Perhaps this is the first time you’ve thought about counselling and you don’t know what to expect. Maybe you’ve used counselling before and are simply looking to refresh some strategies or build on previous progress. Whatever your situation may be, the counsellors at Viewpoint are committed to reducing barriers and helping you find the care you need.
Here are some things to consider as you start this process.
Why would I go for counselling?
Counselling, just like check-ups, massages, or a physical trainer, can be part of healthy self-care. As we better understand the vital connection between mind and body, it becomes clearer that our mental wellbeing is essential to our overall wellness. Mental illness is related to less engagement in positive lifestyle behaviours, such as healthy diet and exercise, and increased rates of cancer, heart and respiratory disease, and chronic illnesses.
The field of psychology continues to grow and we are discovering new ways to manage anxiety, depression, addiction, and other mental health concerns. Our counsellors believe no one should have to manage life’s challenges alone and seeking help is normal and healthy. Just as your doctor is trained to help you manage your physical health, counsellors at Viewpoint are trained to provide expert guidance regarding emotional or mental health concerns.
Why Viewpoint Counselling Psychology?
Counsellors at Viewpoint have years of academic training specific to helping people regain or improve their mental wellness. In addition, each counsellor has personal and professional experience that make them empathetic, compassionate and understanding of your unique situation. We believe each person deserves to be seen as a distinct and valued individual who deserves to receive respect, dignity, and the utmost confidentiality.
How do I know I have the right counsellor?
Viewpoint is committed to helping you find the counsellor with the expertise, way of thinking, and personality that best fits you. Our counsellors are experienced in most general mental health concerns and each also offers care in areas of specific training and interest. You are welcome to browse through our counsellor profiles and contact your preferred counsellor directly. If you are unsure who to choose, please phone or email our office and we will connect you to the counsellor we feel may be the best fit.
Remember, to help you decide if your counsellor is a good fit, Viewpoint counsellors offer a brief phone or in-person consultation before your first appointment. Viewpoint counsellors structure their free consultation policy to best fit their individual practices, so please feel free to discuss this with your counsellor directly.
Do counsellors give advice?
Advice is like snow – the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Advice is often about one person saying what worked for him or her in similar circumstances and suggesting you follow the same path. In reality, no one’s situation is ever exactly the same and what worked for one person may not work for another. Instead of giving advice, your counsellor will seek understanding of your unique situation, explore options and ideas, and help you find the answers you know are best for you.
What helps counselling to be successful?
Understanding that therapy can sometimes be challenging. People often report that unburdening their emotions and past experiences in the first few sessions is relieving. However, therapy often uncovers deeper issues. Opening up and getting to the heart of these concerns takes patience, persistent effort, and fostering a positive relationship with your counsellor.
Consistency helps you reach your goals. If you wanted to improve your fitness and saw your physical trainer once every three months, you probably wouldn’t be surprised when you didn’t see the results you wanted. Similarly, therapy needs commitment and consistency to work through your concerns and be effective. Of course, your counsellor understands there are many demands on your time and resources. By collaborating with your counsellor, you can create a reasonable plan that balances your commitment to your wellbeing with all your other commitments.
Providing feedback helps your counsellor know what is and isn’t working for you. Counsellors strive to build positive, non-judgmental, and compassionate therapeutic relationships, understanding this is beneficial for you and the therapeutic process. Despite this emotional and professional commitment, challenges in therapy can sometimes break down open communication and hinder the process. Providing feedback allows your counsellor to understand what has happened and work to repair any concerns you may have.
Mutually agreeing to end therapy when you are ready helps you and your counsellor finish on positive note. When you and your counsellor recognize you are ready to move on, it can be exciting for both of you. Your counsellor will help you plan how to maintain your progress and what to do if you encounter concerns again. You have a fresh start and your counsellor will be there in the future if needed.
Sometimes clients end therapy without talking with their counsellor, leaving him or her to wonder what happened. Not only can this make it more difficult for clients to maintain progress, but they may also feel they have lost a potential future support. If the counsellor can’t reach the client, it also leaves the counsellor wondering what happened. Did my client feel enough progress had already been made? Did something go wrong? Did I say or do something that upset my client? Counsellors invest emotionally and professionally in the therapeutic relationship and appreciate feedback that lets them know what is happening. Your counsellor will always strive to treat you and your decisions with compassion and respect. In return, you can help your counsellor by communicating any concerns and showing that you understand they deserve compassion and respect too.
Why does my counsellor want me to do homework between sessions?
The fact that you are coming in for counselling suggests you are committed to improving your wellbeing. We applaud your decision and will support your endeavors to address today’s concerns and build the strategies and confidence to manage tomorrow’s challenges. Initially, we will collaborate with you to set your personal goals for therapy. Moving forward in therapy, you will add new strategies and skills to help you attain your goals. As with any new skill, practicing these new strategies will help you become comfortable and proficient. It will also help determine the right strategies for your situation.
Practice brings results!
Why do I need to fill out forms before and after each session?
Counsellors rely on open communication to help you explore and develop insight into your ideals, beliefs, and life experiences so you can move forward. Feedback to your counsellor is an important part of this process, but people sometimes struggle to express how they are feeling, what has changed, or what they found helpful. Our session evaluation forms help Viewpoint counsellors assess how you are feeling before and after your session and provide your counsellor with feedback on your improvement over time. Your feedback also guides your counsellor in tailoring his or her therapeutic model and strategies to better enhance your progress.
What are the costs for counselling?
Fees for services at Viewpoint are based on the schedule of fees set by the Psychologists Association of Alberta (PAA).
Standard fees for a registered psychologist are $200.00 for a 50-minute session or $300 for a 90-minute session. Viewpoint counsellors may offer other rates or a sliding scale, depending on their qualifications or your financial situation. Please discuss rates and any requests for a sliding scale directly with your counsellor.
Many employee health plans reimburse all or part of your counselling fees up to a yearly maximum. Clients should submit receipts directly to their insurance provider for reimbursement. Any fees not reimbursed by your health plan can also be deducted each year from your taxes as a medical expense.
Why are there cancellation fees?
Counsellors understand that life’s demands will sometimes interfere with your self care. However, when a client cancels shortly before an appointment, your counsellor typically cannot put another person in that timeframe. Counsellors in private practice are only paid when they see clients, so most charge a fee for appointments cancelled less than one business day ahead of time. If you need to reschedule, please provide as much notice as you can so you and your counsellor can adjust your schedules in ways that respect the value of both your times.