Here are the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions. Please get in touch to learn more (604) 307-6050
Frequently Asked Questions
If we come in for couples counselling, does that mean our relationship is ‘bad’?
Not at all. All relationships go through struggles from time to time and getting support is a sign that you and your partner are committed to each other and making it work. Every relationship can use support to resolve an impasse and to learn healthy communication tools to work through future difficulties. I will teach you the couples dialogue which will help you to locate and tackle issues and communicate needs, disappointments and feelings in a safe and contained way. I will help you to see where your communication is going wrong and help you navigate your way to a better outcome. You and your partner will both feel heard, validated and be given tools to address conflicts, conflict avoidance, relationship pain and wounds so you both can shift in to a deeper stage of healthy connection.
What happens in the first session?
Your counsellor will spend time getting to know you both and will have questions that are designed to help you get a deeper understanding of the root of the problem. This clarity will inform what work needs to be done together to bring resolution to the problem. Before you have your first session, your counsellor will send you a 'Confidential Couples Questionnaire' for you both to fill out and return to your counsellor either before on or at the first session. This will give you a chance to express your perspective and give your counsellor an overview of the difficulties you both have been struggling with.
Will I be attacked, blamed or judged? Will I be targeted as the ‘wrong one’?
Absolutely not! We are not here to play the ‘blame game’ with you and will never take a side. In fact, this is one area that your counsellor will work to help you both stop destructively blaming and criticizing each other. All Vida Relationship counsellors have been through this same process and know what it’s like to be in your shoes. We know that you will be coming in in distress and need compassion, support and nurturing so you can feel more comfortable tackling the issues that have been keeping you both stuck. We do not judge our clients for struggling in relationships because we know that relationships are hard and view relationship issues as a subconscious nudging to grow and deepen connection.
How long does it take before we start to see changes?
Generally couples counselling is not a quick short term fix. It is important to give the problem or issue the time it needs to resolve effectively. We are working with patterns of relating and conditioned ways of thinking that may be long-standing. Growth and change in our neuropathways is a process that needs time to unfold and there are no magic wands. We will help you to be compassionate and patient with yourselves so you can have the best experience possible.
That being said, as a guide, the length of couples counselling can vary depending on a
few factors: The nature of the issue, how long it has been going on and your commitment to
change. Some problems can be worked through in as little as 8-10 sessions. Some couples
come in with a very specific issue and can get some relief after the first session.
Other problems can be more complicated and require longer term. After your initial session your counsellor will give you an idea how long think we should work on a particular problem. At regular intervals you will have a review to discuss how you think the therapy is going.
How long will our appointment last?
Appointments are for 50-60 minutes or 80 minutes depending on what feels comfortable for you. For couples 80 minute sessions are highly recommended. For couples counselling the initial session is 80 mins which covers a couples assessment, review of the presenting issues, discussion on aims and an introduction to the Couples Dialogue.
Can I come see you individually without my partner?
Yes you may book a session for yourself before you bring your partner in. Your partner is welcome to do the same. Although the majority of our work will be all together in sessions, at times your counsellor may recommend individual sessions depending on the issues you are working on. This can be helpful for the relationship work. Please review our 'No Secrets' policy which outlines our policy on confidentiality in couples therapy.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel or reschedule a session, we require 24 hours notice. Any late cancellations are charged the full session fee. If you schedule an appointment that will be your reserved time unless you cancel the appointment in advance. If you are running late your counsellor will not leave or see someone else in your reserved time.
Scheduled appointments are reserved solely for you and are honored as sacred therapeutic time. Late cancellations are rarely able to be filled and so policies are essential. Your counsellor will discuss this and any questions you may have with you in person.
Is what we talk about confidential?
Counselling is a unique forum for you to discuss personal information that will be kept confidential. No friends or family can request personal information about you. We take confidentiality very seriously and keep secure files. However provincial law and professional ethics require Registered Clinical Counsellors to break confidentiality in the following extreme circumstances:
When you may be a danger to yourself or others
When there is suspicion or disclosure of abuse of vulnerable persons, such as a child or elderly person
When records are subpoenaed by court order
For couples and family counselling we have a ‘no secrets’ policy which means that your counsellor will not be able to keep information confidential between you and your partner. This policy is meant to protect the relationship work and to make it as successful as possible. Read more about the 'No Secrets' Policy.
Also read more about confidentiality and other important bits of information in our Informed Consent.
What are your fees?
Our fees are set in line with the recommended fee schedule of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Our Clinical Director fees are higher. You can read more about our specific fees here.
It’s best to keep in mind that Couples Counselling is an investment into your relationship’s future. Spending months or even years unhappy and struggling is an unnecessary suffering. Even the very best couples can struggle to fix a problem all on their own. To get the best results we recommend you attend sessions weekly, at least at the beginning. However to manage the cost, twice monthly sessions is better than none.
Talk to your counsellor, or call Matt on (604) 307-6050 if you have any questions.
Contact us today to get your relationship where you want it to be.
Call (604) 307-6050 or contact us here to book your couples, family or individual counselling appointment today!
Have some questions? Book a free in-person or phone consultation with one of our team to learn more about how we can help you get back on track.