Programs at HIM

Counselling:

Counselling Program:

Feeling the need for some extra support?

Why counselling?

Break-ups, hetero-normativity, aging, shame, stigma, body-image, relationships, coming-out and balancing culture and sexuality. Life as a gay man can be complex, and at times, overwhelming. For many, reaching out for support from a professional could make a big difference! A counsellor is a mental health professional trained in psychology and counselling techniques who is dedicated to creating an environment that is safe for you to talk, learn and explore challenging topics.   For many, the idea of counselling can be intimidating, but often, talking to someone and having their expert perspective can lead to positive changes of mood, improvement in physical symptoms and shift your understanding of relationships with yourself and others. Counselling can provide insight, tools, guidance and information in a way that is sex-positive, non-judgemental, and affirming.

Counselling at HIM:

Counselling with HIM connects you with a therapist who has professional counselling, psychology or other related credentials. Our volunteer professional counsellors are registered mental health practitioners (Social workers, Counsellors, psychologists and registered interns) who employ a variety of styles of psychological interventions. HIM counsellors have lived experience or prior professional experience working with gay communities. Our counsellors aim to create a safe, welcoming environment where you can explore whatever is troubling your psychological/emotional well-being.

What topics are frequently addressed in counselling:

Counsellors can work with many topics, but tend to be experts in working with certain topics and themes known to affect mental health. Counsellors work closely with you in some of the following ways:

  • Addressing and improving uncomfortable feelings related to mood.
  • Reducing the low mood related to depression.
  • Reducing a feeling of fear or anxiety.
  • Exploring your self-concept and how you understand and think about the world around you.
  • Providing tools, techniques and therapies proven to create positive psychological, emotional or relationship change.
  • Exploring past history in a way that is safe, and adding context to what we remember.
  • Employing techniques to change the way we think and feel.

How is the service structured?

Counselling with HIM is 8 sessions (approximately one hour long) scheduled weekly. The process begins with an intake interview with a HIM staff or intern. The intake interview is a chance for you to talk about what you want to accomplish in your 8 sessions. After the intake interview there will be a waiting period which is usually about 8 weeks. When a counsellor is available, you will be matched with someone who matches your availability and/or preferences (when possible). Once you have made a connection with your counsellor, your session will be scheduled with HIM health centre receptionists and your counsellor. Your sessions will conclude within 8-10 sessions and your counsellor will help you connect to other services that match your needs. You are eligible for the counselling program approximately once per year.

If you would like to star the process, or learn more about counselling contact the HIM office:

Call: (604) 488-1001

Or email: aaron@checkhimout.ca

FAQ

What if I need to talk to someone immediately?

If you are in need of counselling sooner than we can offer, there are some programs that might meet your needs. However, most programs have an approximate 8-16 week wait.

If you are able to pay for counselling, you can use the resource on this website to connect with a counsellor that is connected with HIM. Click Here To Get Started

What if I need to reschedule a session?

We understand the need for being flexible with scheduling. We ask you to respect the time of our volunteer staff by letting us know about schedule changes as early as passible. Missing a session or not providing at least 24 hours notice for a schedule change may result in the loss of that session.

What if I need more than 8 sessions?

It is understandable that you might wish to continue with your counsellor at HIM and your counsellor may provide an additional two sessions if the need is great. The reason that HIM has an 8-10 session guideline is to keep the service available to more people over the year. In some cases, you can continue with your counsellor in their private practice (if they practice privately).

What if I have a complaint or want to give feedback?

You are welcome to make a complaint or give feedback at any time throughout your counselling program without repercussions or consequences. We will do our best to respond to your feedback in a way that supports your needs and preferences. If you would like to make a complaint or provide feedback, please contact: HIM program manager: Aaron@checkhimout.ca , or HIM executive director: Greg@checkhimout.ca

What about confidentiality?

You get to choose how much or little you share with your counsellor, though counselling works best when you share fully, openly, and honestly. Our counsellors are skilled at creating a safe and supportive space where no subject is off limits, and confidentiality is an important factor here.

Our counsellors follow the current standards of practice for confidentiality in BC, and any documents about you are filed under a coded ID number, and stored with utmost security.

There are a few specific circumstances where confidentiality might be broken. This would happen when:

  • A client makes a direct threat to harm yourself, or another person,
  • A client reports harm of a child or vulnerable adult,

A court issues a request for information.

Coaching:

Change Advocates Coaching program:

Are you ready to make a change?

Why coaching?

Working with a coach can help you discover and clarify what you want to achieve and increase your chance of success by empowering you generate your own unique solutions and approaches. Coaches don’t give advice, share their opinions, or tell clients what to do. Through expert facilitation, listening and questioning, coaches help each client find balance between who you are (your values, beliefs, and desires), and what you do (your actions, behaviours, and performance). When all of these elements are understood and in alignment, making the change you want suddenly doesn’t seem so hard.

That is why coaching works.

Who are the coaches? 

HIM’s coaches are a passionate, dedicated group of gay men, volunteering their time and skills to support the success and well-being of their peers and our community. Each coach has completed 20 hours of dedicated training, which is complimented by ongoing individual supervision with an expert coach, and monthly team meetings. Our team of coaches offers a variety of ages, ethnicities, languages, professions, experiences, personalities, skills and experiences. We do our best to match each client with the coach that’s the best fit for the change each client wants to make.

