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  • What is Validity’s relationship to Walmsley Counselling Services?
    Jenny DeReis worked as a counsellor for Walmsley for 12 years, before establishing Validity Counselling in 2018. During the transition period, the name “Walmsley and Validity” was used to demonstrate the connection between the two separate but inter-connected businesses. After two years, Validity became a stand-alone counselling agency. We still operate out of the same location at 1512 Queensway, and we still see Walmsley clients on a contract basis. We also see clients unrelated to Walmsley, such as self-paying clients and 3rd party payors (RCMP, Veterans Affairs, ICBC, and First Nations Health Authority).
  • How do I know if I need counselling?
    We all experience painful moments in our lives, and we all have times when we feel stuck and unsure how to make the changes needed to live a more fulfilling life. Counselling is a commitment and investment in yourself. While it can be difficult to examine painful aspects of your life, it is also rewarding and often life altering. Counselling isn't always effective for everyone who needs it; but it's almost always effective for those who want it. Your desire to make changes and your willingness to invest in yourself is all that's necessary to begin this journey. Counselling can help you get unstuck, teach you effective strategies for dealing with life’s problems, and help you work through painful issues and difficult decisions. Counselling is not just about your relationship with your therapist, it's about your relationship with yourself. Learning to tune in, listen, and respect your emotional experience is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
  • Can I choose my own counsellor?
    All counsellors have their own area of expertise, which includes which issues they are trained and comfortable working with, and which age group they work with. Not all of our counsellors see children, families, or couples. We encourage you to read our counsellors’ bios to find a counsellor whose skills and perspective best match your needs. Our receptionist can help you find a good match if you are unsure.
  • Can I change counsellors?
    We encourage you to find a counsellor who is a good fit for you, just as we encourage counsellors to refer to another counsellor if someone else would be a better match. You can decide with your counsellor to switch to someone different, or you can call reception and request a change.
  • What is “contract” and “consent” for counselling?
    Counselling is a contract between a counsellor and a client who agree to work together to reach the client's goals. We cannot contract with someone who does not identify a goal or see purpose in the counselling process. Sometimes a spouse, child, adolescent, or employee, is coerced into counselling against their will. In these situations, we will meet with the person to see if we can engage them in the process so that a goal can be identified for treatment. Often the person will identify goals to work on, but they may not be the same goals that the person coercing them wanted or expected. That is unfortunate, but it is the nature of the counselling relationship to work only on those goals identified by the client. Sometimes, after a reasonable effort is made to obtain agreement and goals, a person still does not engage in the counselling process. At that time, sessions are discontinued.
  • Will my personal information be shared with my family members or employer?
    No information will be shared about you without your consent, except in a situation where the counsellor believes you to be at imminent and immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else. In this case, the counsellor will alert you of their concern and inform you that they will be contacting a family member. If you say anything to your counsellor that a child is in need of protection, your counsellor is obligated by law to report this information to the RCMP of Ministry for Children and Families. This may be done without your knowledge, as per MCFD’s guidelines. In the event that your records are subpoenaed by a court of law, the counsellor will object and try to keep your records out of the hands of any apposing party. However, if the court rules that the records must be released, we are obligated to do so. We make a practice to only put factual information in our notes. Counsellors do not add their own opinions or speculate about the client or other people in the client’s life. We actively work to reduce the harm done to our client should records be subpoenaed. Court-subpoenaed notes are extremely rare, and usually the court rules that they are not relevant or necessary. Third-party payors such as RCMP and ICBC often require a report. This report is a summary of goals and approaches to counselling, and it does not disclose the intimate details of what is discussed in counselling. The reports are a factual account of the presenting issue, goals, and counselling strategies to address the issue.
  • What does “evidenced-based treatment” mean?
    Evidence-based treatment is any therapy based on peer-reviewed, scientific evidence. The aim of an evidence-based treatment is to track the effectiveness of treatment plans so that clients only undergo treatments that are proven to work. For example, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are both evidence-based treatments that have been proven to be successful for a variety of issues in research studies.
  • What is CBT?
    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based, bio-social theory that focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel both emotionally and physically. When our perceptions about events around us are based on assumptions, exaggerations, or distortions, we have a stronger reaction than when our perceptions are based on facts. Learning to examine and question your thoughts reduces emotional intensity and makes it easier to respond effectively rather than reactively.
  • What is DBT?
    Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a bio-social treatment developed in the 1980’s by Dr. Marsha Linehan. Linehan initially developed DBT to treat borderline personality disorder, but research has since shown DBT to be a successful treatment for a variety of other issues related to regulating emotions. DBT treats the following problems: Painful and overwhelming emotions Feelings of hopelessness and despair Frequently changing and unpredictable moods Poor impulse control, particularly around substance abuse, eating problems, sexual addiction, and gambling/shopping addictions Feelings of emptiness and loneliness Difficult and volatile relationships Anxiety and depression Feelings of worthlessness and shame Suicidal thoughts Self-harming behaviour Fear of abandonment Borderline Personality Disorder DBT has four components: Skills training groups based on Four Key Skills: Basic Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Relationship Skills. Individual counselling sessions. Brief phone coaching between counselling sessions. Participation of the counsellor on a collaborative DBT team which meets weekly for supervision. Many clients benefit from parts of DBT but do not need the full program. A DBT counsellor works with you to determine which parts of the treatment would help meet your specific needs and goals.
  • What are Validity Counselling's guiding principles?
    Validity Counselling is based on DBT and CBT principles: Validate yourself and others Accept what you can't change Learn and practice effective ways to manage your life Identify and listen to your wise self Decrease emotional intensity Imagine and then create a life worth living Think rationally Yield to the truth in all sides
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