Common Questions About Therapy
What happens in therapy?
Often, clients come to therapy not knowing where to start or what to expect. It’s ok if you feel lost, nervous, or cautious, especially if it's your first time seeing a counsellor. While every client-counsellor experience is different, there are a few things you can expect:
In the first few sessions
You'll be asked what brings you to therapy, your concerns, and any symptoms you experience
You may be asked about your childhood, education, work history, current relationships, and long term goals
You will be asked to review and sign forms that indicate consent to counselling and understanding of payment terms, and may be asked to complete some questionnaires
Most important of all, you and your counsellor will be getting to know each other and building trust in the counsellor-client relationship, which is an important part of effective therapy
Sessions are often weekly to start, then spread out more (for example, once every other week) to allow time between the sessions to work on the problem.
As counselling progresses
At A Beautiful Place Therapy, I (Tawny) draw from various therapeutic methods based on what will work best for your unique concerns and goals
Some methods of therapy will give you more space to draw your own conclusions and direct the course of therapy
Other methods will be more directive, providing feedback on your progress, self-work exercises to practice some of the techniques learned in therapy
How much you get out of therapy will depend on the work you put into it. It is important to honestly share your feelings and thoughts
A good therapist will guide and support you, and challenge you when you are ready to be challenged
Important to understand about my personal approach to therapy is that it is collaborative and transparent. You and I will work together as a team, both of us putting in the effort and work to bring about change. Whenever possible, I will explain the counselling process to you in clear and simple language.
Will my health insurance coverage be accepted?
Some employee benefit insurance programs covers the costs of seeing a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, however not all do. Major providers confirmed to cover RTCs are listed below.
Pacific Blue Cross
Equitable Life of Canada
Green Shield Canada
iA Financial Group
For providers not listed, it is recommended to check with your particular insurance company and group plan to find out the details of your coverage. For Canada Life and Manulife plans, please confirm the details of your coverage with a representative as they approve on a case-by-base basis.
If your insurance plan cover services, you will provide your receipt of payment to them for reimbursement which is delivered to you by email after I receive your funds.
What does it mean to be 'neurodiversity-affirming'?
Neurodiversity is based on the idea that each of our brains are completely unique (like fingerprints) and therefore provide a unique experience of our world through our senses, cognition, and relationships. Being neurodiversity-affirming means to embrace natural neurological differences, and views any resulting disability as rooted in societal barriers, NOT as individual deficits.
When a person’s differences result in challenges in day to day functioning, the approach is NOT to try to change the individual, but rather to understand and educate about their differences and to find ways to change the environment and social expectations while building individual skills.
To be neurodiversity-affirming is to believe that diversity and differences in how we think, feel, behave, and relate to others are what make each person unique. Therefore, every person is equally worthy and valuable.
What is meant by 'trauma-informed care'?
Trauma-Informed Care is an approach in counselling and human services that assumes that an individual is more likely than not to have a history of trauma. This framing recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual’s life and health.
Trauma-informed care follows five guiding values of safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment that serve as a framework to reduce the likelihood of re-traumatization.
Ensuring that the physical and emotional safety of a client is addressed is the first important step to providing trauma-informed care.
The more choice a client has and the more control they have over their experience through a collaborative effort with the counsellor, the more likely they will participate in sessions and the more effective the counselling may be.
The client needs to know that the counsellor is trustworthy. Trustworthiness can be evident in the establishment and consistency of boundaries and the clarity of what is expected in sessions.
Focusing on an individual's strengths and empowering them to build on those strengths while developing stronger coping skills provides a healthy foundation for individuals to fall back on after finishing counselling.
How long do I need to be in therapy to feel better?
People often start to notice improvement within the first few weeks of treatment. Many feel better once they know they are doing something to deal with their problem.
The length of treatment depends on your situation, including the nature of your problems. Some people attend therapy for one session, three sessions, a few months or a few years.
When the client is receptive to change and embraces the therapy, results may be seen more quickly. Another factor that can help is go set goals so that it is clearer what results are desired.
Is it too late for me to change the way I think or act?
The myth that old dogs can't learn new tricks - or that human personality is locked in at an early age - is just that, a myth!
Neuroscientists have proven that the brain has the ability to change throughout our entire lives! New pathways can continually be formed in the brain, which means that there is ongoing potential to form new beliefs and behaviours.