What is the difference between coaching and counselling?

In short, counselling focuses more on exploring your past experiences and processing emotions, whereas coaching focuses more on present challenges and setting goals for the future. I will take an approach that is the most appropriate for you based on your needs and particular situation. Click here for a more detailed breakdown of the differences between counselling and coaching. 

What is a consultation?

Countless studies have shown the importance of a good fit between client-therapist, and the role it plays in getting the results you want. I understand that finding the right therapist isn’t always easy, especially if you or your son has had a bad experience before. I invite you to schedule a 20-minute consultation where we can chat and determine if we can work well together. If it isn’t a good fit I will do my best to refer you to service better suited to your needs.

My son doesn’t want to see a counsellor, what do I do?

If your son doesn’t want to see a counsellor then you can’t force him. Counselling is a partnership between the client and therapist and if one person doesn’t want to be there it doesn’t work. Forcing your son to go to counselling will make him hate the experience and be less likely to seek help later in life when he needs it. Read my article on How to Help Your Depressed Son to learn about what you can do right now to support his mental health.

How confidential are sessions?

Confidentiality will be maintained within the BCCSW standards of practice and relevant legislation (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the Personal Information Protection Act). Everything that is discussed in your sessions is confidential and will not be communicated to anyone without your knowledge and written consent. By law, there are just a few exceptions to this strict confidentiality:

  • when there is an imminent risk of you harming yourself or others
  • when there is suspicion or disclosure of abuse/neglect of a child 
  • when client records are subpoenaed by court order

All reasonable efforts will be made to discuss these circumstances with you prior to the involvement of other professionals. As part of my code of practice I am required to carry out continuing professional development, and to engage in regular on-going clinical supervision where I will discuss cases with my supervisor. This is to ensure an ethical and professional service to clients. If I wish to record a session I will ask you first and obtain written consent.

How many sessions will it take?

This really depends on what type of mental health challenges you are facing. Click here for a detailed article on this subject. 

What are your fees and how do I pay?

Fees are based on the type and length of session. My general practice rate for individual therapy is $120 per 50 minute session. Payment is processed at the end of each session in the form of a credit card or e-transfer. Most clients prefer to authorize me to charge their credit card automatically so that they don’t have to worry about payment beyond the first session.

Will my benefits cover me?

Possibly. Approximately 50% of employee benefit plans cover social workers (my designation). Check with your HR department or extended health carrier to be sure; it’s also good to know what your yearly maximum is, so that you can plan accordingly. The process around extended health claims is that clients pay me directly and I issue an official receipt that they submit to their insurance, either by mail or online. At this time, unfortunately direct billing is not an option available to social work practitioners.

Will my student health plan cover me?

Most post-secondary institutions have an extended health plan which you have paid for in your student fees. Unless you have intentionally opted out of this or your school doesn’t provide one then it will most likely provide coverage for counselling. Check out your school’s student services web-page to see what coverage you have.

Are your counselling fees covered by provincial health insurance?

Unfortunately, no. Counselling is not covered under MSP.

What are your counselling credentials?

I completed my Masters of Social Work at the University of British Columbia. I am a Registered Social Worker (#14353) in good standing with the British Columbia College of Social Workers

What is your cancellation policy?

It is understood that sometimes sudden events, such as emergencies, happen that may make it necessary for you to cancel your appointment last minute or fail to attend and are unable to provide notification. If you fail to give notice of a cancellation later than 1pm on the day before your session you will be charged for the full amount for the session. Please notify of any change via the direct message. If for any reason you are late for a session, I will see you for the time that is left.

I’ve gone to therapy before and it didn’t help, can you guarantee it will work this time?

Having an unpleasant or unsuccessful experience in therapy can be discouraging. Although I cannot guarantee success, I will do everything I can to understand why you didn’t find your previous experience helpful and to make sure that you can have a positive experience this time.

What if I’m not happy with the service?

If you are not satisfied with the service please discuss it with me and I will do my best to resolve any issues you may have. If you are still not satisfied you can make a formal complaint to my professional body the BC College of Social Workers here.

Why “Solidarity Coaching and Counselling”?

When young men are in pain they often become angry and act out their distress pushing away those who care about them the most. I want to help young men to understand themselves better so they can reach out to others for support.

“Coaching” because in my approach to therapy which combines counselling and coaching methods I lean more towards a coaching style of therapy. In my experience, many young men don’t want a traditional “counsellor” or “therapist” but are seeking out mentors and coaches who can help them find their path towards maturity.

Is counselling outdoors effective?

Yes! And here’s why:

Men open up more when activeStudies show men define emotional closeness more as working or playing side by side while women view it as talking face to face. When walking or doing an activity men are much more likely to feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics than sitting face to face in an enclosed space.

Walking improves brain function – Walking while talking increases blood flow to the brain increasing the mental energy required for introspection and complex thought.

Being in nature reduces stressBeing in nature for even 20 minutes reduces stress hormones in your body. When your body is stressed blood flow is directed away from your cortex (which controls complex thinking and planning) towards your lower brain systems making talk therapy more difficult.

How can you maintain confidentiality in an outdoor session?

Counselling outdoors can make it more difficult to maintain confidentiality. While walking outside there is the chance that you may see someone you know in which case if you choose to acknowledge them you can say I’m a friend, a coach, or a counsellor depending on your preference. We may be discussing things of a sensitive nature while outdoors, but if we keep moving it is unlikely anyone will catch much of what we’re saying. If there are sensitive subjects that you do not want to disclose while others may be in earshot we can arrange to discuss those over telehealth or in-office session.

Still have questions?

Send me a message and I will be in touch as soon as possible!