Counselling services are provided from childhood through to adulthood. A person-centered approach helps you or your child find strengths and develop new skills. Since every client is an expert of their lived experience, recognizing obstacles in your path and finding ways to overcome those obstacles is the main goal of counselling. This approach to counselling typically involves solution-focused and cognitive behavioural methods. Other counselling approaches are brought in when they fit the client and their goals.
Before working with a Counsellor or Psychologist, it’s best to have some idea of what it is that is bothering you in life. This might not be a clear goal but it could be a sense of frustration, feeling a lack of enjoyment, or not finding the success you would like to have in life. From that you can work to develop a clear goal and plan forward.
It is helpful to think about the qualities you want in the professionals you work with. Age, gender, background can all play a part in how well you can relate to someone. All healing happens in the context of a relationship, and you should feel comfortable working with the person you choose.
Sessions typically last around 45 to 55 minutes.
There is no set time for how long counselling continues. Much depends on what your goal is. Most people will see a counsellor a few times a month over several months. Sometimes people choose to see a counsellor weekly for a couple of months. Many people only need to see a counsellor a few times of year to help clarify their thinking, brush up on skills, or set new goals for their future. You are in control about how long and how often you wish to see a counsellor.
What you can expect depends mostly on the goals you have set and the plan you have come up with your counsellor. You are always in control based on how you see your needs. Counselling usually involves lots of talking but can also include times for relaxation and guided meditations. If you have chosen to follow a more formal cognitive-behavioural approach you can expect some “homework” where you will be asked to keep track of your thoughts and how you respond in certain situations. Or, you may be asked to read information before the next session.
Children and teens can receive counselling, sometimes individual, and other times in combination with specific skill training for parents. The type of counselling depends on the needs and the level of development and maturity of the child.
I am not trained in couples, marriage, and family counselling.