Counselling Questions

Frequent Counselling Questions

People who choose to go into counselling are making a proactive choice to change what is not working and heal from discomfort and pain that is interfering in their lives. Seeking support from a counsellor is an empowering action.
A counsellor is trained to hear the needs of their clients and support them. Counsellors abide by a highly ethical code of conduct. As a professional it is the counsellors job to ethically honour and respect the client’s journey.
Sharing your concerns, pain, grief, dreams, successes, fears, hopes & possibilities can never be a waste of time. Comparing your life with someone else diminishes the sacredness of your life’s experience. There will always be others who are in greater or in lesser need than yourself. This does not take away your need for support and guidance. Counselling is not about fixing something that is broken it is about learning how to move forward in a way that is both empowering and satisfying for you.
The counsellor holds great honour and respect for the journey that the client is on. It takes courage to address the problems that prevent us from living empowered lives.
Length of treatment varies according to the nature of the client’s difficulties and the client’s readiness to engage in change. This can be discussed during the first counselling session and adjusted throughout counselling to match the client’s needs. Depending on the individual and area of conflict a brief therapy approach can be initiated over 4-6 sessions as well as, extended into longer term therapy if needed. The ultimate goal is to empower the client to become self sufficient, utilizing supports and tapering out of counselling. The client is never trapped. The client has full freedom to stop whenever he or she wishes. The financial cost of counselling is dependent on the amount of investment the client wishes or needs to make towards personal growth. It is important for the client to create a budget for counselling ahead of time so that the finances do not become a stressor for the client.
Ask the counsellor any concerns you have about the counselling process and how they are able to help you in an efficient and safest manner. You may wish to contact several counsellors before you choose the one you wish to work with. This can be a powerful exercise in asserting your needs in a safe place.
Counsellors are trained to be with the client no matter what they present. During the first session a counsellor will assess the client’s needs and refer the client to another professional if they are unable to support the client in meeting their needs. Counsellors also learn and grow, and are alert to continually expanding their own breadth of expertise and wisdom.
The clinical counsellor is ethically responsible for full confidentiality without a signed release of information form. However, there are the following exceptions to confidentiality:
1) When disclosure is required to prevent clear and imminent danger to the client and or others;
2) When legal requirements demand that confidential material be revealed; and
3) When a child is in need of protection
The therapeutic relationship entails clearly defined rights and responsibilities, held by both the client and his/her therapist. This enables the development of an atmosphere that promotes safety, risk taking and support so that the client has the empowerment to change. As a client, it is important for you to know your rights so that you are ensured that your well-being is my goal. There are also certain legal limitations to those rights that you should be aware of.
You have the right to participate in the ongoing counselling plans, to refuse any recommended services/suggestions, and to be advised of the consequences of such refusal. You have the right to access your counselling records. You have the right to confidentiality of your therapy. The counsellor is bound not to divulge any information you share in your sessions without your prior written permission and/or when required by law. However, Heather may from time to time need to consult with other professional counsellors regarding your case, at which your name will not be divulged and your identity protected.

Flexible Hours Available

Mon7AM – 10AM

Tues & Thur7AM – 12PM

Tues & Thur6PM – 10PM

Wed & Fri7AM - 10PM

Sat & Sun8AM - 6PM

Client Forms

If you are new to Optimal Life please ensure that you have downloaded and filled in the appropriate New Client Intake Form(s) and bring them with you to your first appointment.


3041 Anson Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3B 2H6
Phone: 778.840.0798
Text: 778.840.0798
[email protected]