I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then.You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, and for whatever reason, they aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.
What happens in the first session?
The first session is an assessment of your situation. We will discuss your current concerns and collect the relevant information so I can inform you about how we might proceed. We will set a clear goal or focus for your counselling, and establish a time line for our work together.
Will I attend sessions with my child?
The younger the child, the more likely a parent is to be part of the process. Depending upon the presenting concerns, a parent may also need to modify their role with their child and therefore need a session of their own. We will discuss your situation at the first session, and make the appropriate decision.
If my child attends alone, do I have a right to information about their session?
A minor in counselling will experience the best outcomes if they believe that the therapist can be trusted to explore thoughts, feelings and opinions. If the expectation is that the therapist will reveal the content of the session to the parent(s), the youth can and will shut down and will gain no benefit from the counselling process.
My goal of is to help the child/youth to cope with the challenges that have brought them to counselling and to develop skills to overcome those challenges. It is also the goal of the therapist to help the parents and family in any way that is appropriate to help the child to achieve these skills. It is not the goal of the therapist to pick sides or identify one parent as the right or best parent. It is also not the goal of the therapist to lecture one parent into complying with the demands of the other parent. This approach is counterproductive and not helpful to the child.
The parent or guardian of anyone under 16 does have legal access to information about a child’s mental health services. My preference is to discuss how we will handle this matter with the child and parent in the first session. There needs to be a balance between the child’s privacy and parental involvement. This is usually easily negotiated, and gives the child a sense of empowerment in their own process.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.
Connecting Outside Therapy
It is the policy of Coverdale Counselling & Consulting that not to accept social networking invitations (Facebook etc…) from past or current clients. This policy is in keeping with ethical guidelines that prohibit the formation of dual relationships between therapist and client. A dual relationship occurs when a therapist and client form another type of relationship outside of the therapist-client relationship (i.e. mutual friendship, business associate, teacher, student, family member, etc.), or enter into a therapist-client relationship after another type of relationship has already been established. Such dual relationships have the potential for creating conflicts of interest, possible exploitation, and problems associated with unhealthy boundaries.
What happens when you take a vacation?
I will let you know in advance if I am to be out of town or on vacation whenever possible. During my absence, I will have another therapist on call for me to handle emergencies. The name and phone number of this counsellor will be on my voice mail during my absence.
What about confidentiality?
All information will be confidential with the following exceptions:
- If a Release of Information has been signed to a specific person or persons with regard to specific information. (For example, your family physician)
- If, in the professional opinion of the counsellor, there is a potential for harm to self or others.
- If there is a legal or statutory obligation to report (as in cases of child abuse).
- If the counsellor is legally required by a court of law to testify, submit a report or release records.