Do you feel like you are struggling with one or multiple parts of your life? Are you feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty coping or managing? Do the strategies you are trying not seem to be working anymore? If this is the case seeking individual counselling may be helpful for you.
There are times in all of our lives that for various reasons the demands placed on us seem to outweigh our personal resources. There is convincing evidence that most people who have at least several sessions of psychotherapy fair far better than individuals with emotional difficulties who do not receive treatment.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change
~ Carl Rogers
Signs that Individual Counselling May be Right for You
Are you wondering if individual counselling is right for you? Individuals come to counselling for a broad range of issues. If you find yourself struggling in any of the below-listed areas, then it may be worth considering speaking with a psychologist.
- You are finding that your mood is low more days than not
- You have difficulty controlling your reactions
- You are engaging in habits that are difficult to change
- You are struggling in your personal or work relationships
- You are finding it difficult to carry out everyday activities
- You worry excessively, expect the worst, or are constantly on edge
- Your actions are harmful to yourself or to others
- Despite your efforts, your struggles do not seem to be improving
How Can Counselling Help?
Counselling can help an individual in a variety of ways. Some benefits that we see people achieve in counselling include:
- Relief or reduction in symptoms such as improved mood
- Improved relationships with others
- Increased self-awareness
- Increased self-worth and self-esteem
- Increased ability to cope
- Enhanced quality of life
What Can I Expect from Counselling?
In the first session, the psychologist will work with you to help you get a better understanding of the counselling process, her style of working with clients, and review information on confidentiality. The psychologist will also ask about your reason for entering counselling and get a better sense of how she can help you to meet your therapeutic goals. The psychologist also works collaboratively with you to explore your hopes for counselling and to create an anticipated treatment plan. As such, the psychologist may spend more of this initial session asking you questions about your background, current difficulties, and strategies you have tried to address your concerns.
Ultimately, the first session is about providing and sharing important information that will set the foundation for a helpful working relationship. It is this relationship between the psychologist and yourself that research has shown is the most important factor in helping individuals meet their goals. The relationship should be one of mutual respect and safety where you feel comfortable and able to openly to share your personal information.
In the second session, you and the psychologist will continue to build the therapeutic relationship and start addressing more directly your issue(s) for entering counselling. Depending on your preference, this session could involve more of a listening and supporting model whereby you direct the session and share what is bothering you or it can take the form of the therapist taking the lead to provide psychoeducation and strategies to help tackle your presenting concern.
In the third and subsequent sessions, you and your psychologist will work toward achieving your therapeutic goals and may address any other issues that come up during your time in counselling. If at any time you have concerns about the counselling relationship or feel that there is not an appropriate fit with the psychologist (which is okay as we are all human and work best with certain people) we would be happy to refer you to another psychologist.
How does Confidentiality Work in Counselling?
The general rule of practice is that your psychologist is not permitted to disclose anything that you tell her to anyone without your written permission for her to do so. There are some limits to confidentiality that your psychologist will discuss with you in detail at the start of your first session.
What is the Length of a Counselling Session?
Individual sessions are typically 50 minutes in length with 10 minutes for post session notes and other professional services (such as consultation or phone calls if needed). If you feel that you require more or less time per session, this can be discussed with your psychologist.
What is the Cost of an Individual Session?
The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta recommended fee for individual counselling is $200 per therapy hour. The therapy “hour” is usually 50 minutes allowing 10 minutes for after-session notes and other services. Payment is due at the end of each session in the form of credit card or cash. Clients are issued a receipt that they can submit to their private insurance for reimbursement.