Are my chats confidential?
As defined in a 2002 article in the Journal of Professional School Counselling, “confidentiality is a professional’s promise or contract to respect clients’ privacy by not disclosing anything revealed during counselling, except under agreed upon conditions.”
Counsellors are required to call a parent or guardian if a child plans to or has already self-injured (cutting, burning, suicide attempt, etc.), indicates an eating disorder, presents with a possible drug or alcohol addiction, discloses a runaway plan, or demonstrates other dangerous behaviour.
What happens in a counselling session?
At the beginning of counselling, I will explain confidentiality and its limits, and my role.
If working with children, I use toys, games and creative materials to work with a child to help them express their feelings and emotions in a safe therapeutic environment. The sessions are child-led, so the child is able to choose what to play with, what to say, or not say, and how to use the materials available. If the child is an older child or a teenager, then the counselling will be based on the more adult form of talk therapy.
Research suggests that the therapeutic relationship itself is more important for a good outcome than the particular theories the therapist follows. This means that helping you to feel safe, accepted and treated with respect and also being challenged in a positive constructive way will ensure a more productive session.
However, I do employ a range of approaches that I have been trained to use when deciding how to work with you. You may find one approach more appealing than another or find that some approaches are more suited to your particular needs than others.
I work to an open-ended model, which means that we will decide together when to end the counselling relationship.
What if it is an urgent matter?
If I am available, I will do my utmost to see you. If not, please refer to your doctor/hospital for immediate assistance.
What happens if a child needs further specialist support that I can not provide?
If I suspect the presence of a learning, behavioural, or mental health concern, that I can not support your child with, I will typically provide a referral to a specialist in the community.