Frequently Asked Questions

Typically the first few sessions will involve evaluating your needs and collaborating on your goals. By the end of the evaluation, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a counselling plan to follow. I suggest you evaluate the information I provide you along with your own opinions of whether you feel comfortable working with me.

You are hiring a counsellor because you want to make significant changes in your life. These changes will sometimes happen fast and sometimes not, particularly if you have endured several adverse experiences during your childhood. Because change happens over time, a commitment to the counselling process is recommended. As a guideline, 10 - 15 sessions allow for the counselling relationship to develop and be powerful. This transformative relationship provides the basis for change.

Once an appointment is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide 24 hours advance notice of cancellation or we both agree that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control. I will do my best to find another time to reschedule your appointment.

Counselling fees are ¥8,000 for a 60 minute session.

I offer a sliding scale to a limited number of counselling clients when there is a financial need.

If you would like to start therapy with me, but cannot afford my full fee, please contact me about my sliding scale availability. If my sliding scale slots are full, I can put you on a waiting list until a spot becomes available.

Payment is generally made at the end of each session.

Counselling is the skilled and principled use of relationship, and the intentional use of conversation to facilitate self- knowledge, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, personal growth, and the optimal development of personal resources. The overall aim is to provide an opportunity to work towards living life more satisfyingly, resourcefully, and harmoniously.

Information that is shared during counselling is often explicitly personal. Your willingness to be honest with yourself is fundamental to the success of our work together and must be treated with the utmost respect. All information provided to me during sessions, in writing, or over the telephone is kept strictly confidential and can only be released to others with your written consent.

However, there are three situations in which I may be required by law to release information to others without your consent:

  • If I believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, I may be required to file a report with the appropriate authorities.
  • If I believe that a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another, I may be required to take protective actions.
  • If the client threatens to harm himself/herself, I may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.

These situations rarely occur. However, if a situation similar to those described above occurs, I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action.

Alongside numerous benefits, counselling can pose some risks. Since successful counselling is based on an authentic and honest relationship, it often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life. You may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness; or disconcerting awareness about yourself. Also, when you begin to change, sometimes those around you may not welcome these changes. Fortunately, research has shown that counselling provides many benefits; including personal growth, better relationships with self and others, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress, for people who go through with it.

Some of the goals of counselling are:

  • Gain clarity, insight, and new perspectives about yourself and others
  • Be more aware of your internal experience (thoughts and feelings) and responsible for your behaviour
  • Live more congruently and authentically
  • Live confidently and with more clarity
  • Be better choice makers
  • Improve communication skills
  • Explore fears, expectations, and perceptions
  • Minimize self-sabotaging behaviour
  • Discover solutions to current challenges
  • Rediscover purpose and meaning to life

Common benefits of counselling are:

  • Develop self-connection and self-leadership
  • Increased self-awareness and self-compassion
  • Improve your relationship with your self and others
  • Change current behaviour
  • Reduce anxiety, depression, or guilt
  • Draw out your creative, playful side
  • Interpret life experience and facilitate corrective emotional experiences
  • Heal from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
  • Make sense of and bring peace to traumatic event(s) and adverse life experiences
  • Educate and empower
  • Provide encouragement and accountability

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who, in addition to diagnosis, can prescribe medications. A registered psychologist can provide clinical diagnosis but does not prescribe medications. A registered clinical counsellor/psychotherapist does not diagnose or prescribe medication. All can provide some form of psychological intervention and all are regulated and licensed by their respective professional associations which in turn require strict academic and ethical standards, and supervised clinical training.

When searching for a counsellor or psychotherapist, always feel free to inquire about qualifications, training, and experience. The requirements for counselling practice vary between, and even within, countries. Generally, counsellors and psychotherapists providing psychological services have specialized training in counselling and psychotherapy, a Masters level graduate degree, are licensed by a professional association to use a professional title (such as: Psychologist, Social Worker, Certified Canadian Counsellor and Psychotherapist, etc.), and subscribe to a professional code of ethics.

Don't see your question?

If you have other questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact me for a no-charge 15-minute phone consultation. You can tell me about the challenges you are facing and I'll let you know how I can help.