What is counselling?

Counselling is a skilled process which enables clients to explore problematic areas, difficulties and concerns. Counsellors are trained to work in a variety of ways so that the necessary skills are applied exactly where they are needed. Some clients find that they have no presenting or significant problem, but that they just want to feel “listened to” and understood, having the space to share or work through their thoughts and feelings. Counselling gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings about what is troubling you with a qualified professional. You will gain a clearer understanding of what is happening to you, and will be assisted in identifying the choices available to you. You will learn skills that will help you to take responsibility for your own life, choices and decisions. This will lead to a happier and more confident lifestyle. Counselling essentially aims to help clients to work towards more satisfying and resourceful lives, by taking control of their own lives and decisions. The client chooses what they want to work on, and is empowered to make their own decisions and choices. An honest, trusting and supportive relationship between counsellor and client is essential for the counselling process, but the client is in control of what he/she reveals to the counsellor. Counselling is a non-judgmental environment, where clients are respected for who they are, whatever their ethnicity, beliefs, lifestyle, or sexual orientation.

What can counselling do for me?

Generally, the goal of counselling or relationship counselling is to help people find solutions to problems, gain insights and understanding of themselves and others, develop options, explore values, express feelings, change behaviour, make choices, change relationships, or to become more fully alive.

How would I know if I could benefit from counselling?

If you are experiencing or feeling ongoing anger, depression, co-dependency, alcohol and/or drug dependency, shame, denial, anxiety, or other emotions or feelings that are causing you physical or emotional discomfort, you may benefit from talking with a Counsellor.

Is everything discussed with a Counsellor confidential?

It is essential that our clients know that what they talk about with there therapists will remain confidential. There are however some limits to confidentiality. There are three exceptions: 1) A Counsellor is required by law to report child abuse, 2) Our records can be subpoenaed by the Court or we may be called to testify, and 3) If your life or somebody else’s life is in danger we must take actions to keep you, or them, safe. As well, we may encourage you to allow us to confer with other professionals involved in your care in order to develop the best treatment plan for you. However, you make the decision about whether this can happen or not. Aside from these exceptions, issues discussed in counselling sessions remain confidential.

What can I expect?
As a Registered Therapist, I have been formally trained in the use of therapeutic media, processes, and techniques. During our initial consultation, we will collaborate in identifying those therapeutic goals that you understand would be most beneficial to you at this time. These goals may be revisited and changed at any time during our work together. As your therapist, I am committed to ensure that we attain the identified therapeutic goals in as skilled and expeditious a means as possible. I will consult with you periodically during our work together to ensure that you are satisfied with the course the therapeutic process is taking.

Why should I choose you?  
I believe in establishing a good relationship with the community to support you during and after treatment.

I specialize in relationship counseling (family and couples), anxiety, stress, depression, trauma and substance-related concerns.

I  use proven approaches, to provide long term solutions, with relatively short term treatments.

How long does it take?
This depends on you, and what you want to achieve from this relationship.  Take sometime to think about what your goals are for counseling.  This will assist in developing our the treatment approach, and plan to meet your individual needs

Is the cost covered by my extended health care plan?
Psychologists and Registered Clinical Counsellors (R.C.C.) are generally covered on many extended health benefit plans, however, this depends on your company’s specific plan.
Please speak to your human resources department or consult your benefits booklet which contains the specifics of your company’s health plan to determine what kind of professionals are covered, and also, what amount you are entitled to per calendar year.
This information will help us make more informed decisions to meet your needs when you call us.
If your plan does not cover Canadian Certified Counsellors (C.C.C) or Registered Clinical Counsellors (R.C.C.), but only covers Registered Psychologists, you can make a request to your employer that they adjust your plan. This easy adjustment will be of no cost to your employer but will increase your benefit.

How do I pay?

Shannon accepts payment by cash, debit card, or credit card (Master Card and Visa). In most cases, clients pay at the beginning of each appointment and are given a receipt. The receipt can then be submitted to insurers for reimbursement.

What are the fees?

Fees for clinicians tend to be roughly similar across the province. The fee for a 50 minute session is $110.00 for individuals, $125.00 for couples.

You will be charged for a session if you do not show, and do not call 24 hours beforehand to reschedule/cancel the session.

How do I know if I have concerns with depression?

Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you.

People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude. They cannot imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
  • Becoming withdrawn or isolated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble sleeping or too much sleeping

Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.

If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.

People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, examination, recital, or interview. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal. Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person’s ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an extremely debilitating condition that can occur after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm was threatened or occurred. Traumatic events that can trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults such as rape or mugging, natural or manmade disasters, car accidents, or military combat.

Most people with PTSD try to avoid any reminders or thoughts of the ordeal. Despite this avoidant behavior, many people with PTSD repeatedly re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. Symptoms of PTSD also include emotional numbness and sleep disturbances (including insomnia), depression, and irritability or outbursts of anger. Feelings of intense guilt are also common. PTSD is diagnosed only if these symptoms last more than one month.

Fortunately, through research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), effective treatments have been developed to help people with PTSD.