Counselling

Do you have an EAP through your health benefits?

Did you know that many companies offer counselling through an Employee Assistance Program?  When you begin counselling through an EAP route, it is often solution-focused brief therapy combined with other forms of therapies such as cognitive behavioural and mindfulness approaches.  The counselling therapist works with you to help you resolve a short-term problem.   They pose important questions and respect that you have the ability to develop the outcome that you desire.   They also give you as many resources as possible to help you after the sessions are over.   Imagine how much more productive, happy and healthy you could be with some focus on your mental well-being?   Contact your company's insurance provider today.

What does therapy look like? What to expect and how to choose your therapist.

What does therapy look like? The first session or two of therapy is a time for mutual connection, a time for the therapist to learn about you and your concerns. The therapist may ask for a mental and physical health history. It’s also a good idea to talk to the therapist about what you hope to achieve in therapy. Together, you can set goals and benchmarks that you can use to measure your progress along the way.

This is also an important time for you to be evaluating your connection with your therapist. Do you feel like your therapist cares about your situation, and is invested in your recovery? Do you feel comfortable asking questions and sharing sensitive information? Remember, your feelings as well as your thoughts are important, so if you are feeling uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to consider another therapist.

 

Every counselling therapist is different, but there are usually some similarities to how therapy is structured. Normally, sessions will last about an hour, and often be about once a week, although for more intensive therapy they maybe more often. Therapy is normally conducted in the therapist’s office, but therapists also work in hospitals and nursing homes, and in some cases will do home visits.

1. Expect a good fit between you and your therapist.  Don't settle for bad fit. You may need to see one or more therapists until you experience feeling understood and accepted.

2. Therapy is a partnership.  Both you and your therapist contribute to the healing process. You're not expected to do the work of recovery all by yourself, but your therapist can’t do it for you either. Therapy should feel like a collaboration.

3. Therapy will not always feel pleasant.  Painful memories, frustrations or feelings might surface. This is a normal part of therapy and your therapist will guide you through this process. Be sure to communicate with your therapist about how you are feeling.

4. Therapy should be a safe place.  While there will be times when you’ll feel challenged or when you’re facing unpleasant feelings, you should always feel safe. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or you’re dreading your therapy sessions, talk to your therapist.

How to refer someone to counseling

Helping our loved ones can be a delicate business.  No one wants to feel judged or lacking but everyone, at some point in their lives, can benefit from having a neutral and safe person with whom they can talk openly about their problems.   A trained, educated and registered counseling therapist is that person.

If you feel that someone you know would benefit from seeing a counselling therapist, there are some key things to remember when suggesting that form of help.

 

1) Make sure you are suggesting seeking counselling out of a caring and loving place.   Use phrases like, “I care about you and want you to be happy.  Wouldn’t it be helpful to talk to someone who is neutral and who could help you?”

It is imperative to avoid using labels, judgment, comparison or threatening as these are not helpful to someone who is already struggling.   

2) Your conversation should be on your concern and on behavioral things you have seen or heard which cause your concern.   Try to be specific.  Phrases like, “I notice that…”  or “You seem unhappy when you talk about…”  or “Your body tends to tense up when you talk about…”  can show that you are genuinely concerned.  

3) If you feel limited in how to help, acknowledge it.  You may feel limited in your understanding but your support is just as important.   It is okay as a friend, teacher, parent, or other health professional to acknowledge that you don’t have all of the answers.  Ultimately you care about the person who is struggling and another person might offer fresh insight.

4) Offer to be their support.   Offer to book the appointment, or help them get to and from the appointment.  You may even let them know that you can come in with them for the first few sessions, or wait for them in the waiting area.  These can be the comforts that people need to seek out help.  

5) Be hopeful in your referral.  “You’ve been dealing with this a long time; maybe it’s time to try something different. Just a consult can’t hurt.”  

6) Remind them about confidentiality.  A counsellor will not discuss their concerns with anyone (not even you) without their permission.

We welcome your calls and questions about our counselling practice.