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New to Counselling?

People are often unsure what to expect in counselling. This page includes some information that I hope will take a bit of mystery out of it.

What Happens When You Contact a Counsellor? 

Many counsellors offer free initial calls for 2 reasons: it gives counsellors a chance to determine if they offer the right type of support and it gives people a chance to see how comfortable they would be working with a counsellor.


When you call, it's ok to have specific questions or no idea where to start. Counsellors are comfortable both with giving people an opportunity to ask questions and taking the lead.

Some people avoid making an initial call because they'd feel pressure to book an appointment. If that sounds like you, please know that it's perfectly ok to tell me (and other counsellors) that you'd like to take some time to think about it or connect with other counsellors before deciding whether to proceed. Also, when counsellors don't think they offer the right type of support, they will sometimes recommend other counsellors to you. 

Finding a Good Fit

It's normal and common for people to (1) try a few counsellors before finding a good fit, and (2) to come back to counselling a few times to work on things. It can take a bit of courage and patience to try again, but please don't give up!   

Counselling Can be Customized 

It's ok to give counsellors feedback (including me!) and say things like "this part doesn't feel like it's helping" and "can we try something else?". Different things work for different people and counselling is kind of like a suit that can be tailored. It's sometimes hard to speak up, but counsellors don't want to waste your time and money! 


Things I Wish Everyone Knew about Career Counselling 

Over the years, I've found myself wishing I could tell everyone a few things about career counselling. Here they are! 

  • Career counselling is best known for helping students figure out what to take in school but it's useful for people at all stages of their careers 

  • ​People know more than themselves than they think they do (even people who feel very confused and lost!)  

  • ​It's not too late, even though most people feel like it is (even teens!)

  • Very few people have linear career paths. Detours are normal and nothing to be ashamed of

  • It's also common and normal to hit a point in life where people question conventional wisdom and what society tells us to do and want 

  • People value different things and that's very true when it comes to careers. I work with people on a wide range of goals and values. Some people want to pursue their dreams and find more rewarding work. Other people want to make more money, pursue unconventional career paths or limit work to maximize life outside of work​​​

  • New situations and big learning curves leave many people questioning and doubting themselves. It's normal and possible to build up confidence!  

  • Coming to career counselling doesn't mean you're committing to making a change. It just means you're giving yourself a time and space to think things through. Some people make changes as a result of career counselling and some don't. For those that don't, there's often some peace of mind in having taken the time to think things through and decide that you're in an acceptable spot for you (for the time being or the long run) 

  • The more honest that you can be with yourself in career counselling, the better (even about things people sometimes feel sheepish about like $ and status). This can sometimes be a bit tricky at first because we're used to family and friends wanting what's best for us and trying to steer our careers. My goal is to help people paint a complete picture of what they value, not to convince people to value the same things as me 

  • It's normal for people to need to re-visit their career choices and make decisions throughout their careers. People change, priorities change and economies change. This can be comforting (you don't need to make a decision that you have to live with forever) and worrying (you can't make a one-off decision and never need to think about your career again)  

  • If you want to change careers or make a big shift, you won't be starting over from scratch. Everyone has transferrable skills and you might be like most people and need help naming yours  ​ 

  • Some people like career testing, other people don't. It's possible to figure out your next steps with and without them, depending on your preferences

  • People sometimes hope that career tests can provide quick and easy answers. They can be useful, but they can't do all of the work for us 

  • Big career changes aren't for everyone and they aren't always necessary. It's sometimes possible to make small changes that make a big difference 

  • People sometimes dream about changing jobs or careers to get away from things they currently find difficult or impossible to do (common examples include speaking up, managing conflict and setting boundaries). Sometimes big career changes are called for, but other times it's worth considering whether it could be effective to try working on some skills before making a big leap ​

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