What To Expect
Be inspired and championed.
Feel supported and encouraged.
Celebrate your victories and keep them coming!
Counselling sessions are either 55 or 80 minutes in length. Typically, these are face-to-face appointments, however, I do work with clients who live in remote areas or who may be barriered (e.g.; post-operative or house-bound) from easily attending in-office appointments.
Prior to our initial counselling session, we will connect via telephone, “Go to Meeting” (HD online video conferencing), GChat or Skype for a brief introductory conversation. This will enable both of us to get a better sense of one another and I will, hopefully, more fully understand how counselling services and support will be of the greatest service to you and your unique circumstances. It is important you work with a counsellor who you feel comfortable trusting and who offers you effective service provision in your area(s) of challenge. I am more than comfortable appreciating that I am not always the best person for the job! In these cases, I provide you with referral names of other counselling professionals (and services) that may better suit your needs and wishes.
Initial Sessions (our first full appointment) are 80 minutes in length. This gives us time to get a full picture of the matter(s) which has brought you to exploring therapeutic change, any relevant (bio/psycho/social, historical or present) influencing factors, and collaboratively develop a so-called “treatment plan”. Essentially, we will determine what it would take for you to decide our work together has been successful and useful. Before getting started, I like to ask my clients what would be different enough for them to, happily and comfortably, “fire” me with a big smile on their face! If ideas started popping to mind as you read this, please write them down!
A few words about counselling therapy:
- “Brief Therapy” is, generally, considered short in duration and solution-focused towards one singular goal for therapy. Most insurance plans ‘cover’ (inadequately) less than 3 appointments annually. This is an area within our health services that desperately needs better funding and easing of service access.
- Often I see clients more frequently at the outset of therapy and then they find a pattern of visitation that suits their needs (therapeutic goals, financial picture, emotional well being, etc.). I have many clients who I’ve seen on and off over the last number of years (depending on life circumstances, etc.). I have also worked with many clients who come solely for a set period of sessions to focus on a singular therapy or psycho-educational goal.
- It is difficult to determine “how much” therapy a person might optimally require or for positive change(s) to occur. Some challenges are more complex than others, some lives are more complex than others, and, frankly, some people are more complex than others. Whatever is determined, it is my strongly held ethical stance that this determination will be client-centered, client-directed, and collaboratively designed by the client(s) I work with and myself.
- Unfortunately, a too often untold possibility that can occur during the outset of counselling is that sometimes ‘things’ can feel worse before they start to feel better. Therapy is a space and process where we are (hopefully) afforded safety and respect while we explore parts and places of our stories that we may have spent a long time avoiding. Initially, this can be painful and/or cause uncomfortable feelings to arise. As your counsellor, I will attend to such and do my utmost to supply you with effective skills, understandings, and practical tools to help you through these potential experiences.
- I ask all clients I work with to get a complete physical examination by their Doctor, or at their local walk-in clinic, at the outset of counselling. This is important for general health, but it is vital in determining whether or not an underlying medical condition(s) may be contributing to, or causing, psychological symptoms. For example, experiences of anxiety (panic attacks, etc.) and depression (low mood and exhaustion, etc.) can be caused by thyroid conditions. Please, get examined and take care of your temple!
- IMPORTANT – All information shared during counselling sessions is strictly confidential. However, there are exceptions when your information may be shared with “outside” authorities – with or without your consent. Namely, in the following cases:
- A counsellor is required, by law, to report abuse of children, elders and the disabled (vulnerable persons);
- My records can be subpoenaed by a Court, or I may be called to testify;
- If your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger then I must notify proper authorities to keep you or them safe.
- FINALLY… before initiating our dialogue in the first session, you will be asked to read some information forms regarding your informed consent to counselling services and my services specifically. Following this, you will be asked to sign a form giving your signature as evidence that you understand the information provided.
Coaching sessions are generally an hour in length.
