Talk Therapy

Just like a trades professional who has the right tool for the right job, there are many talk therapies I use in session- using the appropriate tool for each situation.   Although rarely formally announced, we can use them as needed and when indicated.  Formal sessions with any  are available as well. Please see below for a small description of the therapies.

Hypnotherapy: please click on the link here to discover more about hypnotherapy.  

What is the difference between counselling and coaching? In general, counselling starts where you are today, and then brings awareness to events, habits, beliefs and circumstances that brought you to where you are.  Once you have awareness, it’s about being able to have conscious choice around those old stories and the beliefs they have created in your present life.   Coaching looks at where you are today, where you want to go and how do you create new habits, beliefs and opportunities for the goals to take place.  Both counselling and coaching are “talk therapy” where the client and the counsellor/coach talk out the issues that the client wishes to work on.  Coaching is more goal oriented with very little looking back.  Coaches are not certified to counsel- they must refer you to a counsellor if a past event continues to get in your way. Having both counselling and coaching in my toolbox means we can go any direction you would like in our work together.  I work from a “Client-Centred” modality which means that the client has control of which way we go, and I will ask the questions that will guide us to the client’s chosen goal.  Sometimes finding the goal takes several sessions, or perhaps the client will enter the session space knowing exactly what they are wanting in their life and then we work from there.

Is it a hard process? The path a client takes in counselling or coaching is entirely up to them and so the amount of work put in is their choice as well. Clients usually come to a counsellor or coach to gain insight into concerns and worries, to change lives or define goals. Often in therapy things can seem worse before they get better and there are no quick paths. This truly is work, especially changing habits or beliefs that may have become ingrained in childhood and are reinforced every day after that.  And we are so worth the hard work we put into ourselves!! Although I may offer some tools to assist in day to day life and  homework to try out these new ideas,  it is not the therapist’s place to advise clients or tell them what to do to “fix” their concerns. Ultimately the client is responsible for their own growth and successes depending on how much work and effort they are willing put in. My promises as a therapist are to offer a confidential and safe space of non-judgment, to always ask the hard questions, to keep my client on track of what they state they want, to always have my client’s best interest at heart and be in their corner as they get to the root of concern and reach those amazing goals!

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most well known therapies of today.  When used as a stand alone therapy, CBT is generally short term (usually 6-30 sessions) and requires much homework on the client’s part, out of session.   It is very cognitive (thought) focused, and highly structured by the counsellor.  CBT is about awareness of thoughts and the emotions and actions (behaviours) that result.  It requires the client to be willing to look very closely at behaviours, beliefs and change them at the core.  CBT is goal oriented and involves learning new strategies so there are some education moments throughout the sessions.  The client must be very dedicated to working outside of session times.
CBT is a foundation of present day therapy, often without your counsellor telling you this is what you are doing.  Elements of CBT can be used in conjunction with other therapies as well.  

Narrative Therapy (NT) attempts to help people identify their personal values and the skills & knowledge they have to support these values.  The client (with the therapist’s help) authors a new “narrative” about themselves after looking at the history of current values.  NT seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach which centres clients as the experts in their own lives.

Solution focused (brief) therapy (SFBT) is a highly structured, goal-directed approach to therapy that is conducted through the therapist’s observation of clients’ responses to a series of precisely constructed questions.  This is as close to life coaching that counselling gets: less about the trauma of the past than about where the client wants to be.  

Mindfulness is about allowing oneself to be totally present in what is happening, what thoughts and emotions are present.  It is very common for people to suppress their thoughts, beliefs, emotions and fears by busying their minds or coping via distraction, substance use or addiction.  We can use mindfulness to get to the root of our concerns,  release anxiety and learn how to manage from a place of safety.   Practicing mindfulness is a form of meditation.  Meditation is a deeper relaxed state: excellent to improve self-awareness, to help cope with depression and anxiety and for overall health for the heart, brain and sympathetic nervous system.  I use both mindfulness and meditation in sessions, in conjunction with other therapies.