If you’ve been alive on this planet over the past few years, you’ve probably baked sourdough bread, played Wordle and – very likely – experienced an increase in stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges.

While some people may have drowned those struggles in a bag of chips or chugged them down in a can of beer, others turned to a therapist Vancouver.

In fact, according to a recent study from the American Psychological Association, demand for psychologists is skyrocketing, in areas such as anxiety treatment, depression, sleep disorders, OCD, substance abuse and addiction.

With wait-lists for highly trained therapists growing by the day, if you’re looking for counselling (Vancouver BC), now’s the time to start your search.

Here are some things to consider, to start your search for counselling (North Vancouver or Vancouver):

What kind of therapist Vancouver are available?

A lot of people talk about therapy in terms of finding the right “fit.” But a therapist is a trained professional. You wouldn’t choose a surgeon because you liked their sense of humour, and you wouldn’t choose an accountant because they had a nice smile. The same rigorous criteria should hold for the person to whom you entrust your mental health.

That’s why we recommend you choose your therapist based on their approach. Easier said than done. Not all therapists even have one. If you ask what method the therapist uses, and you get a vague reply, chances are you’re going to get vague results.

therapist vancouver

Popular therapeutic approaches include:

Freudian Therapy

In this famous approach, the therapist works to build a strong bond with the client, to help them develop the skills they need to deal with the challenges of life. Sessions often focus on the influence of early experiences and how it unconsciously drives the way we act. Freudian therapists often use techniques such as hypnotism, dream interpretation and free association.

Client-Centred Counselling

Developed by Carl Rogers, humanistic counselling starts from a positive assumption: That we all have everything we need to live a meaningful life. With an emphasis on cultivating positive qualities – altruism, creativity, curiosity, empathy, intuition, and humility – client-centred counselling advocates the need for therapy as a safe space, conducted by an empathetic, nonjudgmental therapist. The client’s experience of unconditional acceptance then transfers over onto their everyday life, to positive effect.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) takes a dual approach, combining both cognitive and behavioural approaches, to understand how our thoughts and behaviours determine how we feel. Within a CBT approach, therapists might do things like work on problem-solving, assign journal prompts, provide training in relaxation or social skills, and provide exposure to anxiety-inducing situations. Mindfulness counselling (see below) can also be a part of CBT.

Mindfulness-Based Counselling

As the name suggests, mindfulness-based therapy teaches clients to focus on what they are experiencing in the present, from a judgement-free perspective. Inspired by Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness-based counselling encourages clients to be open-minded about their feelings and thoughts, rather than accept them as unmovable truths. With practice, people are able to take the lessons from counselling and apply them in real life, which allows them to respond reflectively rather than reactively when faced with an emotional stressors.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy starts from the belief that all humans tell themselves stories about who they are as a person. This storytelling shapes our understanding of the world around us, influencing our experience and relationships. With narrative therapy, clients become experts in their own lives, using the power of storytelling to revamp these negative perceptions. As clients are led through the process of changing these stories, they can better align them with the life they want to live.

Creative Therapy

Creative Therapy involves the use of art mediums – music or visual arts – to improve a client’s everyday life. Creative therapy can help boost mood, enable a person to experience a range of emotions, and gain a sense of mastery. For patients who struggle with verbal expression (children, traumatized individuals or individuals with disabilities), the ability to express deep emotion in alternative ways may be particularly therapeutic. Creative Therapy may be used to supplement other approaches, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

How do they guarantee results?

Once you choose a style of therapy, another question to pose when you’re looking for a therapist is how they determine results. Do they just let you talk for months on end, with no tangible signs of improvement or do they have metrics? Do they have a set plan for how long it should expect to take?

If you’re investing your time and money – and trusting your therapist with a solution – you should know how you’re determining whether things are moving in the right direction.

How do they train therapists?

If you are looking at a larger practice, another question you want to ask is: How does the group ensure that everyone takes a similar approach? As good as a practice’s reputation might be, you want to make sure they have a plan to guarantee consistent results across the board. Ask any prospective therapist what kind of education their counsellors have and how they know that everyone is on the same page.