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Counselling Related PDF Print Email

Q: what is counselling?
Counselling involves the development of a relationship between a client and a trained professional (e.g., psychologist) that focuses on the client’s concerns and difficulties. It is a
process in which individuals have the opportunity to improve upon their understanding of themselves, including their patterns of thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and the ways in which these may have been problematic in their lives. Counselling also provides individuals with opportunities to examine how to tap into existing resources or develop new ones that make for more effective living and relationships. Counselling is a collaborative effort as it involves the client and psychologist working together to identify goals.

Q: Do normal people need counselling?
Individuals seeking out counselling face normal developmental and life concerns. Difficulties managing stress, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, identity concerns, poor self-esteem, relationship problems, and loneliness are only a few of the reasons for which people may choose to engage in
the counselling process.

Q: How do I know if I need to see a psychologist?
It may be an appropriate time to consult with a psychologist or counsellor if you are experiencing any of the following:
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Personal issues interfere with sleep, eating habits, concentration, academic performance,
and/or relationships with others.
Persistent worry.
Prolonged sadness.
Feeling depressed, lethargic, or apathetic.
Thoughts of suicide or wanting to harm yourself.
Increased irritability, inappropriate mood swings, angry outbursts. Engaging in bizarre, threatening or dangerous behaviour, violent or other extremely disruptive behaviour (e.g., hostile, threats, assaults).
Indecisiveness or difficulties making decisions.
Loss of control of your life.
Experiencing uncertainty about your choice of university major or career.
Concerned about the behaviour or psychological status of someone else (e.g., partner, family member, peer) and wondering about how or even whether you should intervene.

Q: Who will know that I am coming for counselling?
Unless you decide to inform others (e.g., family, friends, partner) that you are seeking out psychotherapy, no one will know. In accordance with the Psychology Professions Act, Chartered Psychologists adhere to a strict policy of maintaining confidentiality regarding your involvement in counselling. Should you request your psychologist to communicate with an external source. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule. There are circumstances when psychologists are ethically and legally entitled to break confidentiality. These circumstances are as follows:
Knowledge of ongoing abuse and neglect of a child or dependent adult.
Serious risk of suicide or harm for you or other individuals.
Subpoena of your file by a court of law.

Q: How can I best benefit from counselling?
As a client, there are certain responsibilities that you have that can help make the counselling process more beneficial to you. We recommend the following:
Attend scheduled sessions and arrive on time.
Be specific about the concerns that have led you to seek counselling.
Work with your counsellor to establish goals.
Give thought to what you would like to discuss during each session.
Be willing to explore new behaviours within and outside of your sessions.
Complete assigned homework tasks/readings.
Discuss ongoing progress and work with your counsellor to modify your goals.
Communicate with your counsellor when the process is not helpful to you.

Q: What's the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
Psychologists “are concerned with the study and management of human behaviour.” To work as a counselling or clinical psychologist, psychologists must be licensed and registered with the provincial regulating body. Once members of the provincial regulatory body, psychologists are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics. Individuals who refer to themselves as “counsellors” or provide “counselling” are not to be confused with psychologists who offer counseling, psychotherapy or other therapy services. Anyone, regardless of training, can technically refer to himself or herself as a “counselor.Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and emotional disorders.
Psychiatrists attend medical school and receive Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. Following the completion of this degree, individuals are then required to complete a post-graduate residency-training program with a specialization in psychiatry. Treatment approaches may be more biologically based. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are able to prescribe psychotropic medications.

Q: What if I need medication?
Individuals who suffer from certain conditions (e.g., severe anxiety, depression) may require and benefit from medication. If you are uncertain about whether you could benefit from medication, discuss this issue with your psychologist or counsellor and a referral to either a psychiatrist or general practitioner may then be made.
A referral to a physician for a physical/check-up may also be made by your psychologist in order to ensure that your symptoms are not caused by a physical disorder. Many physical conditions (e.g., hypothyroidism) can produce changes in mood, energy level, and concentration. It is good practice to rule out physical explanations for symptoms at the initial start of therapy.