Frequently Asked Questions

Got Questions? We have the Answers!

The thought of working with a (new) therapist can raise a lot of questions and make people feel nervous, and these are absolutely normal and healthy responses!

Here are some common questions that people have wondered about before coming to counselling.

What Does Counselling Do For Me?

A common misnomer is that counselling is here to “fix” you, which implies that you are, in some way, broken before coming to therapy. This statement could not be further from the truth. Instead, you can view therapy as a process that can help you through your struggles that are preventing you from achieving growth and change. You are not the problem; the problem is the problem. There are many reasons for seeking counselling. For some, it is a cry for help in the wake of a crisis. For others, it could be a quest for knowledge, or simply seeking a safe space to share personal information with an unbiased observer. All reasons are valid reasons, and we are ready to help you embark on a journey to achieve the wellness you are seeking.

What Should I Look For In A Counsellor

The hallmark of any great therapeutic relationship – that is to say, how well you and your counsellor get along – depends on the level of trust. In turn, trust depends on a few factors: some are related to your counsellor’s skill and experience, and some depend on your personal comfort. The latter can be demographic in nature, including gender, age, or similar cultural background. It is important to note that while similarities can be helpful, trust can certainly be built between counsellors and clients with very different lived experiences.

Some key things to keep in mind are:
1) your sense of comfort about your therapeutic relationship in the initial session
2) your belief in the counsellor’s knowledge
3) your sense of the counsellor’s own confidence in their abilities

To help shed some light on these important considerations. We offer a free 15-minute intro to allow you to connect with our therapists.


What Is "RCC", And Why Is It Important?

The Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) designation is offered by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) to those who have met the highest standards in academic, clinical, and professional training for best counselling practices. Additionally, RCCs are committed to the BCACC’s strict standards of practice and ethical codes of conduct. Although currently the counselling profession remains unregulated in the Province of BC, clients can remain confident in receiving the highest quality of care from counsellors with a RCC. All counsellors at Strive Counselling are required to have a RCC designation.

What Is The Difference Between A Counsellor, Psychologist, And Psychiatrist?

A counsellor (therapist/psychotherapist) is someone who has at least Masters-level of education and training in counselling psychology. Their role is broad and diverse, where they are able to deal with issues ranging from day-to-day challenges, to suicidality, to post-traumatic stress disorder. Some counsellors can really specialize in certain modalities (eg. CBT) or in a population (eg. at-risk youth).

Generally speaking, a psychologist (or clinical psychologist, registered psychologist) is someone who has a PhD in psychology. They can be an academic who conducts research, a clinician who provides psychological diagnoses and assessments, provide therapy, or any combination of the above. Registered psychologists (that is to say, clinical psychologists) tend to focus their training and area of practice, rather than take on a broader array of issues, as a counsellor would. 

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has training in diagnosing mental illness and prescribing psychiatric medications, such as anti-depressants or mood stabilizers. Their training for providing talk therapy may vary, as this may not have been a requirement for their educational background.

How Confidential Is My Information?

Confidentiality is one of the foundational pillars that therapy – and all other health-related professions – rely on. This means that everything discussed between a counsellor and a client are kept private and confidential**, from content of the sessions, to appointment times, to attendance. 

This confidentiality is a legal and ethical obligation that only applies to the counsellor, but the clients may choose to share details of their therapy with whomever they want. 

Exceptions to confidentiality based on the BCACC include:

1) reports of imminent harm to self or others
2) reports of on-going harm (e.g. abuse) to vulnerable populations including children and elderly
3) if there is a court-ordered disclosure of sessions notes

Let’s Start a Conversation

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