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How does the process work? How will you benefit?

Our time together is all about you … your concerns and how they are affecting you … your hopes and dreams, and how you can achieve them. We focus on your immediate needs and long term goals. We consider everything you feel is important - family, relationships, job stress, personal issues … whatever may be contributing to your current emotional discomfort. We figure out what's happening and how best to fix it.

I offer my clients two categories of service:

1. Consulting and mentoring - when it's clear you need some outside help - big changes at work, relationship 'meltdowns', a persistent sense of despair. Normally you face life's challenges with confidence but just lately things are starting to 'pile up'.

2. Counselling and therapy - when it's more than just a 'bad week' or month - you're waking up with anxiety and panic, feeling generally overwhelmed and unable to cope. You're starting to notice stress-related physical symptoms (insomnia, headaches, indigestion). When you look back, you can see it's been building for a while - or maybe you've been here before.



1. Consulting and mentoring

Sometimes you know that change is needed but you're not quite sure what to change … or how to make it happen. We start by 'laying out' your concerns and getting more perspective on what's really going on. We zero in on your individual personality and needs. We examine the current interacting factors in your life (friends, work, school, family) - and try to 'connect the dots' to what might be creating your frustration and despair.

I help you step back and look at the problem through new eyes. Sometimes just 'sorting it all out' with a professional helps you start to feel better … and more hopeful. We work together to clarify the problem. You do a lot of hard thinking and some reading between sessions. I ask probing questions and we have meaty discussions. Often, we come up with new ways of viewing your concerns … and then disarm them. You come away with a clear sense of what you want (and don't want) and some options on how to get there. Finally, I help you make decisions and move forward … 'baby steps' that are do-able and realistic. Typically 4-6 weekly sessions.

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2. Counselling and therapy

OK - you've had some problems, made a few bad decisions (who hasn't) … but you've always been able to focus on the positive and move ahead. And then one-day things change. Suddenly the old self-talk isn't working, the reliable problem solving strategies are falling apart and you're starting to feel frightened, powerless and vulnerable. Your body (even your family doctor) is telling you to stop what you're doing and pay attention. It's clear that this time, you're going to need more than a new set of 'goals'.

We start by examining your overall situation, taking a snapshot of your current dilemma and a chronology of what brought you to this point. Together we unravel the complex and contributing factors - sometimes going back to family, early learning and tough issues you've been dodging. You do the talking, you tell your story … and I listen carefully, ask questions and help you clarify the separate problems involved.

We access a wide spectrum of approaches - relaxation and calming techniques, hypnotherapy, cognitive-behavioral strategies, psychological assessment tools - whatever works. We take a look at what we can do, decide what's realistic … and start to put together a plan. For many clients, it starts to feel better just knowing you have a plan.

The best plans are those you start building on today. They're do-able and custom-tailored for you. They're designed to eliminate your current stresses and build resilience for the future. We make sure they 'fit' - test-drive them with homework tasks and specific strategies. I give you the tools to work it out and I'm there as your advisor and sounding board as you go forward. You come away with a sense of optimism and the confidence that your problems can be dealt with. Depending on your needs, we usually come up with a satisfying course of action in 4-8 sessions extended over a few months.


Fees

Sessions are 60 minutes long and held in my Richmond offices. Fees are $120 per 60 minute session, payable at the time of each session. Some clients prefer 90 minute sessions at $160 per session. Any assessments that we use are included in this fee. There is no commitment to a specific number of sessions. Our time together is driven by your needs and wishes.

Cash and cheques are welcome.


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"Before working with Jim, I didn't really appreciate how very different we all are - and how that's a good thing. I finally understand why my wife and I seem to pull in opposite directions even though we love each other. Our marriage has become so much more fun… and interesting."
- Kelly W. (White Rock, B.C.)



Now read several case studies of clients I've worked with or contact me.


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