Counselling therapy is an important service for individuals and families to access following a significant event or life change and/or when they may want assistance to work through issues, or to look after their mental wellbeing.
Following a brain injury, individuals and their families experience many feelings about what has happened and what they are going through. A brain injury impacts each person in the family in unique ways. There are many losses that occur and must be grieved. These losses may be temporary or permanent. It’s important to be able to give expression to these feelings as part of the healing journey.
The losses experienced can result from changes in lifestyle, living accommodations, employment, abilites, relationships, and more. The journey of recovery and rehabilitation is stressful and a slow process. Many feelings come up for people.
It is not uncommon for unreconciled past losses to surface and this adds complexity to one’s healing. Seeking help from a counselling therapist provides a safe space to explore one’s feelings and to do the work of healing.
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Counselling therapy in British Columbia is not regulated; however, regulatory activities are well underway. Most of the provinces in Canada are regulated.
FACTBC is a society of 14 professional associations who represents over 6,000 counsellors and therapists practicing in British Columbia and is spear-heading the movement for regulation.
Regulation is important because:
- it reduces risk to the public, and
- it sets a standard of practice
To learn more about regulation and FACTBC, click here.
A number of professions can provide counselling services. These include, but are not limited to:
- Counselling Therapists
- Mental Health Therapists
- Clinical Counsellors
- Registered Social Workers
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Pastors or Priests and more
Counsellors and therapists have varying education and skills. It is important to find the right counselling therapist so individuals feel safe and can make a connection to the therapist. Therapy can be provided in-person, by telephone, or online. Here are some questions to consider asking when seeking counselling support:
- Do you belong to a governing body? (e.g. CPCA, CCPA, BCACC)
- Are you required to undergo professional development?
- Are you required to undergo supervision?
- Do you specialize in a specific area? (e.g. marriage, couples, and/or family)
- Do you specialize in a specific modality? ( e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) etc.)
- What is your experience serving clients with a brain injury?
- What is your experience in grief and loss?
- If you provide online counselling, what secure platform do you use? (e.g. OWL Practice, JANE App, Zoom)
Currently, counselling is not funded under MSP.
- Counsellors in private practice charge a fee per session. They may have a set fee and they may also provide pro bono services, or a sliding-scale fee. You need to ask.
- Some organizations receive funds through grants or donations that allow them to provide services at no cost, or at a reduced fee. It’s important to ask.
- If your insurance or health benefit company provides counselling services, they may determine who can provide those services. For example, some insurance companies only cover psychologists and will not pay for services provided by a counselling therapist, social worker, or other. Call your healthcare provider for details if you are unsure.
- Some insurance companies have an approved list of counselling therapists. If your choice of counsellor is not on the list, ask how they can be added.