Frequently Asked Questions
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Anything. This is the one place where you can freely explore all your concerns in a judgment-free space. This is your time, your space.
Sometimes people need a third party to listen to them, one who is not a part of the argument, won’t be affected by the decision, and in front of whom we can say anything without fear of judgment or repercussion. Someone who will keep our confidence, and listen without quick advice or easy answers. A counsellor.
People consult RCC’s about family, marriage/their couple relationship, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, divorce, death of a loved one, lack of meaning in life, feeling behind in life, facing career change, retirement, family conflict, identity issues, and so on.
In British Columbia, anyone can call themselves a counsellor, with or without any training. An RCC is highly qualified, follows a rigorous code of ethics, keeps abreast of evidence-informed strategies and techniques, has a Master’s Degree and clinically supervised training, and belongs to a professional association, the BCACC, which they are accountable to. Clinical counselling is covered by some extended health benefit plans. You are in good hands with an RCC.
If the client’s issue were ‘that easy’, they would have sorted it out without counselling.
You could expect to resolve many issues in six to ten sessions, though I’ve seen wonderful and enduring progress in 1-3 sessions occasionally. ‘You know when you know’ that the work has been done: You feel lighter and well.
Yes, absolutely! Download, print and fill in forms from the Forms webpage
You will save time in session doing this.
In individual therapy, the individual is the client. In couple therapy, the relationship is the client, not either individual. This is significant as it affects confidentiality in particular.
Ros Best Counselling follows a “no-secrets” approach to couple counselling. There is no “bad guy”, no “innocent victim”, rather, the relationship needs help. If one partner has experienced trauma, the best place for that to be processed is with the support of their partner; that trauma will have been affecting the relationship. If there is a third party – drugs, alcohol, or other addiction; an emotional or physical affair; etc. – this will be profoundly affecting your couple. A couple’s therapist must maintain safety for both partners. Nobody can fix their couple relationship in individual therapy, it takes two willing partners. Ros Best acknowledges polyamorous relationships, but she does not have specialized training in polyamorous relationship dynamics and therapy. She is happy to refer polyamorous clients seeking relationship counselling to specialists such as Constance Lynn Hummel, RCC.
In EFT, Ros Best will work with the couple first to establish emotional safety. We then focus on emotions that are coming up for each partner. What deeper meaning and longing lies beneath these emotions? Ros will help each partner to make sense of their own emotions, and then express them directly to their partner and take in their partner’s response for a truly bonding experience. It sounds deceptively simple! This is one of the two most evidence-based couple therapy approaches available. For a primer, read Sue Johnson’s Hold Me Tight to better understand the dynamics that almost always are at play.
John Gottman began his career doing research into what works for couples and what doesn’t, among those that stay together and those who don’t. Together with his wife Julie Gottman, they created The Sound Relationship House approach to couple counselling. They created exercises for couples to work on their Love Maps (how well do I know my partner these days); to share fondness and admiration, with 5-8 positives for every negative; to encourage partners to turn towards their partner (by words, body language, tone of voice and actions), not away or against. Partners note if their fundamental guess about their partner’s motives is positive or negative. Partners practice helpful ways to think about and manage conflict. And in a really good relationship, partners work together to make each other’s life dreams come true, and create shared meaning. All of these actions depend on shared trust and commitment.
The Gottmans have created specific, written exercises for couple therapy with questions and possible wordings to prompt the couple towards safety, healing, and closeness. A good primer is to practice with the Gottman Card Deck smart phone ap. The Gottman approach is thoroughly researched and is evidence-based.
For clients who wish to work on trauma, we will use the most evidence-informed trauma therapy to date, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR is similar to free association + mindfulness + distraction, so to speak.
