Gwen Scott Counselling Getting Started

Getting Started

Step 1: Free 15 Minute Confidential Telephone Consultation

Call 604-309-9349 or email me at


  • For you to ask me questions to determine whether I am a good fit for you.
  • For me to ask you questions about what your concerns are and assess whether I have the skill set to meet your needs. My questions will include:
    What brings you to counselling now?
    What would you like help with?
    What would you like to achieve in our time together?

Opportunity to Initiate Counselling

  • If you indicate you would like to proceed, we will set up an appointment.
  • I will mail/email you an intake form for you to complete prior the first session.
  • If you prefer, you may use a few minutes of the first session to complete the form.


Although I am skilled to work with a wide variety of clients, from time to time clients approach me for counselling in areas in which I am not skilled (eg. children and pre-teens). When this happens, I will refer you to another therapist who is skilled in these areas.

Step 2: Assessment (3-4 sessions)

Orientation to the Counselling Process during first session (5 – 10 minutes)

  • I will give a brief summary of what to expect in therapy
  • I will explain about confidentiality and its limitations
  • We will briefly review the intake papers

Purpose of Assessment Sessions

  • Hear in greater detail what your concerns are
  • Hear what you hope to achieve in therapy
  • Chart family events and history in a genogram (family tree)
  • Establish a safe environment for clients to share their journey
  • Encourage questions for clarification
  • Empower clients to be their own best advocate
  • Gather sufficient information to adapt therapy to fit the client’s needs

Step 3: Mutual Agreement

Following the assessment sessions, I will discuss with you my understanding of what is happening in your life, and I will suggest ways to make your goals attainable. You may decide to accept the proposed therapy plan and continue with counselling. If so, I then commit myself to work with you, make any necessary course corrections, be your cheerleader, and celebrate your victories.

On the other hand, you may find that I am not the best fit for you, or you may not be prepared at this time to commit to the work involved. Either way, I encourage my clients to let me know how they would like to proceed. I value honest feedback.

Couples Counselling

The previous 3 steps are applicable to couples counselling with the following exceptions:

  • There will be 2 sessions where I meet each partner separately to hear their personal journey and how they perceive the dynamics of their relationship. Following this, all other sessions will be conjoint.
  • If domestic abuse is identified by either partner, couples counselling is usually contraindicated. I would continue to see each partner individually and may collaborate with another therapist who is skilled in domestic abuse dynamics.

Family Counselling

The process for a family group would include the same 3 steps outlined above. See the Family Counselling page for details.