Counselling

Dianne Birt Counselling and welness is lgbtq inclusiveCounselling can be a rewarding and enriching experience that can enhance self-knowledge, mood and coping skills, and improve overall well-being. Coming to counselling, especially for the first time, can sometimes cause feelings of nervousness. My office is a comfortable place where people can explore their problems, and work toward solutions in a non-judgemental atmosphere. I provide individual counselling for people of all ages, including children, for a variety of issues and mental health concerns such as: anxiety, depression, stress, grief, burn-out, low self-worth, relationship issues, crisis and trauma, addictions, disordered eating, ADHD, career issues and work stress, as well as coping with various life transitions. How the counselling proceeds depends on the issue, your goals and needs. The approach I take is a general talk-therapy approach within a holistic health and wellness framework. I will ask about your reasons for coming to counselling, and collect some pertinent background and health information as part of the process, usually in the first session. I have flexible office hours, including some evening appointments. Further details about my approach and what to expect from my counselling services are listed in the FAQs below. My combined education and experience in health education and counselling provides me with a comprehensive background for working with clients from a holistic health and wellness philosophy. Current trends in mental health and wellness recognize the importance of the mind-body connection, which supports the holistic approach I use to help people reduce their symptoms and feel better. By holistic, I mean addressing all aspects of an individual’s life such as overall health, lifestyle, work, family and interpersonal relationships. In this way, I work with the whole person, realizing we are affected not only by our physical health, but also by our environments, relationships, and responses to stress.

I help clients address their counselling issues and symptoms, as well as improve health, lifestyle, and coping skills so they are better able to manage life’s challenges. Some of the therapeutic orientations I use include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution-focused Therapy, humanistic approaches, psycho-education, mindfulness and practices such as Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy (TIYT™). TIYT™ promotes improved self-regulation and symptom management for anxiety, trauma/PTSD, depression, addiction issues and more. Stress, trauma and other mental health conditions often live in our bodies as well as our minds, impeding our ability to process difficult experiences. Self-regulation tools taught in TIYT™ help clients manage their symptoms through improved mind-body connection, mindfulness practices and breath work. By calming the body we also calm the mind, enhancing both mental and physical stability.

Information about rates and insurance can be found here. Please contact me for further information on any of my services at 902-394-5826. There is a confidential voicemail if I am with a client and unable to answer. You can also email me at dianne@diannebirt.ca. To follow me on Facebook, check out the Dianne Birt Counselling and Wellness page here. 

    

FAQs

Equality

Equality

Equality

Equality

I believe in equal rights and offer a safe environment for all clients.



What can I expect from a counselling session?

What can I expect from a counselling session?

What can I expect from a counselling session?

What can I expect from a counselling session?

It’s okay if you don’t know where to begin. Many clients struggle with this very thing. To get things started, I can ask you some questions about you, your life, and what has brought you to counselling. I take a client-centred approach and involve the client in creating goals for their therapy, and a plan for how to reach them. We will discuss current stressors, current and past coping skills, strengths, barriers to progress, and we may cover some past life struggles as well. My counselling style is eclectic and combines several approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-focused and Narrative therapies, and elements of Humanistic/client-centred theories. Psychological education to teach relaxation and coping skills is also incorporated. I try to work with each client according to his or her needs and issues.

Since much of the benefit of counselling comes from the client’s work in between sessions, I also suggest homework, and sometimes provide hand-outs, recommend books, and send links to helpful websites in order to expedite the client’s progress. Engaging clients in the process to create small goals and strategies for maintenance is important for both self-efficacy, and expediting the client’s progress towards healthier ways of being.



What about confidentiality?

What about confidentiality?

What about confidentiality?

What about confidentiality?

Counsellors have an ethical responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of clients, and client information; no information can be disclosed without written permission of the client with the following exceptions:

  1. Imminent danger to self: If a counsellor believes the client may seriously harm him/herself, or commit suicide, measures will be taken to ensure their safety, with or without the client’s cooperation.
  2. Imminent danger another person or persons: If the client indicates to the counsellor that he or she may seriously harm another person, the counsellor must inform local law enforcement (RCMP or police).
  3. Suspected child abuse or neglect: If a client discloses to the counsellor that he or she is aware of or suspects child abuse or neglect (i.e., a neighbour), the counsellor is required by law to report this information to the appropriate authorities.
  4. Court Order: When a counsellor receives a subpoena, or court order, to release information (i.e. if the client is involved in a court case).
  5. When a client files a complaint against the counsellor or claims professional liability in a lawsuit.

