Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
When working with a counsellor you feel comfortable and confident with, the counselling process allows you to explore your feelings to gain greater clarity and solve problems. Counselling is different from talking to a trusted friend or family member. Speaking with a trained therapist who is not biased can provide you with different perspectives on issues you're struggling with.
Many clients identify an increase in self awareness, self esteem, and positive coping strategies after engaging in the counselling process. Talking about your feelings in a truly non-judgemental, safe atmosphere can allow you to embrace your strengths and nurture your weaknesses. At Peak Resilience, we understand that one of the strongest predictors of a successful therapy experience is a strong therapeutic relationship between client and counsellor. For this reason, we focus on tailoring therapy to your individual needs and using a variety of therapeutic tools to help you live your best life.
"The life I have now, thanks to the work I have done with Peak Resilience, is a thousand percent better than the life I came to Jennifer with. For that I am eternally thankful." -V.W.
"I was really nervous to start counselling because it meant I was acknowledging I needed help. The only regret I have about this whole experience is that I didn't start sooner! I feel so comfortable and supported in our sessions and now I'm embracing my strengths and actually reaching my goals, which was something I didn't think was possible before." - M.S.
"This counselling experience has helped me feel better in all areas in my life. The counsellor really seemed to genuinely care about how I was feeling and was instrumental in the positive changes I've made." -K.T.
When you first come in to Peak Resilience, you'll be offered a coffee, tea, or water and a comfy seat overlooking the mountains, ocean and downtown Vancouver. In our first session, we'll start by reviewing the informed consent form, which outlines the counsellor's background, what counselling is, and confidentiality. When we discuss the informed consent form it will be a collaborative process that will begin to uncover what will be most helpful for you. We tailor our therapeutic approach to each individual. Some people like to come in and talk about their thoughts and feelings without a great deal of interruption from the therapist. However, others may feel intimidated by this and would like more structure or direction. Usually, a counselling session feels like a comfortable conversation where you can address issues that are getting in your way and find different solutions that will help.
In couple's or family counselling, sessions are somewhat different. In the first few sessions, we will identify areas you would like to improve in your relationship. Individuals will each have an equal opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in our sessions. We will all agree on boundaries or "ground rules" for our sessions, so we can discuss issues in a respectful, supportive environment.
Depending on what issues you are addressing, the amount of sessions will vary. The frequency and number sessions are determined in a collaborative conversation between you and your counsellor. In our experience, clients come for an average of four to ten sessions in order to deal with a specific issue or crisis. After a series of sessions, many clients choose to continue with less frequent sessions to maintain their mental health and wellbeing.
Many people are confused when discussing the differences between the designations. First, the terms "counselling", "therapy", and "psychotherapy" will be used interchangeably here. All terms refer to talking through your problems or issues with a trained professional using various models of therapy.
A Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC must meet the requirements of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors. Registered Clinical Counsellors help people understand and solve problems affecting their quality of life. They must have a Master's Degree in psychology and meet many other stringent requirements for continuing competency and ethical conduct. Please see the Scope of Practice on the BCACC website to gain further clarity. All Registered Clinical Counsellors are unique in their mode of therapy, so it is important you determine which one will best suit your needs and fit with your personality. The cost of therapy with a Registered Clinical Counsellor can range from $110-$180 per session, depending on the experience of the therapist and the services being provided. Many extended health care plans cover all or a portion of these fees.
Registered Psychologists are licensed through the College of Psychologists of British Columbia and must have a Master's Degree or PhD. They administer psychological tests, diagnose mental health disorders, and perform psychotherapy. The cost of seeing a Psychologist ranges from $150-$220 per session, depending on the services being provided. Some extended health care plans cover this cost.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors that specialize in Psychiatry after graduating with their MD. Psychiatrists often prescribe medications to help their clients control mental health symptoms. Certain mental health issues benefit from medication to help control symptoms and allow the person to increase other healthy coping strategies like exercise, healthy eating and attending talk therapy. Psychiatrists also perform psychotherapy similar to Registered Psychologists and Registered Clinical Counsellors. Referral to a psychiatrist can be obtained by your family physician. If you do not have a family physician, here is a list of physicians accepting new patients. Seeing a psychiatrist is usually covered under MSP.
There are almost countless models of psychotherapy. Models of therapy we utilize revolve around the strengths of each individual client, and the importance of creating a strong, trusting therapeutic relationship. If you are more interested in specific models of therapy we utilize, please see our Who We Are bios to learn more.
Counsellors at Peak Resilience truly believe the therapeutic relationship is the most important predictor of successful outcomes in therapy. In addition, all counsellors at Peak Resilience practice from a framework of intersectional feminism (see the wiki article for more information here). This means we are on a constant quest to understand how different forces of oppression affect your mental health, relationships, career or school functioning and general wellbeing. By understanding various forces of oppression, we can then uncover empowerment. Counsellors at Peak Resilience also view your issues holistically, which means we discuss your mental and emotional health as well as social life, spiritual life and physical health. We are not physical health practitioners, so we often make appropriate referrals if you need support with your physical wellbeing.