Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an appointment?

Making an appointment is easy. Click here to make an inquiry or to schedule a time.

What happens in the first session?

Typically, the first session is about getting to know each other. We will talk about why counselling seems like a good option for you right now, share some information about confidentiality and what you can expect in the counselling sessions. As well, I will be listening to some of your story and your hopes for the future.

What happens after the first session?

After the first session, we delve into the context of the problem and begin to co-create possible solutions and strategies. Each time we meet, we will be talking about a number of things, including the following:

  • how the previous week went for you;
  • what is and is not working well;
  • discussing and practicing new skills or reclaiming strengths and abilities; or,
  • information about psychological, physical, or emotional processes you might be experiencing;

There are typically some between-session ideas to think about or try out and your evaluation of these suggestions and strategies is discussed in the next session.

How long does counselling usually take?

As you might imagine, this varies greatly according to the type and severity of the problem(s) and the unique characteristics of each person. Although 8-10 sessions could be considered a general guideline, we will discuss on a regular basis whether more sessions would be helpful.

How can I pay? How much will it cost?

There are many ways to pay: cash, cheque, and credit card. All payments are receiptable and may be claimed as a deduction on your income tax (re: medical expenses). As well, some extended health plans will pay a certain amount for clinical counselling services.
The recommended and typical rate for counselling is $100/hour (includes GST). However, where financial need is a factor, a sliding scale rate may be considered.

What kinds of counselling are offered?

Please check out the SERVICES page and some of the other FAQs on this page. If you still have questions or concerns, please use the Contact Form.

What type of counselling do you practice?

Second Story Counselling offers an integrative and holistic approach to counselling, which means that it respects the whole person (mind, body and spirit) and the right to work with a therapy technique or style that fits his or her unique context. In keeping with ethical practice, the types of counselling will always be collaborative, client-centred, and respectful and are in accordance with with current research and best practices.

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Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focussed Brief Therapy, and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy are commonly employed but the use of many other techniques and skills are common as well according to the needs and goals of the client. The theories undergirding my counselling approach have their roots in postmodernism and social construction, which means they are oriented toward a person’s relationship to contextual factors and influences, are focussed on solutions and not problems, and are present and future oriented.

How do I know my information will be kept confidential?

Confidentiality is assured at Second Story Counselling. This is an important topic we discuss in the first counselling session but you may have questions about this now.

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Confidentiality: I will make every effort to ensure your safety, rights, and privacy. Your confidential information will not be shared with any other person unless you specifically request this in writing. However, you may access your counselling file at any time. When we are finished our counselling sessions, your information is retained in a locked filing cabinet in a sealed envelope for 5 years at which time it will be destroyed (legal requirement).

Limits to Confidentiality: According to Federal and Provincial law, every counsellor must disclose information if he or she believes that: there is risk of harm or neglect to a child under 19 years of age or a vulnerable person; there is a risk of harm to yourself or another person; if there is a medical or psychological emergency, or if the courts subpoena information.

If you have any further concerns or questions, please feel free to use the Contact form for this purpose or let me know in the first session. Thanks.

What is included in Pre-Marital Mentoring & Counselling?

Weekly or bi-weekly sessions typically follow a question-based format wherein the couple will discuss various topics informed by each person’s values, beliefs, and goals. Topics, such as families and in-laws, sexuality and intimacy, and communication strategies, are chosen by the couple according to their stated importance. Some preparatory work is completed before each session and these explorations become the basis for the discussions that follow.

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Typically, couples and I meet together for 6-8 sessions before the marriage ceremony or beginning of cohabitation, with 3 follow-up sessions in the first year of marriage or cohabitation. This is when theory becomes reality and surprising (and often difficult) developments can occur! These Mentoring and Counselling sessions can then provide support for problem-solving, personal development, growth, or healing, or options for communication styles and relating to each another. Alternately, couples or individual counselling is always available for folks who want to meet more often.

What is Expressive Arts Therapy and how is it different from counselling?

Expressive Arts Therapy combines counselling sessions with fine arts. Some individuals prefer to utilize creative work as an adjunct to counselling sessions and processes. This could include any creative work, such as painting, digital or written work, sculpture, or music. Studio, home, and/or in-session work can be made use of to further explore counselling topics, themes, and ideas.

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If you would like more information about Expressive Arts Therapy, click here to visit the Second Story Studio website. It offers some examples of creative work used in a counselling context. It also has times and schedules for upcoming group work and sessions.

What is Spiritual Counselling?

Spiritual counselling explores faith and spirituality from a position of curiosity and listening; it is non-evaluative and non-judgmental. Counselling sessions are centred on the person’s interests and goals and therefore can be quite diverse, ranging from...

  • critical thinking about beliefs, values, and spiritual formation or growth,
  • healing from problematic practices or abuses related to faith and faith communities,
  • attending to issues related to social justice, identity, and sexual orientation, and
  • the use of contemplative spiritual practices and exercises

Spiritual Counselling sessions facilitate discovery, growth, and healing and support the client’s beliefs, values, and preferred ways of being in the world.

To get more info or schedule an appointment

How to Get Here

1321 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC
V8W 0B6