What to Expect in Counselling

No fluff therapy.

Your First Contact

What to expect in counselling with Liz. Liz may have been suggested by a friend or physician. Initial contact is usually made by phone. After talking about what is going on that has you calling her, and what might help, an appointment may be booked then. Sometimes people need to think about this and call back at another time to book.

Liz’s unique approach is to integrate many theories and skills to find the best match for your needs. The pacing of the work is crucial and you will discuss this with Liz as you meet. Understanding what to expect in counseling is very important.

Scheduling is often weekly in the beginning. Many variables influence the scheduling of sessions, often it will be every two weeks or longer if that works best.

Fight for the things you care about

We Focus On...

  • What you need to have for a more fulfilling life.
  • What skills might help, and how can you learn them. Many people have not had the chance to learn good emotional or relationship skills, and they can be learned in therapy.
  • What are your patterns and habits of relating and are they helpful? Where did you learn them and how can you learn to notice when they are changing for the better?
  • Being curious together about your experiences.
  • Working to resolve trauma so that the energy devoted to stifling it can be freed up to give you more joy in life.
  • Resolving guilt, shame, fear to end their control of you.
  • Improving relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.

Reasons for Success

Trauma changes the brain. When the unimaginable is actually happening, we are overwhelmed. We can not make sense of what is actually happening, and the event becomes stuck in our brain, our mind.

Since everything we experience comes in through our senses, that is where triggers for trauma often appear. We see, smell, touch, taste, hear or sense something that is like what happened when we are traumatized, and bang, we are back there.

One person told me of being in a snowstorm here in Alberta, and bang, he was back in Afghanistan in a sand storm. Another client hates driving through the mountains because the curves in the road take him back to a darker experience. A smell takes you back to the smell of your abuser. Music reminds you of what was on the radio when a bad experience happened,

Those sense-based events can take us right back to the awfulness. And leave us afraid that it will happen again. So, life is not safe, people are not safe. We never know when the next reminder will come so we hide at home, and want to hide out in the bush. Or we hide in a church, drugs, alcohol, gambling, adrenalin rushes that are dangerous, or anger outbursts. Or depression and numbing and hiding.

You may be wondering what to expect in counselling?

So, what to do with this. Sometimes learning to change our thoughts helps enough. And sometimes it does not, since we change our thoughts but our emotional reactions remain. So, another approach is needed. Liz uses hypnosis, somatic work, and EMDR (click to learn more) to bypass the thinking, and let the soul and the body come together to heal.

Trauma is the unspeakable, the unexplainable, how could someone, that is trauma. Making meaning of what happened is crucial. Sometimes it is being ok with not being able to understand is where the healing lives.

Liz likes EMDR (click to learn more) as it addresses thoughts, feelings, and body all in one, and it usually works. If not, we do something else. Hypnosis is powerful and safe and helps avoid the ‘white noise’ of our spinning thoughts Bodywork helps release the body memory. How many got drunk on something many years ago and now won’t go near it, that is body memory. For me, it was vermouth, ugh.

And lots of us don’t have trauma, we have struggles in everyday life, and in COVID days, the stress of not knowing, contradictory information is undermining our sense of self.

Perhaps its grief, the love of our lives divorced us, our beloved died, worse yet our child died. It could be that we lost a job. Our society is not keen on grief, we are to just continue, but grief grabs us when we least expect it. Some call these grief bursts, these too can settle with appropriate therapy, so that we are freed from their powerful grip.