In EMDR, you do NOT have to relive your trauma, nor tell Ros all the details. With Ros, you will choose a representative image of the trauma, note what that image ‘says about you’, and come up with a preferred belief about you in that context. Then Ros distracts your, asking you to visually follow her hand back and forth, stopping from time to time to check in on what feelings/ thoughts/ sensations have popped up. This is your brain, healing itself and reprocessing the meaning of the traumatic event, until there is no longer any emotional charge or disturbance attached to the event. EMDR does not make you forget or forgive. It is not hypnotherapy. It is you, making connections about an event your brain couldn’t bring itself to process without therapeutic distraction and support.
There are more than 200 types of dementia, so the following is general information. Dementia is not typical aging memory loss. In dementia, the hippocampus is progressively damaged, affecting factual recall and logical thinking; other parts of the brain last far longer without damage, meaning that the emotional feeling of things and kinesthetic connections remain.
What does this knowledge imply? (1) At a certain point, it is no kindness to anyone to correct your loved one on names and facts. (2) Do focus on the emotional feeling of things and on movement, dancing, singing, fingering books and newspapers, and ensuring they have a role to play (such as safely helping with dishes) providing them an emotional feeling of home through contribution. Your loved one will be remarkably able to enjoy in the present moment your friendship, outings, the feel and look of nature, and so on.
As people progress in Alzheimer’s, they will lose the ability to see darker colours and especially greens and blues. So? Put water in a red cup rather than a clear glass, and they will drink 40x more! Put mashed potatoes and chicken on a red plate to make the food stand out, and they will eat more. Last point: field of vision decreases as Alzheimer’s progresses, and often hearing aids will feel awkward or get lost, so: Approach from in front, not the side. Who likes to be startled or surprised by someone? Become a detective as to what the purpose of surprising behaviour actually is. Read online Dr. Gemma Jones’ short articles. You will enjoy a far warmer relationship with your loved one, all the way through. Dance as though no one is looking…
Adler emphasized the importance of belonging in, and contributing to your community. Adlerians emphasize the courage to be imperfect, personal growth and client strengths. A Certified Adlerian Counsellor (CAC) is expert in therapy, but you are the expert in your experience. Notice your patterns, feelings, and beliefs about the world, and how some of these have outlived their usefulness. As an Adlerian therapist, I will support you to choose new patterns and beliefs – living lighter, one story at a time!
I use MBAT to help clients catch up with their feelings and fears through painting or using other materials instead of words. There is no art criticism whatsoever, rather, just noticing what feels resonant in a good or in a bad way (shapes, curves, colours, etc.), and any meaning that unfolded as you painted. Inevitably, words become unlocked. I provide all the materials. You can decide on any particular day if you wish to paint or not, though with advance notice I prepare the materials.
Yes. EMDR for trauma. EFT or Gottman for Couples Counselling. Dementia psycho-education for family members. MBAT for an expressive, artsy client or couple. Adlerian therapy for families with school-aged kids. It helps to use the right tool for each project. EMDR, EFT, Gottman and Dementia psycho-education grounded in Dr. Gemma Jones’ work, are all evidence-based, highly researched approaches.
Weekly seems to work best for most people. Sessions for individuals: 60 min., for trauma treatment preferably 1 ½ hours, and for couples 1 ½ hours or 3 hours.
Yes to evening appointments, but not weekends. To facilitate clients’ work schedules, my counselling session times are daytime Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, plus Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday late afternoons and early evenings. Because I work at a home-office, I can offer greater flexibility in scheduling.
Individual counselling with Ros Best Counselling is $140 per 60 minute hour or $210 for 1 ½ hours; couple or family counselling is $240/1 ½ hours. You may have extended health coverage – inquire with your Employee Assistance Plan or read through your benefits package. I work with ICBC and WorkSafe BC clients as well.
Please let me know at least 24 hours in advance if you must cancel. A $60 cancellation fee will be applied for no-shows and late cancellations. Arriving late may result in a shorter counselling session.
E-transfer (to rosbestcounselling), cheque (payable to Rosalyn Best) or cash please.
Helpful public transit: New Westminster and Burnaby use Skytrain and the #100 bus; Richmond use the Canada Line and #100 bus; from Downtown (or Commercial Drive), use the #20 or the Canada Line and #100 bus; from UBC, the #480 bus, transferring to the #100.
