Suicide Ideation – 5 Ways to Build Resilience

Tricia Klassen

suicide, suicide ideation, self-harm, self-injury, mental health, counselling, support, therapy, mental illness

Have you ever completed a suicide intervention and then wondered, “What am I supposed to do now?” Most of the information available to us on working with suicide focuses on the initial in-the-moment contact that we make with individuals who are in crisis. We learn how to look for warning signs and invitations, build rapport and approach, explore risk factors … Read More

The Importance of Being Present

Lori McIssac Bewsher

Being present might be the most important and equally undervalued resource that helpers and counsellors have to offer. However, it can be difficult to be present when we feel like we don’t have the necessary experience to be effective in our roles. Early in my social work career, I was offered a position working in a hospital and learned that … Read More

How to Create Therapeutic Rapport With Newcomer Families

Marwa Fadol

The importance of therapeutic rapport is commonly understood to be a cornerstone of successful helping relationships. And when counselling immigrant and refugee families, we recognize that factors that influence the counselling relationship are amplified. Newcomer families often come to us when they experience low moments in their lives, and they are often quite vulnerable. In addition, there is an inherent … Read More

Understanding the Cultural Faces of Depression

Krystel Salandanan

Cultural worldviews influence what many counsellors and helpers understand to be normal and acceptable behaviour, including our beliefs about mental health. However, research on multicultural psychology suggests that mental illnesses like depression can manifest differently for people of colour. This can limit our understanding of depression because much of the research relies heavily on the conceptualization in the Diagnostic and … Read More

Tips for Using Laughter in Counselling

John Koop Harder

laughter, humour, counselling, counseling, therapy, mental health, well-being

Dave always begins and ends with a joke. However, the conversations between such bookends are anything but funny. In our meetings, Dave talks about his experiences of the chaos he survived growing up, and the intense effort it takes to leave this in the past. As I get to know Dave, he tells me humour is his way of dealing … Read More

3 Priorities for Helping High-Risk Clients

Nadine Groves

life-threatening behaviours, self-harm, self-care, mental health, therapy, counselling, anxiety, depression, caregiver

As a counsellor, I sometimes feel overwhelmed when a client begins their session by listing the various crises that happened during their week. It’s difficult to know where to start when someone starts with, “I told my boss off,” “I fought with my boyfriend and downed a handful of pills,” and “If he leaves, I’ll kill myself,” What can I … Read More

How to Use Counselling Activities to Support Change

Vicki Enns

change, counselling, therapy, change therapy, mental health, self-development, navigating change

The goal of counselling is to support people as they move toward their goals of managing themselves, their life issues, and their relationships. This often works best as a collaborative process between counsellor and client, to create the conditions to support change. Each counsellor will have their own favourite ways for participating in or guiding this process. In my own … Read More

Knowing Your Limits as a New Therapist

Emily Bushell

new therapist, learning, professional development, therapy, counselling, self-care, boundaries, mental health, burnout

If you are a recent grad or just starting out as a therapist, chances are you’ve been asked, “Who do you work with?” And you’ve probably been tempted to respond with, “Everyone.” Although many of us get into the helping field to support as many people as we can, it is imperative that we know where our limits are, what … Read More

Thoughts on Counselling Parent and Teen Relationships

Marion Brown

counselling parent and teen relationships, parenting, teenagers, parenting teens, counselling, therapy, family therapy

[Excerpt from Counselling in Relationships]  Regardless of what someone’s aspirations are at the outset, parenthood is rife with moments of asking, “What should I do now?” These take on a particular intensity while parenting during the teen years. Despite lots of opinions about what parents ought to do, many parents feel quite alone in the challenging moments, feeling the weight … Read More

Insights for Working with a Purposeful Single Parent

Jody Lambert

purposeful single parent, parenting, counselling parents, children and youth

[Excerpt from Counselling in Relationships] The following excerpt comes from our book, Counselling in Relationships: Insights for Helping Families Develop Healthy Connections. The chapter, Purposeful Single Parenting, explores an increasingly common family structure based on choice.  Connecting with values, examining expectations, and building positive support networks are a few of the themes explored in this chapter. Many people experience unique … Read More