Confidentiality and children: Parents and guardians do not have absolute rights regarding their child's counselling. I am generally very open with parents regarding their child’s progress and often one or both parents are in attendance, depending on the circumstances and age of the child. I am very respectful of the child’s privacy and discuss with him or her information I will be sharing with their parents, including what I may have to share (i.e. child abuse, the exceptions to confidentiality as listed above). Depending on age and maturity of the child, the parent's right to know details of their child’s counselling will decrease and may end when the child reaches the ability to give informed consent (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, 2015. Standards of Practice for Counsellors: Online).



What are the benefits of counselling?

What are the benefits of counselling?

What are the benefits of counselling?

What are the benefits of counselling?

The benefits of counselling are many. Often, clients find relief simply by talking - releasing thoughts and feelings that have been suppressed for some time. Through the talk therapy process, clients may discover wisdom and strength they never knew they had. Other possible benefits may include increased awareness of unhealthy patterns and coping styles, improvements in self-care, communication and interpersonal relationships, as well as enhanced self-esteem and self-compassion. Through the use of healthier coping skills, clients may also notice a reduction in symptoms of stress, and take a more balanced approach to life. Each counselling session is dedicated to you. It’s your time for you, so let’s work together to make the most of it.



How many sessions will I need?

How many sessions will I need?

How many sessions will I need?

How many sessions will I need?

How many sessions you need depends on what your mental health concern is, severity, level of support and commitment to feeling better, and whether or not you have coverage. For most mild to moderate mental health concerns, clients typically feel better after a few sessions due to improved self-care and coping skills. If you are not feeling better after a few sessions, or the issue is worsening, I usually recommend you see your family doctor, and may also assist you to find more advanced services in the community (i.e. a psychologist, or your family doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist if she/he deems it necessary or appropriate).



How much does counselling cost?

How much does counselling cost?

How much does counselling cost?

How much does counselling cost?

My rate is $115 per session (includes 15% HST). If your employer has an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) through workplace health benefits, you may be covered as I am a provider for several EAP companies. Please contact your Human Resources department or check your health benefits plan to determine your coverage. If you will be covering the costs of your sessions, you may pay by cheque, cash or E-transfer. I will issue you a receipt which can be included in medical expenses for income tax purposes.



How long does a session last?

How long does a session last?

How long does a session last?

How long does a session last?

Sessions typically last approximately one hour.



What is your approach with children and teens?

What is your approach with children and teens?

What is your approach with children and teens?

What is your approach with children and teens?

The approach and activities used in working with children depends on the age and maturity of the child. I have toys, games, books, a small indoor sand play box, drawing and colouring supplies, and cards. I also use talk therapy with kids, as well as elements of yoga and relaxation techniques. Often, parents are in session with their child, especially for younger children (approximately age 7/8-11 or so). There is a waiting room right outside my office where parents can also wait for the session to finish. I use age-appropriate talk therapy and coping skills when working with teens.



Equality

Equality

Equality

Equality

I believe in equal rights and offer a safe environment for all clients.



Rates and Insurance

My hourly rate is $115 (includes 15% HST), and can be paid either by cash, cheque, or E-transfer. If you are paying by E-transfer, please arrange your online banking prior to the appointment so that the transaction can be made at the time of the session.

Some insurance plans do reimburse for mental health services provided by Counsellors with Masters Degrees, but it is best to check with your provider to confirm as not all plans cover counselling services. As a Counsellor, however, I am covered by many Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). Many employers provide EAPs to their employees as part of their health benefits plan, so you may be covered through your workplace benefits. If you are unsure if your employer has an EAP plan, please check with your Human Resources department or appropriate workplace representative.

Please give 24 hours’ notice for cancellations and reschedules. Your appointment time is booked for you, and is therefore not available for someone else. A fee of $75.00 will be applied to all late cancellations (with very few exceptions). For those covered through an EAP plan, the EAP company’s policy on late cancellations and no-shows will apply.

Book An Appointment

Contact

Dianne Birt, MEd., CCC

44 Grafton Street
Charlottetown, PE
Canada C1A 1K5
(902) 394-5826
dianne@diannebirt.ca