Family and Community Services, counselling and support services is at the Community Centre (#200, 501 Festival Avenue).
Public parking information
PLEASE NOTE: Family and Community Services will be closed on Monday, May 20, 2019.
Need help now? Crisis support numbers
Family and Community Services is pleased to offer professional counselling without appointments
- Counselling is available by walk-in during the day and some evenings
- Pay what you can afford, starting at $0
- Our team includes registered psychologists, social workers, and credentialed volunteers and graduate students in counselling
- Sessions provide participants with an action plan and information to support them in achieving their goals
- Counselling sessions are confidential and participants can return as often as needed
Monday and Friday
• 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
• 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you are a credentialed counselling professional or are working toward post-masters registration with a professional organization and are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email us.
Address: 200, 501 Festival Avenue
Counselling Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is counselling? Permanent link to What is counselling?
With our professional counsellors, you can focus on an area of your life you would like to change or get information, advice or support about. We talk about your abilities and strengths and what is important to you. You will leave the session with ideas or strategies to try, and a deeper understanding about the changes you want to make for yourself. .
2. What happens in the counselling session? Permanent link to What happens in the counselling session?
Our counsellors use a team approach so you may have more than one counsellor in your session. You and your counsellor(s) will have an open conversation to understand your goals and what is important to you.
Your goals can change or stay the same from one session to the next. It is up to you to choose what is best.
After about 30 to 50 minutes, the counsellor(s) will take a quick break to consult with the counselling team and create a written action plan that recognizes and builds on your strengths, ideas and abilities. After the break, the counsellor(s) will rejoin you in the counselling room to discuss your strengths and their ideas.
You will walk away with an action plan tailored for you. Sessions typically take between 60-90 minutes. Time expectations will be discussed and agreed on when you first meet with the counsellor(s).
3. Is counselling confidential? Permanent link to Is counselling confidential?
Yes. Your information is kept confidential to the counselling team and is only accessed on a need-to-know basis. We strictly adhere to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).
Information from your last session assists your counsellors in responding to your situation. You won’t need to start “from the beginning” or retell your story. Our trained counsellors can then focus on your most important concern, and what has happened since your previous visit.
It is required by law to report identified abuse/harm to a child under the age of 18 or if there is a reason to believe that a person’s life may be in jeopardy. In addition, our counsellors are legally obligated to break confidentiality if court-ordered by a judge to appear in court through a subpoena. If you have questions or concerns about these limits to confidentiality, please bring them forward to your counsellor(s).
4. Why should I come in? Do I need to be in crisis? Permanent link to Why should I come in? Do I need to be in crisis?
You do not need to be in a crisis to come in. Some individuals come in before they feel their life is “out of control” or are overwhelmed. If you are distressed, we encourage you to visit us.
Frequent reasons people choose to meet with the counselling team:
- Couples counselling
- Family counselling
- I am trying to figure something out
- I need to talk to someone right away
- I don’t know how to get back on track
- I wish I knew more about…
- How can I cope better with my situation?
- Is counselling useful for me?
- How can I can help a friend or family member?
5. Why does Family and Community Services not have appointments for counselling? Permanent link to Why does Family and Community Services not have appointments for counselling?
In the past, individuals frequently experienced delays, sometimes weeks, before an appointment was available. This is no longer the case. People struggling with every day challenges want useful strategies to resolve their difficulties sooner rather than later, and now they can come in any weekday without an appointment at a variety of times during the day and evening.
6. Do you offer counselling to children? Permanent link to Do you offer counselling to children?
Yes; our counsellors meet with children over the age of six and involve their parents or guardians in the co-creation and implementation of action plans. As children get older, some may attend counselling without their parents or guardians. The youth’s age and maturity plays a significant role.
7. What will you leave a counselling session with? Permanent link to What will you leave a counselling session with?
You will leave your counselling visit with an action plan. This plan will have at least one idea that we hope will be useful in helping you meet your identified goal. You may also gain information about resources including apps, websites, workshops, counselling groups, and more.
8. How long should I plan to be at my counselling session? Permanent link to How long should I plan to be at my counselling session?
Like a walk-in medical clinic, it will depend on the complexity of situations and the number of available counselling teams. On average, people meet with the counselling team between 60 to 90 minutes. Your time is valuable and we are committed to meeting with you as quickly as we can.
9. Why is someone who arrived after me being seen before me? Permanent link to Why is someone who arrived after me being seen before me?
Occasionally, a person with an urgent situation may arrive after you and require an immediate response. In other cases, the counselling team member most able to respond to you may be busy with someone else when you arrive. Our goal is to give you the most suitable counselling team for your situation as soon as possible.
10. Who are the counsellors? Permanent link to Who are the counsellors?
The counselling staff are professionally qualified and trained to provide counselling services. Our team includes psychologists, social workers, certified counsellors and graduate level counselling students.
11. Are counselling services offered in rural Strathcona County? Permanent link to Are counselling services offered in rural Strathcona County?
Not yet. This is something we would like to explore if there is a sufficient need. If you are interested in receiving counselling in a rural location please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office (780-464-4044).
12. Can I visit counselling more than once? Permanent link to Can I visit counselling more than once?
Yes. You are welcome to return as often as necessary to move forward in achieving your goal(s).
13. Do I see the same counsellor each time? Permanent link to Do I see the same counsellor each time?
Our counselling service uses a team approach and the counselling team you work with each session depends on your situation, the expertise of the counsellors to respond to your situation, and the availability of team members. It is possible that you will be seen by someone on your previous counselling team, although perhaps not in the counselling room with you. Another time, you may be seen by people you have not seen previously. Research and evidence strongly indicates that successful changes are not dependent upon seeing the same counsellor each time.
Information from your last session assists your counsellors to continue to respond to your situation. No need to worry about "starting from the beginning" or retelling your story because we have access to detailed notes from your last visit.
14. What about coming to counselling as a support person? Permanent link to What about coming to counselling as a support person?
Our counsellors encourage people’s supporters and loved ones to consider attending counselling sessions together.