What types of topics are suitable for coaching?

Coaching can help increase awareness and understanding of virtually any topic. The most common areas we coach on include:

  • Improving personal, professional, and romantic relationships
  • Getting in better shape and building healthier habits
  • Creating a safe, happy, fulfilling sex life
  • Building self-esteem and stress management skills
  • Coming out
  • Budgeting and building financial health,
  • Finding a job or changing careers,
  • And much more…

How is the service structured?

Coaching isn’t a quick fix. Making real and lasting change takes time, and your choice to work with a coach is a commitment. HIM offers each coaching client six, one-on- one coaching sessions of about an hour each. Most of the time with the coach is spent in discussion; exploring solutions, alternatives, potential outcomes, barriers to change, and connecting the client with their intrinsic motivation to succeed. At the end of each session, the client and coach collaborate to develop a plan of action and specific ‘homework’ objectives for the client to work on between sessions. Sessions are typically scheduled one or two weeks apart, to allow the client time to be in action and make progress on their goal. Most often, the coach and client meet in person at either HIM’s Davie Street or Commercial Drive location. In some cases, coaching may also be provided virtually via Skype when necessary.

Are you ready to make a change?

To learn more about coaching, or to book an appointment, contact the HIM office:

Call: (604) 488-1001

Or email: david@checkhimout.ca

FAQ:

What is the difference between counselling and coaching?

Coaching

Coaching helps a client tap into their own answers, values, and motivations. The process of coaching remains grounded in the present (what is going on right now) while exploring the many possibilities of the future. In coaching, the client owns the agenda, approach, action plan, and results.

Counseling

Counselling focuses on emotional difficulties, traumatic past events, and certain conditions, which show up both physically and emotionally. A counselor promotes psychological change based on well-researched therapies.

What if I need to reschedule a session?

We understand the need for being flexible with scheduling. We ask you to respect the time of our volunteer staff by letting us know about schedule changes as early as passible. Missing a session or not providing at least 24 hours notice for a schedule change may result in the loss of that session.

What about confidentiality?

You, the client, choose how much or little you share with your coach, though coaching works best (and you’ll get the best results) when you share fully, openly, and honestly. Our coaches are skilled at creating a safe and supportive space where no subject is off limits, and confidentiality is an important factor here. Our coaches follow the code of ethics established and maintained by the International Coach Federation, and are supported in this by the coaching program supervisor (Rob Kaiser), and HIM program manager (Aaron Purdie).

There are a few specific circumstances where confidentiality might be broken. This would happen when:

  • A client makes a direct threat to harm yourself, or another person,
  • A client reports harm of a child or vulnerable adult,
  • A court issues a request for information.

What if I don’t like coaching and want to stop?

Research shows it takes, on average, six sessions to make a meaningful change. Often it can take time to establish a trusting relationship with your coach, and discomfort early in the process is very normal! We encourage clients to commit to the 6-sessions, and if you find yourself wanting to stop, we also would encourage you to share this with your coach. Often, our resistance to something can often tell us something really important about ourselves. What if I have a complaint or want to give feedback? We ask all clients to support us in continually improving the coaching program, and in securing funding to keep the program going, by completing a brief satisfaction survey at the completion of their sixth session. But, you don’t have to wait until your sessions are over to let us know how we’re doing. You’re welcome to submit your thoughts and comments on the coaching program at any point in the process to the HIM program manager (Aaron Purdie, aaron@checkhimout.ca). We’re ready to listen to any and all feedback you have, with out consequences, judgments or repercussions.

Groups:

Therapy groups:

Your peers help you get where you need to go

HIM has a selection of closed therapy groups. These groups are closed because in a therapy group, confidentiality is extra important because there is more than just one client and one counsellor. HIM Therapy groups are designed to be long term (6-12 months) programs to help address certain topics.   Therapy groups at HIM are facilitated by expert counsellors, social workers and nurses who volunteer their time on a weekly basis.

If you are interested in a therapy group, please contact HIM Program manager Aaron Purdie (Aaron@checkhimout.ca) to check which groups have openings.

Therapy groups are accessible at specific times during the year and will be promoted here.

HIM Trauma group recruitment:

Copy of poster

FAQ

What if I know someone in my therapy group?

This is a natural concern, and we have established some ways to ensure that you and the current members of the group can maintain a safe environment, free of complex dual relationships.

Prior to entering the group, we will check your name with the current group members (your first name and last initial) to make sure you there are not any uncomfortable relationships that you would like to avoid. If you determine that you know someone in the group, you will be re-directed to 1-1 counselling.

What if I just want to try out a therapy group?

Therapy groups are usually long term and we request a 6-month commitment. The group bonding is very important, and so it is not always easy to try it out. Instead, we offer you the chance to have support from the group facilitators before starting, and during your time in the therapy group. This support is a chance to ask about what to expect, and to get a sense of any expectations for you (attendance, communication, etc…). This is also a chance to talk about any internal conflict you are having, and hopefully, you and the facilitator can find a creative solution that will work for you. It is important for you to let the facilitators about your needs and preferences so that they can keep those in mind throughout the group.

What if I can’t make it every week?

We understand the need to be flexible with scheduling. We ask you to respect the time of our volunteer staff by letting us know about schedule changes as early as passible. We ask that group participants contact the program manager or group facilitators 24 hours in advance if you think you might miss a group meeting.