Whatever you say to me is private information and I don't tell anyone else what I know about you. I can lose my license if I violate your privacy. I also know that counselling can go well only if you feel confident that everything is private. The only time I would be required to break confidentiality is if there is danger of harm to you or someone else.
I'm Going to Listen Carefully
You're the expert on what it is like to be you. I have questions to help us get to the heart of what happens, what matters, what hurts, and what your goals or dreams are. It is important for me to listen without judgment. I will pay close attention because within your story there are seeds of solutions for a better life.
We Identify Goals
What would start happening if your problems stopped getting in the way of living life well? What would you be doing then? Then what would happen? What would others notice about you? Those kinds of questions will help us identify goals for our work.
Proven Counselling Systems
Some counselling systems have been well-tested and proven around the world. Even though I have life experience, I don’t just tell you my opinion. I help you look at your topics using tools that are known to help. Here are the main approaches I draw from:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
A way of taking a look at our own thought patterns to become aware of what is helping and what is hurting. Habits of thinking can get stuck in loops that overrule good decisions. In CBT, a counsellor helps you see how certain events "trigger" unhelpful ways of thinking that lead into negative emotions. Once you see the cycle, these thinking "behaviours" can be replaced with better ones, leading to better actions and fulfillment in life
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
Emotions happen for good reason, so understanding what they are really telling us can make a big difference. That includes everything from small gut feelings to big anger or helplessness. Emotions reveal our deep concerns and hurts but also keep us energized and connected. For most people, experiences in childhood and youth have a lot to do with how they feel and react today. In EFT, a counsellor takes time to help you unpack those experiences so you can let go of old feelings that are holding you back. Our best selves can emerge as we learn to regulate emotions and let them help us understand what we really need.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACCT)
A way of using your best values to guide life choices while learning to manage the internal struggles that hold you back. If you have ever done something important at the same time as being scared, you know much of life is like that. We never really feel perfect inside, but instead can learn tools to manage our thoughts and feelings while we focus on doing what we really believe in. Most people find that happiness comes from doing what they really believe in.
Communication Tools for Relationships
Learning effective techniques for communicating can make a huge difference in your life. It has for me. The fields of relationship communication, negotiation and mediation have all turned up fantastic tools for connecting and working with others. Mostly these tools help us switch from arguing about details to finding a shared understanding of the big picture. In counselling, we can practice applying those tools in your life situations.
If you have had painful, or shocking overwhelming experiences that made a big impact in your life, it is important for me to help you address the effects carefully and compassionately. It takes careful work to start unwinding the effects of trauma on your brain and nervous system. It is imperative that counselling does not make things worse. In our first conversation, I will be glad to tell you more or answer any questions about my counselling.
Dixon Zalit is a counsellor in Vernon BC, offering counselling for stress and anxiety, relationships, and other self-management topics.