What will a counselling session look like?
Our first session or two will be mostly an intake and assessment. During the intake session we will get a bird’s eye view of your concerns and a general picture of what is going on in your life. In subsequent sessions we will develop a treatment plan that will focus more specifically on the areas of concern in your life. Sessions are 50 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for clinical notes.
Determining life purpose
Grief and loss
What kinds of issues do people discuss in therapy?
Loss of independence
What if you can’t help me?
I realize that I do not know everything - far from it. Additionally, there are times when a client and a therapist just don’t connect. Each therapist and each client bring their unique personality and issues to the relationship, and sometimes they don’t fit. If I feel like there are issues beyond my scope of practice and/or if the client or me feel like we are not a good fit, I will do my best to find a therapist who can better help you.
What is trauma informed therapy?
Trauma informed therapy takes into consideration the impact of trauma on many clients. The Trauma Informed Care Network states, “Clients…with underlying traumas tend to struggle with a variety of acute and chronic mental health and medical issues. In working with these traumatically impacted people it is apparent that as we focus on the source of these traumas and apply evidence-based trauma resolution techniques, we are able to help to alleviate many of the associated mental and physical symptoms. As we do this, clients and patients tend to see improvements in many areas of their life: physical health, emotional functioning, relationships, recreation, general life adjustment, spirituality, etc.”
For more information on trauma informed counselling and therapy, visit http://www.ticn.org
What is evidence-based treatment?
According to GoodTherapy.org, “Evidence-based treatment (EBT) refers to treatment that is backed by scientific evidence. That is, studies have been conducted and extensive research has been documented on a particular treatment, and it has proven to be successful. The goal of EBT is to encourage the use of safe and effective treatments likely to achieve results and lessen the use of unproven, potentially unsafe treatments.”
For more information on evidenced based counselling and therapy, visit
What is the difference between counselling, therapy and psychotherapy?
Many people wonder what the difference is between these three terms. While some people use the terms interchangeably, there are some subtle differences, in my opinion. So here is my take on it:
Counselling refers to listening well to someone and reflecting back to him or her what he or she is saying. Sometimes this can be very enlightening and may be all that is needed for a person to take that next step to re-orient her or his life in a better direction.
Therapy is a general term that refers to a plan of action towards healing, to address a given problem.
Psychotherapy is therapy of the mind; in other words, a plan of action towards healing in which the mind is the main tool. Just as physiotherapy focuses on healing with regard to physical movement and occupational therapy refers to healing related to occupations or activities, so psychotherapy relates to healing of the person using psychological methods.
With this in mind, the most accurate description of what happens between me and my clients, is psychotherapy. However I recognize that this word has baggage attached to it for some people, and therefore I use it sparingly in general, instead using therapy and counselling most of the time. That being said, as a trained psychotherapist, good counselling is an important part of my role. But my goal is to move beyond counselling when necessary, and along with the client, collaboratively create and implement a therapeutic plan.