What is Clinical Counselling?

From the BC Association of Clinical Counselling:

“Clinical counselling uses established mental health principles, values and techniques to aid you in achieving insight into existing challenges, gaining new skills and capacities, and earning emotional freedom from historical issues”.

Registered Clinical Counsellors in British Columbia are registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counselling. This organization, and subsequent membership designation, binds counsellors to a code of ethical conduct, insures educational standards, and demands that members continue with additional training in the mental health field as conditions of membership. These standards help to ensure that clinical counsellors provide a quality service.

The main role of a clinical counsellor is to facilitate client-led exploration and resolution of problems that the client wishes to focus on. Often clients seek counselling when their usual problem-solving methods are unable to satisfactorily resolve a difficult situation.

Counsellors train in a variety of skill-sets in order to be useful to clients. Many therapists train in one, or several, overarching theoretical lenses that govern how they view humans, their problems, and their solutions. You may have heard of theories like Psychoanalysis, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Existential Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief therapy, or many many others. As of writing this, there are more than 400 types of therapy! However, many of them share similar core concepts such as listening, providing a non-judgmental environment, using empathy to provide support, and using conversational skills to help clients find answers. Many client’s are concerned with finding the right theory to suit them, however, research shows that the counsellor’s theory makes little difference in the outcome of therapy. Instead, the most important thing is that you like your therapist and feel able to form a safe and productive relationship with them. However, you should never participate with your therapist in an activity that you don’t want to do.

Often when people are seeking therapy they have found that doing it alone isn’t working. How many times have you told yourself to work harder, study more, react less, be more patient, be less anxious, or be more outgoing? Often when facing difficult problems people find that they need help but don’t want to ask and find themselves unable to change, so they keep on struggling alone. It might feel embarrassing to ask for help or shameful to create a burden for someone else. However, clients can feel safe coming to a counsellor to talk about anything and everything, it’s our job and often our pleasure to explore any topic and help you find solutions to difficult problems. It’s your time to work on changing or developing what you need in order to solve the challenges of life. Therapy is about working together to improve the course of your life using tried and true methods of solving problems and reducing suffering.