Tag Archives: counselling in canada

Short vs Long Term Counselling

Posted by: Maritza Rodriguez on June 8, 2011 12:44 pm

The trend in the past few years has been a promotion of short term counselling. This has been highly influenced by cost. How many sessions will health insurance cover and for what problems or can I afford this treatment? Additionally, our society is increasingly fast paced and people simply do not have time to spend years in psychotherapy.

Short term therapy is often defined as 12 sessions or less. There has been a debate as to which type of counselling is more appropriate. There are many factors that the individual has to take into consideration when choosing between short and long term therapy. Two of the factors include: chronicity of problem and the extent the problem affects the person seeking help. The following questions are helpful to ask when contemplating the length of therapy. How long has this problem been affecting me? How deeply entrenched am I in negative thinking, bad habits or poor coping skills? How many aspects of my life is this negatively impacting such as work, relationships, health, etc?

Often, short term therapy is appropriate for situational problems such as stress management, conflicts at work, communication, relationship issues, parenting, etc. Twelve sessions or less provide the opportunity to set up a therapeutic relationship and interaction needed to increase awareness and follow through with permanent changes. On the other hand, if the problems are deep seated and/or engrained in the relationship, have to do with any type of abuse or are as a result of a chronic diagnosis, long term therapy will usually be more beneficial.

It is recommended that you speak with your counselor or psychotherapist before hand to get their recommendation and an accompanying explanation as to the rationale behind the decision. In the end, it is the client’s decision as to how much time and financial resources he or she can invest in themselves and solving the problem.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Types of Psychotherapy: Psychodynamics vs. Cognitive-behavioral

Posted by: Maritza Rodriguez on May 17, 2011 8:54 am

There are many orientations when it comes to psychotherapy. The psychotherapist’s approach to therapy depends on several factors to include the counsellor’s personality, the main orientation and training of the university attended and any specialization in their professional development over their time of practice.  As psychology has matured, the number of orientations has increased but here we will articulate regarding two commonly identified psychotherapeutic approaches: psychodynamics and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Psychodynamics was originated by Sigmund Freud, father of modern psychology and further developed by Carl Jung and Alfred Adler. The primary focus is to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. It is usually a long-term approach to therapy, processing and identifying how maladaptive and unconscious conflicts originating in childhood experiences lead to current psychopathological behavior and thoughts. Major techniques used by psychodynamic therapists include free association, recognizing resistance and transference, working through painful memories and difficult issues, catharsis, and building a strong therapeutic alliance.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Collaborative Counselling – Working Together Toward Change

Posted by: Debbie Grove on May 11, 2011 9:18 am

How do you conceptualize ‘counselling?’ If you view it as a partnership, a team effort, a meeting of the minds, and an opportunity to work together to achieve change, in all likelihood, collaborative counselling is for you.

What is Collaborative Counselling?

A collaborative therapeutic environment and relationship is a place to explore problems, have candid conversations, brainstorm potential solutions, and reflect on alternatives (Bohart & Tallman, 1999; Duncan & Miller, 2000). Collaboration is about negotiating the goals for counselling and deciding on a pathway to reach them. This also means voicing different opinions, concerns, curiosity, questions, and ideas about the direction of counselling, what has been helpful, and what is missing in counselling and/or not working. In other words, collaboration is not intended to be a perfect alignment, rather, it signifies a partnership that is experienced as open, respectful, energized, and purposeful.

How is Collaborative Counselling Brought to Life?

Collaborative counsellors are flexibly and actively engaged in the change process with their clients (Bachelor, Laverdière, Gamache, & Bordeleau, 2007). Anderson (1996) asked her clients for their feedback and opinions about what was helpful in therapy and how to make it collaborative. For example, from her work as both a researcher and therapist, she highlighted that collaborative practice includes being ‘in sync’ with clients. Synchronization (Anderson, 1996) involves, among other elements, checking-in with clients about the timing and pace of counselling, what seems to be helping, and attentively listening for client-constructed meaning. When clients and counsellors are out-of-sync, this might suggest that counselling is moving too fast (or too slow). It could also indicate that what a client intended was misunderstood by his/her counsellor. A check-in is a great way to open dialogue about meaning and interpretation, getting back on track, changing a therapeutic approach, and/or re-evaluating goals and progress.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA