Let’s start with the second question: there is no difference between therapy and counseling and the two terms are used interchangeably in psychology. Now on to the first question: at All Brains Clinic we believe counseling is an important tool that one can use to live a more fulfilling life. We view therapy as a continuation of one’s journey of personal growth, and our counselors are fellow travelers in this journey. Also, we strongly believe that counseling should be evidence-based; meaning that the techniques and strategies that the counselors use in the room should be based on what the research has found to be effective. At All Brains, counseling is goal-directed so that it does not just take place aimlessly without end. We would like to help you get results as soon as possible. To that end, we believe in coming up with collaborative goals at the outset of counseling, and using assessments throughout to make sure that progress towards goal is being made, and if not, discussing changes that need to be made. Having said all that, at the heart of it, therapy is an art and can only work in the context of a good working alliance between the therapist and the client. At All Brains, we pride ourselves in having compassionate and empathic counselors who are experts at what they do.
It is normal and in fact expected that a person goes through a variety of emotions from time to time. Feeling sad, stressed, frustrated and anxious at times is just a normal part of the human experience. However, if these emotions linger longer than expected and even after the removal of the initial cause of stress or if these emotinos start to interfere with your functioning, say you’re missing out on work, school or social interactions, it maybe time that you look for mental health support.
You will start with a 15-minute free consultation with one of our counselors that we have picked based on your identified needs and preferences. We believe psychological treatment should be goal-directed and evidence-based. Your counselor will first gather information including a brief history of your mental health issues, current concerns, and your mental health goals. Based on that information you and your counselor will decide if our service is right for you. Once you start your counseling, you and your counselor work on further specifying your goals and use those goals to guide the work. Throughout your sessions, your counselor will re-visit the goals with you to make sure that therapy is on track. We aim to give you the tools you need to address your mental health concerns. These tools are based on the most current findings in the literature in terms of effectiveness and appropriateness . We believe that ultimately you are the main agent of change, and our hope is to help you become your own counselor. To that end, once enough progress is made towards your goals, your counselor will discuss wrapping the work up, and devising a post-treatment plan with you.
Our counseling services range in price between $180-$250 per session. The reason for the difference in rates is that counselors with different degrees have different rates. For instance, if your counselor is at the Master’s level, their rate is different than if your counselor is at the PhD level. However, the degree that your counselor holds has no bearing on the quality of service that you receive. We have a very qualified group of counselors, and we try to match you with a counselor that we think would be the best fit based on your goals and preferences.
Yes. Currently we offer counseling services in English, Farsi and Arabic. We are always looking to diversify our team and are hoping to offer more language options in the future. Please make sure to ask if you have a preferred language other than English, or if you have any other preferences for your counselor (e.g., specific gender, race, ethnicity etc.)
At All Brains, we believe that like with every other type of treatment, counseling should show results. For instance, when we take an antiviral or antibiotic pill, we want to see alleviation of symptoms and improvement in physical health after a given period of time. We believe that effective counseling should work the same way. You can expect to see changes as a result of counseling. Now unlike with antibiotics your willingness to engage with the work is going to make a huge difference. The goals that you identify with your counselor can be used to guide the work throughout your time at the ABC clinic to assess if counseling is working.
While like every other treatment, counseling is certainly not for everyone, there is something about counseling that makes it different than other treatments such as medical interventions. The difference is that counseling is only as effective as the goodness of fit between the client and the counselor. A good fit means that there is a therapeutic bond in which the client feels safe, heard and not judged. In such an environment and with the help of the counselor, the client can learn more about their struggles and find a path forward. If counseling has not worked for you in the past, think back to the fit and the quality of the bond between you and your counselor. Much like we know our shoe size but sometimes need to try multiple pairs of the same size to find the right fit, finding a counselor that is a good fit can take a few tries.
You can start by thinking about how your day-to-day life would look like in behavioral and emotional terms if your level of distress was reduced. For example, you can think back to a time in your life when things were going well and ask yourself “what did my day-to-day living including daily routines such as sleep, diet and social interactions looked like? What was I doing then that maybe I’m not doing so much anymore?”. Or you can ask yourself the miracle question: “imagine you go to bed tonight and tomorrow you wake up and all your troubles have miraculously vanished. What does your life look like? What is different?”
Yes and yes. If you are under 19 or if you are looking for counseling for your child, you can contact your local Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) team to inquire about free counseling options. The CYMH offices are funded and run by the ministry of Child and Family Development of BC with multiple offices across the province. Below is the link to their website.
Child & Youth Mental Health
At All Brains Clinic, we accept all major extended health insurance plans so if you have insurance through work or university, you can get reimbursed for our mental health services including assessments and counseling. However, please be sure to check with your insurance provider to find out what their mental health coverage is, and what their restrictions are if any (e.g., do they only cover therapists with a certain degree or accreditation, what is the yearly limit that you can spend on psychological services etc.). Also, please keep in mind that we do not work directly with insurance companies but we provide you with what’s called a “super bill” which you can then present to your insurance company and get reimbursed. Also, in case you are having a hard time paying for your sessions in full, we can discuss payment plans on a case-by-case basis.