Coquitlam Counselling

Tri City Clinical Counselling

What is Professional Counselling?

Clinical counselling sometimes referred to as psychotherapy, is built on a trusting relationship between the counsellor and the client.

Counselling offers specialized supports, skills, and action planning for both mental health and physical health concerns.

Clients have the opportunity to talk about their concerns and problems with a highly trained, empathic and non-judgmental counsellor in order to work on both current issues and to prepare for future challenges. The collaborative relationship requires both the client and counsellor to be active participants in sessions.

Counselling services are trauma-informed, meaning it is acknowledged that many people have experienced in their lives, there are several paths to recovery that can be explored, we aim to actively avoid re-traumatization, and knowledge about trauma is integrated into all policies, procedures, and practices.

Who Can Benefit from Counselling?

Counselling can help with a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety disorders (including generalized anxiety, specific phobias, panic disorder, agoraphobia, etc.), major depressive disorder, other depressive disorders, perinatal anxiety and depression.

Counselling is also helpful for those dealing with life stresses, life transitions, and caregiver burnout. Additionally, there is a lot of evidence that counselling can help with physical health conditions including chronic pain and a variety of chronic illnesses (cancer, autoimmune diseases, etc.) to decrease symptoms and improve well-being and overall quality of life.

For all conditions, counsellors provide support, coping strategies, and problem-solving skills. Client success in counselling depends on their engagement and commitment to the process, as well as their relationship with their counsellor.

How Long are Counselling sessions?

Individual counselling sessions are 50-minutes long and are a combination of a discussion of issues bringing the client into counselling, and how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are impacting their lives.

Every session includes some experiential components around coping strategies and managing emotions. Goals are decided collaboratively between the client and counsellor and reviewed as the client’s needs change.

The sessions can be more directive or less directive depending on the client’s preferences and comfort level. There are usually strategies to practice between sessions that will help the client get the most out of their counselling experience.

How Long Does Counselling Take?

The majority of clients require between 10 and 20 sessions however, every individual is unique with some requiring more, and some requiring less. The client and counsellor evaluate the client’s needs together.

Once counselling ends, clients are encouraged to come back for booster sessions or return to counselling if they need to in the future.

Individual counselling is offered both in-person in Coquitlam, and online via telehealth. Both options are secure, giving the clients the option to have the experience that is most suited to them.

What About Group Counselling?

Group counselling sessions are 120-minutes long and usually run for 8 to 12 weeks in a small (4 to 8 participants), closed group.

Group counselling has the additional benefits of having support from peers dealing with similar issues. It includes psychoeducation, sharing, and experiential activities.

Group counselling has the same evidence-based as individual counselling for most issues. Groups can also be beneficial for clients who have gone through individual counselling but would like some continued support before they are ready to handle their issues on their own.

What Techniques are Used?

The counselling techniques used are based on the latest psychological research, with the most common counselling modality being Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

CBT includes work with thoughts, emotions, and behavioural activation in order to improve symptoms.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a growing modality with a large evidence base for treating chronic pain and illness. ACT is an existential, experiential form of cognitive behavioural therapy, and was originally developed to treat anxiety disorders.

At times, techniques from other therapeutic modalities may be integrated, such as those from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Narrative Therapy.

For the perinatal population, self-care, based on the acronym NEST-S, has a large evidence-base as being helpful.

Is Counselling Private?

Counselling is confidential and highly regulated by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

There are strict ethical guidelines and nothing is shared without the written permission of the client.

Confidentiality and its limits are reviewed as part of the informed consent process. Limits of confidentiality include:

  • When the client is in danger of harming themselves or others.
  • When a child or vulnerable adult is being abused.
  • When the client’s file is subpoenaed by the court.

Final Thoughts

Most importantly, counselling doesn’t need to be a scary experience!

Many clients find they get some initial relief early on, with the greatest change happening as counselling proceeds and in-between sessions with the practice of skills learned.

Counselling is a safe, and supportive process.


“Between a stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

– Viktor Frankl

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