How do I know if I need therapy?

The short answer to this is: if you think you need it, you’ll probably benefit from it. Sometimes people hesitate to seek professional help because they don’t think their problems are “big enough.” Maybe they haven’t just lost a job or a loved one, or aren’t on the brink of divorce, and that doesn’t matter. Everyone’s biggest problem is still their biggest problem.

What does matter is that the challenge someone is facing feels either overwhelming or they notice that it is impacting other areas of their life. If you or someone you know feels stuck and can’t see a way out, or if you are being negatively impacted across areas of your life by a current challenge, professional counselling may be helpful in your journey of healing and wellness. The most important factor is that the person seeking professional help wants it (this is where the potential for positive impact of counselling often begins).


What can I expect from coming to counselling?

In coming in to see one of our counsellors, you can first and foremost expect a supportive and respectful attitude and approach to working with you. Our therapists will take a collaborative approach in forming goals and working through each session with you, and we will work with you based upon your unique situation and needs. There is no set time-line for completing counselling, but we will work with you based upon your unique circumstances to come up with a course of therapy that works for you.

You can also expect that your therapy will impact your life. Counselling is typically done just one hour per week, and there are a lot of other hours in your week outside of that space. You can expect to spend some time mentally and emotionally processing what is discussed in the therapy hour, as well as be practicing or applying new insights or strategies that were significant to you during your therapy session. While “homework” is not necessarily a given in counselling, where a client feels they may benefit from outside activities, reading, etc, it can be used very effectively to supplement the counselling process.


Is counselling covered by my benefits?

While counselling is not covered under MSP, a certain dollar amount or percentage is often covered by extended health benefits. Please be aware of how your plan works and whether or not it covers counselling by a Master’s level counsellor. Sometimes a plan will only cover services from a Registered Psychologist, but a plan can often be changed relatively easily and without charge to include Master’s level counsellors.

While coverage by benefits packages can be a major financial help, unfortunately annual benefits frequently only cover a handful of sessions. If you are concerned about how you will afford services when your benefits run out, please speak to your counsellor. Again, it is our goal at Platinum Counselling Group to make services both effective and accessible. We will work with you to help ensure you can continue counselling in the event your benefits run out.

Clients will be expected to pay for counselling at the end of each session, and will be given receipts to submit to their benefits provider for reimbursement as requested.


What if my spouse/family member refuses to come in?

It is unfortunately somewhat common that one spouse does not wish to seek counselling for marital conflict, which can result in either the couple not coming in, or them coming in and it being ineffective because one party isn’t invested in the process. However, sometimes the reluctant party will warm up to counselling once they are comfortable with the counsellor and process, and when they see some positive change actually happening. They may also become more invested when they see the interested partner making positive changes for the relationship – showing love this way can inspire the same in the other partner.

In the case that your spouse refuses to attend counselling with you, you need to determine what you are hoping to get out of the process. If you want your partner to admit fault, guilt or change his/her ways – coming in on your own will not achieve this. In fact, coming in together may not achieve this either if the other is feeling cornered or forced in any way.

What coming in yourself for marital conflict can help with is what you can do to impact positive change in your relationship. This may involve working on changing your own perspective or attitude on certain issues, learning communication strategies, or even growing your resources for coping so that you are better able to lovingly respond and relate to your partner, rather than emotionally react. The potential benefit of counselling may plateau without the other partner involved, though, as there are certain places you cannot explore in counselling without both parties there. However, as relationships are bi-directional, meaning we impact each other by our actions, the partner attending counselling may be able to initiate change in the relationship by the changes he or she is making individually. So, while not ideal, coming as an individual for issues of marital conflict can be beneficial and even empowering for the person coming in, as well as the relationship.