Mental Health Counselling
Mental Health Counselling
Services in Calgary
Mental Health Counselling is a big step and can be an overwhelming world if you are just starting to explore it. There are so many different providers out there that it is hard to know where to start. First of all, congratulations on getting to this point. Your experience has taught you that you cannot keep doing this alone and it takes a lot of strength and courage to admit this. Below you will find information about Sana Psychological’s logistics and approach to mental health counselling so that you can see if we will be a fit for your needs.
The short story
At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott (Registered Psychologist) works with mental health symptoms including anxiety, depression, anger, self-esteem, trauma, as well as Addiction of any manifestation.
Mental health services start off with 1-2 initial sessions to get to know you and the issues you are facing. Background information will be gathered along with a number of dimensions, treatment goals established, and a general plan discussed. This, of course, can change over time as needs and situations shift. External referrals can also be provided if desired or needed to support you in your journey, including health centres and distress centres, social workers or family services, or Alberta Health Services programs. The cost of individual appointments is a $200/50 minute counselling session. These appointments can occur in person or by phone or video and are available to anyone who is located in Alberta at the time of receiving services. Treatment can be short- to long-term (so less than 6 months or longer than that) depending on needs and preferences. Support is also available to family members and concerned loved ones. The logistics of this can be discussed and determined on a case by case basis.
The longer story
Mental health counselling is an opportunity to meet with a professional who is empathetic, non-judgmental, and there to provide processing support as well as recommendations. Mental health counselling can help provide a structure for healthy living that involves changes in physical, emotional, relational, and even spiritual, financial, and cultural health. It is multi-dimensional and involves many small action steps that your therapist can help you identify and be accountable for taking. A trained professional can help you come to a better understanding of your underlying patterns, triggers, as well as strengths so that you can continue to modify your healthcare plan into the future, whether you are still engaged in counselling or not. Sana Psychological is here to provide processing, support, and education to help you do different in order to be different.
How Do You Know if You or a Loved One Has a Problem? Challenges with mental health issues can take a variety of different forms and impact your well-being in different ways. Below is an informal self-test to help you gauge whether or not mental health counselling would be recommended. Take some time to answer the following questions. Have you struggled with any of these experiences in the past 3 months?
If you indicated that you are experiencing 2 or more of these symptoms within the past three months, then it would be important to explore mental health care and counselling. These symptoms only tend to appear as mental health challenges progress. While they may still be minimal and mild for you, it would be best to get proper support to prevent the progression of these symptoms.
For those who already have a strong level of self-awareness, social support, and self-care resources, mental health counselling may be a shorter-term process (around 3-6 months generally).
Counselling services at Sana Psychological are always available to you so there is no need to commit to a duration of sessions, this is meant to act as a general guide. You and your therapist will discuss your goals, needs, and develop a plan accordingly. The door is always open for those who want to return, even if they stepped away from counselling for a period of time. Sana Psychological believes in a ‘dental model’ of counselling where you come regularly for mental health check-ins rather than waiting for a crisis or emergency to hit before seeking support.
For those who are new(er) to mental health counselling, do not spend much time self-reflecting or in pursuit of self-development, have more severe symptoms, and/or have multiple mental health concerns occurring at the same time, mental health counselling can become a more intensive and longer-term process.
You can anticipate that the first one or two sessions will involve gathering as much background information as possible about you, including, strengths, coping network and tools, as well as problems and challenges. Information is key to providing you with customized support and recommendations. Mental health counselling is about much more than just your symptoms and will involve exploration and development of the self in many different areas, potentially including relationally, in communication, with boundaries, and more.
Paige Abbott has been trained in a number of therapeutic modalities that she incorporates flexibly into her counselling sessions, including, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution-Focused Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Follow-up sessions will start with a check-in to see if there are any acute experiences or feelings that need to be processed, seeing how you are doing with the recommendations and feedback from last time, followed by an establishment of the plan and focus for the remaining appointment time. Paige is active and engaged in her counselling sessions and sometimes can present more like an extrovert than the introvert she is! Paige likes to ask questions, offer feedback and reflections, as well as recommendations for things you can think about and/or take action on outside of counselling sessions. Paige believes in small steps to change and incorporates this philosophy into her counselling approach by encouraging the next step of action that pushes you out of your comfort zone while not overwhelming you.
For loved ones
Mental health counselling can involve concerned family members or friends who want to participate in the process. This often means a joint appointment or series of appointments to establish healthy communication and boundaries that are optimal for support and mental health. Sometimes this will mean that the loved one comes in for their own support in conjunction with their loved one receiving support or separately. While joint appointments wouldn’t be considered specific family counselling sessions, sometimes we want to change before our loved one does and, rather than wait for them to do something, we would encourage you to consider supporting yourself in order to support those you care about. Living with and around mental health challenges is draining and can impact the healthiest of us and cause relationship issues. There is no shame in admitting that you are in need of some additional support at this time. In fact, it is a sign of strength and courage to acknowledge this and be open to outside support.
Sana Psychological believes in doing different in order to be different so congratulations on taking this step for your future self!
Frequently Asked Questions
A: If this is on your mind, it might be worth talking to somebody. Anyone can benefit from counselling and we all have mental health. Nobody’s mental health is perfect and we all need to work on certain things from time to time. I like the ‘dental model’ of counselling- come in for periodic check-ins to ensure things are on track and you are living in accordance with your goals and health, rather than waiting for a crisis to hit. Certainly, if there is an acute crisis, that is an important point to seek support but being proactive has a lot of benefits for people.