Common Counselling Questions

In this ever changing world of “New Normal”, businesses are beginning to open up and we understand that meeting in-person for counselling is often desired. We are maintaining current information and abide by the guidelines from AHS, CPCA, Health Canada and WHO and so, we will:

  • Continue to provide the majority of our services virtually (via Zoom video or phone)
  • We are also beginning to accommodate in person sessions in a socially distanced ShannPeace Oasis, a warm and peaceful session environment for clients who are in significant distress and / or in need of an in-person appointment based on the clinical judgment of the Counselling therapist.
  • Please note that a screening conversation will be conducted and availability of appointments will on a case by case basis.

To find out more information and to make a request for an in-person appointment, please send an email to:

What is the ShannPeace Counselling Therapy Response to COVID-19?


Due to the current risk of COVID-19, we are providing the following options for ALL clients:

(1) Video Session:   30 mins before your appointment, you will receive an email from ShannPeace with instructions on how to access our video option (please also check your junk mail). No need to download anything, just click on the link and you will be connected to your counselling therapist at the scheduled appointment time.

Scroll down for more information about VIDEO SESSIONS.

(2) Phone Session: Your counselling therapist will give you a call on the number provided at the scheduled appointment time. The number may show us with “no caller ID” or “private caller”.


There MAY be instances where video/phone sessions may NOT be possible but your counselling therapist will discuss this with you if this is the case.

Rescheduling: We will continue to be understanding when it comes to health-related reasons for late cancellations during this time. Simply email to notify us that you will not be able to make your appointment and you can reschedule using our website.


What is needed to do a Video session?

For all Video sessions, we strongly recommend finding a private place where you can speak freely and hear the communication from your counselling therapist clearly – in some cases you may want to consider using headphones with a microphone to better communicate in your session.

We recommend logging in 5 mins prior to your session to ensure that you begin on time.  As soon as your counselling therapist is ready to begin, the Video chat will begin.

For a Step-by-step walk through – please click link below to learn how to join a Video Session:


Will I be able to record audio or the chat communication?

Video, audio or chat communication cannot be recorded during an Online Appointment session. This approach ensures that this feature remains confidentially compliant and addresses major privacy concerns around telehealth.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something, and someone who has the training and experience to do that same thing professionally. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, if you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the issue, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies that can help you accomplish your personal and/or relational goals.
Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with therapy.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

This is one of the most common counselling questions we get asked and certainly makes sense because the nature of therapy is so dynamic. Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. we tailor our therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for a session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.

My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. It is not helpful to move from individual into couple’s work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.

How can I know if counselling is for me?

ShannPeace Counselling Therapy offers your first 20 minute session at no charge. This is your opportunity to ask any question you would like to ask, and get a feel of what future sessions will be like. This will also give us a chance to get to know you and start preparing for our next session.

Where can I find the ShannPeace Counselling Therapy Session Oasis?

ShannPeace counselling therapy is located in the heart of High River Alberta on 2nd avenue S.E. in between first and second street. A private entrance is provided to the right of the main door with signage to direct you to the ShannPeace Oasis. Appointments can be scheduled via our website or call our office anytime!

Do I need to book at 20 min consultation to see a counselling therapist?

Our counselling therapist is highly personable and works with a wide range of clients. It is not necessary to use a 20 minute consultation to see a counselling therapist. If you have any specific concerns, or are looking for a counselling therapist who uses a particular methdology we would recommend booking a consultation to better understand your needs and meet your requirements.

How can I access online scheduling to book my 20 minute consultation or book/change my future appointments.

Our simple to use website can be found using the following link:


Note: One of our blog posts may also be helpful – 10 things you should know before beginning your therapy journey

Realizing the Journey to Drive Resilience in Ambiguous Times

©2021 – Shannon Hansen Van Neste RPCC | EMDR, Counselling Therapist

Serving High River, Okotoks, Calgary and Southern Alberta