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The goal of your therapist is to guide you towards a deeper understanding of yourself and the issues or concerns you may be facing.
Expect to be Listened To
We cannot guarantee that we will perfectly understand, but we can guarantee that we will work towards that understanding by hearing you. Truly listening to someone has much less to do with the ears or mind, than it does with the heart. Through presence of self, you therapist will work to ‘hear’ what it is you are really saying, even if you don’t necessarily have the words to describe it at that moment.
Judgement occurs when one person has some type of vested interest in the choices and behaviours of another individual. A therapist is not a family member or even friend; which means that your decisions do not impact your therapist on a personal level. This allows you to explore and express your thoughts and feelings honestly in a way that may be difficult in other relationships. Your therapist is not there to determine whether or not what you are doing or experiencing is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but to be part of your support system as you determine those answers for yourself.
Expect to be Positively Regarded
Unconditional Positive Regard is the foundation of North York Counselling and is rooted in a concept proposed by Carl Rogers to be one of the most transformative elements of therapy. This concept suggests that when someone is offered the space to be truly accepted as they are in that moment, with compassion and positive regard; that is when true and deep transformation can take place for the client. This is not to say that your therapist will agree with everything you say or do. However, they will be there holding unbiased space for you as you walk your own path to emotional wellness- whatever that looks like for you.
Expect to be Challenged
A therapist’s job is to support you. Sometimes, the most supportive action is to push you outside of your comfort zone. With compassion, your therapist may nudge you to see things in your life, relationships, or yourself, that may be difficult to see. Discomfort is difficult, however, that discomfort can be the defining moment in shifting behaviours or beliefs that are no longer working for you.
Participating in therapy is a courageous decision for many people. It takes a large amount of trust to be vulnerable and open up to someone about the most intimate parts of your life. Your therapist will encourage open and honest dialogue to ensure that you have every opportunity to feel respected. We are regulated by the Regulatory body for Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and are held to professional and ethical standards outlined by this body so that the best interest of the client is always the priority.
We may use a variety of therapeutic tools to support clients in overcoming their personal challenges. Before employing a particular technique, your therapist will ensure that you understand the benefits and risks of any particular intervention and give you the opportunity to decline from participating.
Deciding that you are going to work with a therapist in order to overcome your challenges or maintain your self-care routine is crucial. Your therapist will be there to guide you towards understanding yourself and why you might be struggling. In order to get the most benefit from the therapeutic process, you are encouraged to actively participate in your healing work. Your therapist may make suggestions for activities to be done between sessions so that any insights or processing that’s done in your time in session can be maximized. You will be responsible for attending your scheduled sessions; you will also be responsible for giving sufficient notice if you need to change or cancel your appointment.
Expect Respect and Integrity
We are professionally and ethically obligated to respect your needs and boundaries. Your therapist will always have your best interest at heart throughout our therapeutic relationship.
The healing potential of the therapeutic alliance relies largely on this respect. In return, your therapist is expected to be treated with the same regard, as you work together towards your goals and personal evolution.