From the intersection of Victoria Drive and S.E. Marine Drive, you are .3km away. Head South down Victoria Drive to the bottom of the road, past the railway tracks; turn left (i.e. east) onto East Kent Avenue South and go to the end of that long block; my office is in the last building before the road crosses back over the railway tracks, at 2138 East Kent Avenue South. There is plenty of free street parking and 6 visitors’ spots below.
Enter the complex by going through the blue metal gates (unlocked), over the water feature, and you will find the elevator on your left. Text my cell phone (778-834-1867), step into the elevator, and I’ll bring you and the elevator up (an odd, antiquated system!) and bring you to my office.
There is wheelchair accessible parking, entranceway, elevator and counselling space. Unfortunately, the washroom is not wheelchair accessible and has no grab bars.
Yes. Considerations: Is the therapy for both/all of you, or just you – who is the time reserved for? How would we handle confidentiality, secrets, goal-setting? When would we invite them?
Oui. Je suis anglophone, mais je travaille en français depuis 30 ans.
Absolutely. Need I say more?
I have a very strong background in religions. Whether my client is a believer or a former believer, I am open to understanding their frame(s) of reference regarding faith, religion and spirituality.
No, not if you are under the influence at therapy time. If you are unable to abstain before session, consider treatment first from an addictions counsellor in preparation for the sort of work we could then do in counselling.
Yes, with three exceptions. I cannot discuss anything you say in session, or even tell anyone that you are receiving counselling without your explicit permission (in writing) to do so. Permission can be revoked at any time, and would be granted for a specific period of time, usually six months. You can ask me to consult your doctor or other professional who works with you, on all or some portion of our work together.
I am required to reach out to a mental health practitioner or the police, as appropriate, if I have reason to believe that (1) you are at imminent risk to harm yourself or other(s); (2) you tell me of abuse of a vulnerable member of society (any dependent person, notably minors, the elderly, and people with disabilities). (3) Note: Information from my written notes can be subpoenaed by a court of law.
In successful therapy, you will feel heard, understood, cared for and accepted, more hopeful and more grounded in making difficult decisions. You will gain greater insight into your experience. You will feel empowered to take on challenges with courage and heart. You will tap into your passion more, and feel lighter, better ‘in your own skin’. You can put to rest disturbing memories. You can have new bonding experiences with your partner. You will feel more able to contribute to your own well-being, and that of your family and community. Pretty good, eh?
Yes. To make progress, you must be prepared to open up and reflect upon subjects that are often painful or highly triggering emotionally. It can seem as though things get worse before they get better. Also, your family and friend relationships will likely shift. It is my job to keep you emotionally safe, even as you explore difficult subjects.
No. My association, the BCACC, recommends that no counsellor have social media relationships with clients due to concerns around confidentiality and blurred roles. It’s complicated…
Several researchers have made the point that, without a treatment plan and organizing theory that is evidence-based, a therapist can waste a lot of clients’ time.
Some areas of the counselling field have considerable research on what works, others are still in their infancy. We know a great deal about effective treatment for couples and for complex trauma. Research debunked ideas such as “Communication is what couples should work on in therapy”, and “overbearing mothers are responsible for people with schizophrenia having that illness”. We do know that neglect of a child in their pre-verbal years is deeply traumatic. But we don’t know much yet about the intersect of learning differences (dyslexia, AD/HD, visual vs auditory, processing speed, creative divergent thinkers and convergent thinkers, introverts and extroverts, Highly Sensitive People, left-handedness, and so on) and couples counselling, or trauma treatment with EMDR vs MBAT, and so on. So it is important that you choose a therapist who tries to stay abreast of psychological and educational research.
Want to know more? Read up on Seligman, Scott Miller, John Gottman, Sue Johnson’s articles, Gemma Jones… or ask Ros Best for a more tailored reading list.
I will let clients and former clients know by email, if I have your permission, and will update my website as soon as I am able to offer these services. Soon I hope!
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