It is normal to be nervous to begin any type of counselling, particularly couples counselling. We understand this and work hard to make you comfortable so you may begin to make changes as soon as possible. Though most couples, or one partner at least, often feel nervous at the beginning, we’ve found that most leave their first session feeling comforted and hopeful. Over time you likely will develop a strong relationship with your therapist as well, and this will also help dispel anxiety.
This is likely the most common concern of at least one person. Couple’s worry that one partner will be sided with and one will be made the bad guy or the problem. Some have even experienced this before from other therapists. We see the relationship as an interaction between two people’s attachment systems and thus no one person can be the bad guy or at fault for everything. Though many feel this is the case coming into counselling, most couples discover there is more below the surface that makes people act the way they do. What we can see, we can change. So this helps us then change these underlying patterns and create a safe, secure environment for them both.
It should not be, no. Because we practice EFT we have an approach that is helpful and a positive experience for people. We don’t act as a judge determining who is wrong and right, but help couples uncover what’s driving their behaviours. Then we help them connect over their deeper needs and feelings to change these patterns. In this way, we create a safe, positive, and useful experience. This is very important to us.
All couple’s benefit from support from time to time and we see couples that arrive at different points in their relationships. Some couples want to deepen their connection, and some are on the brink of divorce. Some have been married for 40 years and some are still dating. Likely if you think you could use the help, you could and the earlier you receive the help the better. Most people wait until the danger light is flashing before they begin to look into couples counselling and this means that there is more work to do to change their issues. The earlier couples see and address a problem the better. That said, we understand if it’s been years of feeling like there is an issue because that is the norm.
See the “Fees” section for details of costs and coverages. While many people do value and prioritize their emotional, psychological, or relational health, we understand that counselling is an added expense. If this is a concern we can arrange a time to talk via telephone to help you gauge whether you feel it is a good fit.
See the “Fees” section for details around insurance coverage. To summarize: it may be depending on your coverage. Many private insurance and benefit companies cover part or all of psychological services. A receipt is issued at the end of each appointment that you can submit to your coverage provider for reimbursement.
At this time we do not direct bill, we apologize. We send you an electronic receipt after your payment is processed (payment due at the time of the appointment via credit card or e-transfer) that you can submit for your benefits or tax purposes.
For the most up-to-date availability of the therapists, see their schedules online here, or click “Book An Appointment” at the bottom of this page.
The process of EFT couples therapy is that we meet first all together to get a rough sense of the issue. Then each partner meets 1-1 with the therapist, who gets a better understanding of where that person is coming from. These first 3 meetings are 75-minute appointments unless otherwise determined. Then moving forward the couple meets together with the therapists, typically for 60-minute appointments. It is most helpful to meet weekly or bi-weekly at first until your therapist feels you are ready to space out appointments. This is a way to gain the fastest traction in the therapy and in your relationship.
No, it means you’re human. While we understand that there is still a stigma about couples counselling, it is absolutely not something you should be embarrassed about. Human beings are each so uniquely different that living in close quarters, needing each other, and trying to stay connected through the difficult times of life (like having children) is tough. All relationships struggle from time to time, that is normal.
It is hard to determine exactly how long it takes because it depends on the issues, the degree of disconnection and conflict, each person’s unique background, and other factors. Research suggests typically between 15-20 sessions for average couples’ therapy, though longer if there are complicating issues such as affairs, trauma, neglect or other factors.
Sessions typically last either around an hour (60 min), 75 minutes or 90 minutes. Different people prefer or need different lengths of time. Most individual sessions can take place in an hour, however, some people may need more, particularly initially. Couples at first may need more than an hour and we suggest 75 minutes for the first three sessions. Families almost always need 90 minutes, at least initially.
This is one of the most common and most devastating injuries that happen in a relationship, particularly once the negative pattern has been at work a while. If there have been historical affair(s) and you are seeking support moving forward, we are happy to help. If there is a current, ongoing affair then unfortunately we are not be able to support you with couples’ counselling until that affair, both physically and emotionally, is over. If you have questions about this please email us and we will be happy to help answer any questions you may have.
