I Think I Want to Start Going to Counselling. How do I Start Counselling?

Happy New Year! One common New Year’s Resolution for a lot of people is to start counselling, or to start counselling–again. And I commend you for that. You will never regret investing in and working on yourself! And I am not only speaking from professional experience from years as a therapist, but from personal experience, as I think we have all been there.

Most people think about counselling for a long time before ever starting it. Wherever you are, if you are thinking about starting counselling in Kelowna, BC for in person counselling or online counselling across British Columbia, you are in the right place. You are welcome here and we look forward to guiding you in this journey. We offer individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy. We offer counselling for adults, kids, teens, and really counselling for any age.

The right fit with your therapist is one of the most important parts! That is why at Alive Counselling in Kelowna, BC we have a great team of therapists to help you find the right fit for you, your unique situation/need/goals, and schedule. We offer online video counselling through Jane App, phone counselling (no video), and in person counselling in Kelowna, BC. We also offer Walk and Talk Therapy, Play Therapy for kids, Sports Counselling for Athletes, Team and Organization Talks.

I am thinking about starting counselling. Where do I start?”


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or you are welcome to view our team of therapists at Alive Counselling and book a free consultation call or appointment here:

If you are thinking about counselling, or therapy, it may seem overwhelming. I can appreciate where you are. I have been there.

I know the nervous feeling. The justifications of why you don’t need it. But, I can also attest to the healing, growth, and power it brings. You will never regret investing in yourself to become more of who you are created to be. In my personal and professional opinion, everyone could benefit from counselling, because we all have stuff in our lives. But, there is still a stigma surrounding therapy and I want to help dispel that.

It can feel overwhelming when considering counselling, let alone trying to find a counsellor that you connect well with. Then there is also hesitant thinking like ‘How will I start talking”, “What will I even talk about?” and “…to a stranger?!” I want to help ease some of that hesitation around therapy. Especially when starting to consider counselling. Some other common questions are:

  • How do I find counselling online or in person counselling in Kelowna, Vancouver, British Columbia, ___ (insert your city here)? Do I just Google it?
    • Answer: Often yes–Google is a very common tool to find counselling. Word of mouth is very helpful as well!
  • What is it even called: counselling, counseling, therapy, psychotherapy?
    • Answer: All of the above.
    • Fun fact: I am American, but the Canadian spelling is with two “l” in counselling 😉
  • How do I find a counsellor or therapist online or in Kelowna, British Columbia (or wherever you are)?
    • Answer: Google, friends, word of mouth, doctor, church, governing bodies of mental health professionals such as British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). Note: these governing bodies are listed below.
    • Psychology Today

First, let me reiterate that these are normal questions. And I also want to reiterate how brave you are for even considering counselling; in saying something needs to change, and making those small (but big!) steps towards change.

Sometimes the most important thing is to start where you are.

I really appreciate this article published by Canadian Mental Health Association on what is the difference between therapy and counselling? To be honest, before I was in this field I did not know the difference between all of the terminologies of Therapist, Counsellor, Psychologist, among the few. In fact, because I am American, I always double check my spelling of “counsellor”, because in the United States it is spelled with only one l, “counselor.”

Check out this article below from Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division

“Psychotherapy and counselling have a lot in common and usually mean the same thing. Both are used to describe professionals who use talk-based approaches to help someone recover from a mental illness or mental health problem. Many different professionals may provide counselling or psychotherapy, including registered psychologists, registered clinical counsellors, psychiatrists, other therapists and counsellors, family doctors, psychiatric nurses, and faith leaders.

It’s useful to talk to someone about any problem—a lot of people find that simply talking with friends or family can help them feel better. A professional therapist or counsellor can offer more: they have training, experience, and emotional distance (since they don’t know you). They use different theories to listen to you, support you, and approach different problems or patterns. For example, a psychotherapy called cognitive-behavioural therapy is based on the theory that learning skills to change your thinking and actions can positively impact your emotions, well-being, and future thoughts and behaviours. A therapist could help you learn and practice these skills.

There are many psychotherapies with good evidence of being effective for different problems or illnesses. A few examples include cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, solutions-focused brief psychotherapy, narrative therapy, and emotion-focused therapy.

In general, some aspects of therapy and counselling are the same, no matter which approach you choose: the expectations you bring to your counselling sessions, the match between your understanding of the problems and your therapist’s understanding of the problem, and the trust and rapport that you have with your therapist. In fact, one research review found that 50% of the improvement seen in clients who just received active listening and support from a counsellor (called non-directive supportive therapy) was due simply to the relationship between client and therapist.1 Psychotherapy can and does work, but the professional you choose, and their match with your values, is also very important”

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