Are my counselling sessions private and confidential?
Everything you discuss in counselling is confidential, with a few exceptions. A record of each session is maintained and only you, as the client, has access to the file, without your written consent. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including:
- If there is reasonable grounds to believe that a child under the age of 16 may be in need of protection
- If there is reasonable grounds to believe that you or someone else is in imminent danger of harm
- If there is reasonable grounds to believe a vulnerable adult is in need of protection
- If there is reasonable grounds to believe a regulated professional you have received care from has caused harm
- If presented with a court order to release client files.
Are your counselling services covered through extended health benefits?
Social work services are covered under some benefit packages, so check your coverage to see if your benefits will cover counselling with me, as a Registered Social Worker (MSW. RSW). Social Work/counselling expenses are recognized by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a medical expense for income tax purposes.
What is your counselling session rate?
The fee for an individual counselling session is $125.00 and sessions typically run around 50 minutes in length. Session fees are due the day the session takes place and payment can be made by cash, e-transfer or credit car. A receipt will be provided.
What if I can not attend a scheduled appointment (need to reschedule or cancel)?
In order to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please notify me 24 hours before the appointment in order to avoid paying a cancellation or ‘no-show’ session fee.
What is counselling?
Counselling is a specialized service, usually talk-based, that addresses emotional, behavioural, relational, psychosocial and mental health needs of participants. Counselling can reduce emotional distress and increase a person’s ability to feel better about themselves and have healthier relationships. When counselling begins, I will work with you to determine the risks and benefits of counselling and help you create a goal(s) for the sessions. You will have the opportunity to give your informed consent for the work together. I am committed to providing counselling services that are professional, confidential and in a safe and supportive environment.
How can I prepare myself for counselling?
In order to benefit the most from counselling, clients should be an active participant in the counselling process. I will review the risks and benefits of counselling and help you identify what type of counselling plan will be helpful for you. Counselling can be hard work, as it can open up a range of emotions that you may not be used to discussing. You could find it challenging to discuss some issues, but I will help you navigate the new emotions that arise. Don’t worry about knowing what to say during your first session. It is the job of the therapist to lead the conversation and to ask the right questions.