Pamela Baker

B.A.(H), M.S.W., RSW, CAC-II

Expert care for addictions & mental health for adolescents and adults

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What to Expect from Individal Counselling

What is a counselling session?
The individual counselling process involves a helping, supportive and empowering relationship between two people. Typically, the relationship or rapport is one important part of what makes counselling successful. Counsellors assist individuals with expressing emotions, solving personal problems, and understanding oneself better. They also offer support, psychoeducation and resources.

What happens in a first and subsequent sessions?
In a first session Pamela will ask you a variety of questions about you, your life, your family, general health questions and what is challenging you at this time. This discussion will help Pamela understand you and your concerns, and make an initial assessment of your situation. Later sessions will likely be less structured than the initial session depending on the issues identified and the amount of time we have together to address your identified challenges. Pamela will attempt to get a better understanding of what your needs and wants are for counselling services, as this is your counselling experience and should be tailored to fit your needs. Depending on your goals, Pamela may assign "homework" to be completed before your next session which may include an activity to complete, a reading or writing assignment which will help you to move towards your goals.

What will my counsellor expect of me?
Pamela will expect you to participate in sessions and contribute to the counselling process. It is okay to go to a counsellor primarily for support. You initially do not need to be ready to make changes. It is helpful if you are at least willing, open and honest in exploring with the counsellor what is concerning you and what you would like to be different. Generally, counsellors will want to help you explore both your thoughts and feelings.

What does it take for counselling to be effective?
Counsellors vary in their approach and beliefs about how counselling is most effective. All counsellors will be focused on helping you deal with the problems that brought you in. Counsellors will expect you to come prepared to talk about what is bothering you, be open about your thoughts and feelings, and discuss ways you can address your concerns. Counsellors cannot “fix” your problems or force you to change, but they can help you figure out what you want to do to help you move forward in your life.

What is Psychotherapy?