No, services are self-referred. Just contact us to begin.
We see both adults and older teens and have much experience with both groups. For youth, we typically see ages 16 years old and above. For children younger than that we suggest working with the parents directly. We see all ages of capable adults.
Firstly it may not be like what you have seen on TV. In counselling you sit in a comfortable room and work with a trained professional towards feeling better emotionally, psychologically or in your relationship. While there are different styles and types of therapies/therapists, ideally it is an interactive process with you and your therapist working towards your goals. You should feel comfortable, cared for, and supported by someone who has training, qualification, and experience in the area.
This is a common question. The term “psychologist” is a legally protected term and only those who have met the College of Alberta Psychologists’ standards of education, training, and knowledge can use it. The terms therapists, counsellor or other terms (ex. life coach) are not protected terms and can be used widely. These terms typically refer to someone offering counselling services in some manner, however, are not necessarily a psychologist. The majority of our team are psychologists and some therapists are master-level social workers. All are trained therapists and counsellors. The terms therapy and counselling are largely interchangeable.
This can be a common issue in relationships and with teens. We would encourage the hesitant person to commit to the initial session before making a decision around moving forward. If that is not an option we would encourage the hesitant person to give us a call and we can arrange a time to chat. In our experience people can be hesitant for a number of reasons, including fear of judgement, fear of being labelled the problem, worry they will be sided against, negative experiences with counselling in the past and a sense of shame or worry that counselling is only for those who are very unwell. We have found that these worries are usually put to rest within one session. Teens can find arriving at counselling particularly challenging at times. We spent many years working with teenagers and we usually get along pretty well, making it not quite so difficult.
Just as with physical health, mental health has emergencies and severe illnesses. If it is an emergency you should present to the emergency room of a hospital or urgent care. If it is severe you may want to consider talking to your doctor about it as well as accessing counselling services or “psychotherapy”. For significant, impairing mental health concerns it could be useful to contact Access Mental Health (see Links section).
Yes, of course! All people need to feel happy, loved, attached and valued, regardless of their gender or sexual preference. We value all people regardless of differences. This includes differences in race, sexual identity, gender, ethnicity, culture or any other factor. If you feel there are areas that make you and your struggle unique, we encourage you to contact us and discuss these concerns first to ensure you do feel understood and comfortable.
Unfortunately we no longer have an office in Cochrane. We are located in comfortable office spaces in the Hillhurst/Kensington Area of NW Calgary, about 35 minutes from Cochrane.
We have found that in our own lives when we are in nature, we feel healthier and better. There is now also a large body of research supporting that health implications of time in nature. Outdoor counselling sessions are an attempt to combine the healing effect of therapy, in a natural environment. Of course, these are completely optional and indoor, office-based appointments are readily available as well. If you are interested please discuss further with us, as we would be happy to explore this potential avenue of healing with you. Typically what this entails is meeting at a set time for your typical counselling, however, we meet in a pre-agreed upon place (usually a parking lot or park) and walk a short distance to a private setting where we have set up a meeting space. We have a counselling session, that may or may not involve natural elements, and then hike back out. It should be noted that this is weather permitting and that there are no washrooms on site usually. Also while every effort is taken for privacy, we can not guarantee the same privacy as in a closed, sound-proof office.
You are not expected to disclose your therapy unless you choose to for your own reasons. Some client’s however are excited to share their growth and want to refer others. You are welcome to do so by simply sharing this webpage or email and letting those people initially contact us. We do not initiate unsolicited contact with your friends, even if you think they would be receptive or a good fit. Due to potential duel-role relationships that could arise, we don’t see close family members of active clients or people with personal relationships to their therapist(s). You are of course welcome to review/rate us on Google or Like/Share our Facebook page if you so choose. There is no expectation to do so, and you will not be solicited in any way during your therapy. We do ask that if you have negative feedback that you address the therapist directly with this via email or in person, to give them a chance to repair. This can be important to your therapeutic process.