Counselling

Counselling at NewLeaf

Counsellors are people trained to give guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems.

There are a variety of types of counsellors including psychologists and social workers. Counsellors generally have a Master’s degree in counselling and psychology and should be registered with a professional accrediting body. Some common registering bodies are the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, (the one that Shakti is registered with); the College of Alberta Psychologists (the one Michelle is registered with); and the Alberta College of Social Workers. All of these organizations set out specific educational criteria required to be registered with them and set out a code of ethics and standards for practice.

What to Expect in Counselling

When we meet, you can expect that your therapist will listen to your story. We will ask questions in order to try to understand your situation. Sometimes we will assign you work to do on your own, after the counselling session ends. It’s difficult to estimate how long you will continue to come to see your therapist; it depends on how easily we resolve your struggle. The counselling process benefits individuals by having an impartial person in your life try to support you and offer professional feedback and suggestions. Good counselling relies on the relationship. Just like finding any other health care practitioner, it’s important that you feel safe, comfortable, and eventually trusting in the counselling relationship. Sometimes you can tell within the first session if it’s a good fit between you and your counsellor; sometimes it takes a couple of meetings.

Confidentiality

All of the information discussed will be confidential. Your therapist will keep some casenotes, however they are kept in a secure file. The limitation of this confidentiality is if a third party is paying for your counselling services (i.e. Employee Assistance Program). In that case they may require a report back. I will always share my report with you first. A second limitation is that if, during the course of treatment, there is reason to believe that a child under the age of 18 is at risk of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; this must be reported to the proper authorities. A third limitation comes if there is reason to believe someone’s life is in jeopardy (yours or another person’s). Finally, if we are subpoenaed for court, we are required to disclose whatever information is requested.

Appointments

Unless booked otherwise, all individual appointments will be 50 minutes in length. Often, family or couple counselling sessions will last for 80 minutes. Most people see their counsellor once per week, or once every other week. This usually depends upon the severity of the problem you are trying to resolve. Duration of treatment is dependent on a number of factors, including the severity of the concern for which help is being sought.

Fees

Fees are $150 per hour. We take etransfer, cash and cheques and fees are due at the time of the session. The cost of NSF cheques will be charged back to you. There will be an agreed upon fee for missed appointments. We require a minimum of twenty-four hours cancellation notice.