Areas of practice
- Addictions - Including Substances
- Adolescent Issues
- Anxiety and/or Panic
- Eldercare Issues
- Life Transitions
- Marriage and/or Relationship Issues
- Parent/Teen Conflict
- Stress Management
- Teen Adjustment Issues
- Trauma Counselling
- Adolescent Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
- Family Systems
- Humanistic Therapy
- Mindfulness approaches
- Spiritual Counselling
Counselling practice website:www.romapalmer.ca
Choosing a counsellor is a very personal decision. Below please find some information to help you make the choice that is right for you.
What is my philosophy of counselling and how can I help you?
I believe we all have the answers inside of us. Sometimes life throws up so many obstacles and creates so much noise that it’s hard to hear those answers. Where I come in is to identify the obstacles and help give you tools to clear them away. As well, I help you turn down the volume on the noise so you can hear the still, small voice of sense inside.
What is my counselling process?
Rather than having a formula that you fit into, I spend the first session getting a sense of you, your style and your goals to see how we can best work together. You might want a strategy and homework, so we come up with those. You may simply want a supportive, non-judgmental space to tell your story—or you may want both. You will have a goal or goals for your counselling sessions and we will address those as we work together. My aim is always to craft sessions to accommodate your needs.
Counselling is a collaborative process. I have expertise to help guide you through your struggles but it is your commitment to following through that will create the change you want to see in your life. Counselling is an emotional process. You will be asked to be honest and open about your experiences so you can get the most out of your sessions.
Admitting your life isn’t perfect in the age of Facebook can be pretty scary, when everyone seems to have one excellent thing happening after the other. Dealing with life’s difficulties can make it seem like everyone else is doing better than you. I know no one’s life is perfect and that we all have parts of ourselves we aren’t proud of. My job isn’t to blame or judge. I provide a compassionate ear to listen to very human problems. Throughout the counselling process it pays to be compassionate with yourself as well. It took time to get to the point of seeking counselling and it often takes some time to see improvements. The more energy you invest, the greater the results.
What modalities do I use?
I am very client-centered. I believe in the value of Mindfulness, especially in today’s fast-paced world. I also do Cognitive Behaviour Therapy whether directly or indirectly. Changing thoughts, beliefs and behaviours is what it’s all about. I tend to be solution-focused in my work with clients, versus problem-focused. The focus is more on what you want to change and how to get there—rather than rehashing old stories. Having said that, I also believe your context and history have made you who you are today and that is valuable information in how to move forward.
If you are thinking about counselling, please give me a call: 604-908-3665
Why would you want to work with me?
I definitely have the training to do the work…but what makes me good at it has more to do with my personal experience and personality.
Firstly I really want to hear your story: about your life, your relationships, your troubles. I’m really, truly interested. I know what it’s like to wedge myself into a corner and not be able to see my way out. It is a complete privilege for me to be trusted with your story and to help you find your way through whatever is troubling you.
As for my story, I grew up in an alcoholic family. My Dad has, and continues to engage in problem-drinking. This was confusing, frustrating and embarrassing growing up and I had no one to talk to about it. I talked to my Mom sometimes, but she was so embroiled in it all that it was difficult for her to be there for me. It was the secret that everyone knew. It wasn’t until I reached my twenties that I started doing some reading and realized that I was living in a ‘classic’ alcoholic family.
Then—whether as a result of my family situation or a bug dose of life, in my early twenties I ended up with depression. I lost my job and saw a psychiatrist for two years. I was on medication that I didn’t want to be on – but it did make a difference. It was a terrible, terrible time. I was so grateful to my psychiatrist for being a caring role model and immense help to me at that time. I still reflect on things he told me 20 years later.
Later on in life I found struggling in graduate school while starting a family and trying to figure out a work-family situation that was realistic was completely mind-blowing. Talking to other women in similar situations was helpful to a point; but each person’s situation seemed so different, it was hard to know what advice to take or what direction to move. I still find balancing work and family and trying to squeeze time in for taking care of myself a real challenge at times.
About a year and a half after my third child was born, my mother had a stroke. She recovered fairly well physically, but cognitively she had changed. That was really hard. I found myself grieving for someone who was standing next to me. It was strange and bizarre. My mother’s stroke was a huge shock as was her sudden death, in July 2013, over 6 years later. My world felt shaky and it took a long time to trust that the ground I was standing on would hold firm.
I do realize how fortunate I have been in my life: education, a career and a beautiful family. I always walk with gratitude in my heart. But like you, I have had some very challenging life experiences and I truly believe it is these experiences that help me understand and relate to my clients.
Where did I receive my training? What diploma/degree do I have?
I have a Master of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in Counselling Psychology. I did my practicum with Addiction Services and I have been in private practice for almost 10 years.
Which professional association do I belong to?
I am a member of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) with the designation Registered Clinical Counsellor. The BCACC requires their members to meet strict academic guidelines as well as adhere to their Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice.
What can you expect at the first session?
The first session is often an information gathering session. You may be asked for your family history, what you have done to address the issue in the past and what you hope to achieve through counselling. You will be asked what your goals are for the counselling process and what your hopes are for your future. The first session sets the stage for future sessions. That is not to say that there is no therapy in the first session. Clients often describe a great sense of relief at sharing their story and having a direction to help them move forward.
How long do I think you will need for therapy?
This is a question that depends on the issue or issues you bring to Counselling. Often by the time you get in touch with me difficulties have been going on for awhile. Often life has become unbearable. It takes time to get into a situation and it takes time to get out. Having said that, I find even coming for one session can be immensely helpful for someone who has been holding it together or keeping secrets for a long time.
How does confidentiality work?
In our sessions everything is confidential unless there is a concern of imminent harm to you or another, if your file has been subpoenaed for a court case or if current child-abuse has been revealed.
Who is my ideal client?
Someone who is motivated and open to change: whether an adult, a teen, a couple or family. People who are desperately seeking a better way to live their lives, a way that serves them and allows them to grow and accomplish more than their current way of being in the world.
What do I love most about the work?
I love seeing my clients grow and change and feel better about their lives. And to live life more fully. When I see the spark come back, the bounce in their walk, the light in their eyes, well, it helps me walk a little taller. Most of all, I love seeing my clients regain their sense of self, and how relationships flourish when a change happens. I feel deeply honoured to be able to share in this process.
Client fee individuals:$140 per hour. Sliding scale available.
Client fee couples/families:$140 per hour. Sliding scale available.