Gwen Scott Counselling FAQ

Why is it so difficult to come to counselling?

You are not alone in your reluctance to seek counselling. Many people find it difficult to ask for help, especially around emotional/relational issues. We often tell ourselves that we should be able to handle problems on our own, or that they are not that bad. The good news is that sharing your concerns with an unbiased, trained professional often results in you feeling less anxious and alone. Frequently clients have expressed how relieved and hopeful they feel after the first session.

How do I get the “best bang for my buck” when I see a counsellor?

Here are a few tips to make the most of your time in therapy:

  • Be clear on what you want help with
  • Honestly accept responsibility for your part of the problem
  • Do your best to do assigned homework between sessions
  • If your therapist isn’t a fit for you let him/her know and ask for a referral
  • Bring your “best self” to each session
  • Be patient with yourself, making changes takes courage and perseverance. Lasting change is possible!

My financial resources are limited. How long will counselling take?

There is no doubt that getting therapy is financially  challenging for many people.

Here are some suggestions to address your concern:

  • Be candid with your therapist about your concerns at the initial visit.
  • Adjust the frequency of visits to fit your budget
  • Prioritize your issues, and work on “bite-sized” issues that can be dealt within a few sessions
  • Give yourself permission to take a break from counselling to work on what you have learned, then return to counselling at a later time
  • Commit yourself to the process, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish
  • Check with your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider to see if they will assist with counselling costs
  • Victim Services will also assist with counselling costs if you have been referred by them for counselling

Will my therapist keep my information confidential?

Confidentiality is foundational to good therapy. All professional therapists are guided by a code of ethics which includes confidentiality. Confidentiality and its limitations are discussed at the initial therapy session, and a contract is signed that supports this value. Limitations to confidentiality include: If the client discloses that he/she has plans to harm themselves or someone else, or if there is child abuse involved. This information will be disclosed to the appropriate authorities after first discussing it with you.

From time to time courts/lawyers, or the client him/herself may request a summary letter of session notes, or photocopy of written notes. Written consent from the client will be obtained before such information is disclosed.

How can I know if my counsellor is credentialed?

This is a great question to ask when you first make contact with a potential therapist. You may have heard that not everyone who practices counselling has formal training. Trained therapists usually are members of a professional organization such as the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) or the Canadian Certified Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). These organizations have prerequisite standards such as education and clinical supervision for those who wish to become members. They also mandate that the therapist adheres to a code of ethics, has a criminal records check, and has current liability insurance. Gwen has been a member in good standing of the BCACC since 2001.