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Frequently Asked Questions

What is counselling like?

Counselling will be a differenct experience for each person who comes to The Budding Elm. In your first session, which is called an "intake" appointment, you will be asked basic, information questions and will work with your Budding Elm practitioner to establish goals for counselling. Your goals consist of ways that you can see yourself improving right now. What happens during the course of your counselling experience differs over time, based on your situation, progress, or changes in your life. How the therapeutic process will progress depends on your needs and goals.

I think I might hurt myself or someone else. What should I do?

Call 9-1-1, go to the nearest emergency room, or follow the emergency instructions provided by your doctor, mental health professional, or care team. Talk to someone right away. Crisis Line staff are here to help. They are professionally trained and have the resources and information to help you. Call 1-800-668-6868. KidsHelpPhone. Available 24/7 Call: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). Available 24/7 Online Chat with the CrisisCentre ( Available noon-1am. Call Your Local Crisis Line: 310-6789 (do not add 604, 778, or 250 before the number). Available 24/7 with an instant connection to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal. Crisis lines aren’t only for people in crisis. You can call for information regarding local services or if you just need someone to talk to.

Is what I say in counselling kept confidential?

The Budding Elm practitioners follow the professional, legal and ethical guidelines of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and the province of British Columbia. This means that information regarding your counselling sessions is not shared with anyone without your expressed written permission. There are some exceptions to confidentiality, however. If there is the possibility of harm to the client or another person, or in cases of child or elder abuse, Budding Elm practitioners are mandated to report such information to the appropriate authorities. Please ask your therapist for more information about confidentiality.

Who is counselling for?

Counselling is for any individual who feels overwhelmed by their emotions and would like to speak with a trained professional to sort out their feelings, and get clarity. These emotions may include a pervasive sense of sadness, hopelessness, spinning out of control, or panic causing distress and dysfunction.

How will counselling help me?

Counselling is a collaborative effort, requiring both the client and The Budding Elm counsellor to be fully involved in the therapeutic relationship for the benefit of the client. Whatever your reason for seeking counselling, counsellors and therapists are trained to respond to clients in a respectful, authentic and helpful manner without criticizing, blaming, or judging. The therapeutic relationship is based on trust and acceptance, and our objective is to help you achieve your therapeutic goals so that you can experience living a fuller and more authentic life.

Will counselling fix me? Will therapy help my child?

The Budding Elm believes we all have the resources that we need to be all that we want to be. You may not believe that you have these resources due to years of believing yourself unworthy or incapable. Such deeply ingrained beliefs have held you back. Hence, our job is not to fix you, but to help you identify and access resources within you, and to break down barriers that are standing between you and the life you desire and deserve.

What can I do to ensure I benefit from counselling?

Taking responsibility is key to achieving improved mental health. We would also recommend that you consider the following to benefit the most from counselling: Arrive on time for scheduled appointments Establish achievable goals jointly with your therapist Be prepared to work during and between sessions Be open and willing to explore uncomfortable aspects of your life Be honest with your therapist, but more importantly, be honest with yourself Be committed to therapy, to achieve a healthy and positive mental well-being

What if my counsellor isn't right for me?

Sometimes it takes a bit of shopping around to find the right pair of shoes. For most people, it takes a few attempts before we find a pair that is just right for us. Looking for the right therapist is not a dissimilar process. There are many different theories of psychotherapy, and most therapists are equipped with a range of skills and tools to choose from. This, and the therapist’s personality, breadth of life experiences, cultural insights, etc, are just a few factors that determine if a therapist is right for you. If you do not find the right therapist at The Budding Elm, we would encourage you to reflect on what’s not working and share your thoughts with us. We are connected to a network of therapists and counsellors and we will be happy to help you in this regard.