Session Communication methods:
- In person (at my office in Vancouver)
- Between session email connection available
Step 1 – Situational Analysis
- Where are you now and where do you want to be?
Step 2 – Exploration and Assessment
- Discover how to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t.
- Uncover your assets and off-load your deficits.
Step 3 – Life Design and Implementation
- Build out a plan together to move you forward in creating your new life.
Step 4 – Holding Yourself Up to Life as You Hope to Live it
- Remain accountable to the plan and, when appropriate, course-correct—to keep you on solid track.
Initially, it is optimal to have weekly sessions for the first six to eight weeks. The sessions may then spread to every second week. A minimum three-month commitment, on both our parts, is the industry standard practice. Benefits of Life Coaching accumulate over time.
During our sessions, I will furnish useful feedback and powerful questions. Through our exploration, your insight is increased and we will discover your significant “next-steps”. I frequently enhance your sessions by offering further resource materials. Clients have the option of using state-of-the-art assessment tools.
We will design a customized “map” that will strategically move you into living the life you most aspire to. We will also address any specific challenges that may be standing in the way of your being the person you most hope to be!
Together, we will implement your plan, celebrate your successes, and keep you realizing your goals.
“When I first started working with Elaine, I was in full burn-out and completely losing it at work, on the road and in my personal life. Now, I’m in a totally different career (one that I always thought would be fun, but not pay – I was wrong, it already pays better than my high-end stress monkey job AND work actually CAN be fun). I now have time to enjoy all the things I’d forgotten I liked to do. My coaching with Elaine keeps me accountable and on track. Elaine is able to cut to the chase with humour and provides me with insight and a lot of motivation to keep reaching towards the Me I’m committed to becoming.”
“Through the last year of coaching sessions with Elaine I’ve been able to completely re-design my life in all areas. When we started, I was stuck in a dead-end job, a dead relationship, and had no idea of how to find a way out. I was experiencing so much anxiety that I was hardly able to focus on even getting through the day. I am in such a different place now. I’ve started my own business and it’s already more than supporting my new lifestyle. I’m happily energized and feeling better than I have since my early 20’s! My relationships are on completely different footings and I’m dating someone who treats me with kindness and respect. The coaching work I’ve done with Elaine is the best investment I’ve made in the last ten years.”
“I was nervous to attend my first session. I had never spoken to anyone about intimacy, let along my anxiety surrounding it. Elaine made me feel comfortable and validated right from my first visit. Our sessions flowed naturally and she created a warm and open environment. I still use the tools and techniques she taught me. I will always be grateful for the help and guidance she provided.”
“Elaine’s guidance and support played a huge part in helping me through a very dark period in my life. When we first met I had all but given up hope of ever being able to overcome the challenges I was facing and function “normally” again. I felt broken, worthless, and had totally lost my confidence.
I was quite skeptical… but right from the start Elaine put me at ease by treating me with complete respect and giving me options on how we could approach the issues that were causing me so much difficulty. During our time together we always worked as a team and through the ups and downs of the healing process, she was constant in her encouragement of me to keep an open mind and believe in myself. Gradually I came to see that my issues did not define me as a person and it was this self-acceptance that made me feel able to take ownership of my life again.
Elaine is a professional, knowledgeable, dedicated practitioner and as her client I always felt safe and in good hands. As a person she is warm, kind, and has a great sense of humour — all of which make her a pleasure to work with. I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done for me and feel very proud of what we have achieved together!”
“When I was directed to Elaine for life coaching I seriously questioned, and even scoffed at, why anyone would need or want a “life coach”. Eight months and sixteen coaching sessions later, I’m convinced my decision to work with Elaine has changed my life permanently for the better. Through the assessment process to building a step-by-step plan, using the tools and skills Elaine has taught me, I am living my life from a place of joy and I’m excited about what’s coming. Life satisfaction is invaluable. Having Elaine in my corner has truly made all the difference.”