Depression

Depression Counselling
Services in Calgary

Stepping into Depression Counselling is a big step so congratulations on getting to this point. By now, you likely have some suspicion (if not total clarity) that you are struggling with depression and you would like to further explore treatment for this. Below is information about how Sana Psychological may be able to support you in your mental health journey.

The short story

At Sana Psychological, Paige Abbott (Registered Psychologist) works with mental health symptoms including depression, anxiety, anger, self-esteem, trauma, as well as Addiction of any manifestation.
Depression counselling involves an initial session or two to get to know you and determine treatment planning and recommendations, which will include self-management strategies as well as potential community supports. Sessions can occur in person or virtually (by phone or video). Fees are $200/session. Treatment can be short-term (3-6 months) or long-term (6 months +) depending on need and preference. Sessions are also available for family members and loved ones who are open to support as well.

The long story

Depression counselling is an opportunity to meet with an objective, neutral expert who can help you process the feelings you are experiencing as well as provide suggestions for what you can do differently in your daily life to decrease these symptoms. Ideally, depression counselling will provide a framework for healthy living that will benefit you lifelong, not just be focused on removing one or two immediate symptoms. Sessions with a trained professional can support you in understanding your underlying brain patterns and vulnerabilities so you can adapt your health plan in future, whether you are still participating in counselling or not. The idea behind depression counselling at Sana Psychological is to help you support yourself in doing different and being different.

How do you know if you or a loved one has a problem?

Challenges with depression can present themselves in a variety of different ways. Below is an informal self-test to assist you in starting to gauge whether depression counselling would be recommended.
Have you struggled with any of the following in the past 3 months?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be a good time to start to explore depression counselling. These symptoms tend to appear as depression progresses. While they may still be minimal and mild for you, it would be best to get proper support to prevent progression of the symptoms.
Depression can also involve periods of activity and remission. You may have sought treatment for depression in the past and felt that you benefitted from this (whether this was medication, therapy, self-management, or a combination of all). A flare-up in the present does not mean that previous coping was not helpful, it simply means that you may need to revisit your ongoing treatment plan and make some changes to support where you are at now.

Treatment Approach

Depression counselling can be a short-term process, particularly if you already have good self-awareness, support network, and self-care resources.

Even those with these coping tools appreciate the opportunity to check in every few months or even once or twice per year to ensure they are staying diligent and accountable to their mental health plan.

For those who are new to depression counselling, may have spent limited time self-developing and reflecting, are experiencing more severe issues, and/or have multiple challenges they are dealing with, anxiety counselling may be a longer, more intensive process.

For all individuals, sessions are recommended every 1-3 weeks initially depending on where you are at. There is always lots to learn about you at the beginning of the counselling process and, the more we know, the better able we can support you in helping yourself. After a few sessions at this frequency, it may be appropriate to expand the time frame to sessions every 2-6 weeks. This will be collaboratively decided between you and your psychologist, Paige Abbott. Sessions are offered in person and using Technology Assisted Counselling depending on need and preference.

Paige would prefer to see people over a longer period of time than condense sessions into a short window of time. Depression counselling is usually most intense for the first 3-6 months, than it may terminate if you would like, or can continue at a check-in pace at 6+ months. Life is chronic and mental health issues often are too, so Paige is there to support you, even as issues and treatment focus change. If specific issues are not remediating or shifting, alternative recommendations and referrals can be provided. From Paige’s perspective, the door is always open so even if you leave counselling for a period of time, you are always welcome back.

The initial 1-2 sessions will involve gathering as much background information as possible about you, including: Strengths, available coping network and tools, and challenges. Information is gathered to know about all parts of you, not just your relationship with mental health. Depression counselling is about much more than just your symptoms and will involve exploration and development of relationships, self-care, communication, boundaries, and more.

Paige Abbott has been trained in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and also incorporates elements of solution-focused therapy and motivational interviewing. Follow-up appointments generally involve a check-in to see presenting issues and immediate things that have come up that you may want to process, follow-up on any suggestions provided in past appointments to get an idea of progress as well as roadblocks that are coming up, followed by more in-depth exploration of challenges, patterns, and coping. Sessions are active and engaged as Paige likes to ask lots of questions and provide reflections, challenges, and psychoeducation along the way. At any point if the therapeutic approach or goals need to be changed, please speak up and this will be processed. Sessions come from a non-judgmental, compassionate, empathetic place. We are here to support you in doing different and being different.

Logistics

Sessions are offered in person in Calgary, Alberta or by using Technology Assisted Counselling which can consist of phone or video sessions depending on need and preference. Cost is $200/session. Sessions are available to anyone who is in the province of Alberta at the time of appointment as this is Paige Abbott’s jurisdiction of licensure. Payment options include cash, credit card, e-transfer, and direct billing with a number of different insurance carriers.

Depression counselling can be short or long-term, depending on your needs. Paige Abbott, Registered Psychologist at Sana Psychological, prefers to meet with people over a longer period of time (6+ months) to ensure sustainability and maintenance of progress. If this does not work for your needs, that is okay too. We will do as much work as we can in the available sessions to get you building a healthy recovery plan that you can tailor as needed. All it takes to get started is an e-mail, phone call, or text to request an appointment.

For loved ones

Depression counselling may also involve concerned family members or friends who have been impacted. They may come in individually for their own support and/or join some sessions or parts of sessions with the individual who has problematic symptoms. If you are a family member reading this and hoping your loved one will change but you are not sure if they are ready, I would encourage you to come in for yourself to look at your own health and recovery plan. Change in any member of a relational unit creates change for the whole unit, so perhaps change can start with you. Even if you are feeling that your personal changes are not having an impact on your loved one, it will provide you the strength, resources, and ability to cope with an extremely difficult, draining, and challenging situation.

Wherever you are at, Sana Psychological is happy to support you in your journey. Do different, be different!