Gentle Lion Counselling  

Counselling with Gareth & Your Rights

When I meet with someone for counselling, I look forward to spending time with them and to learning more about that person. However, you can decide how much or little you want to share with me, and how you want us to work together. I like to work collaboratively with each person.

My intention is to make the counselling experience as physically and emotionally safe for you as possible.

You are welcome to bring a friend or family member to the Consultation, the first counselling session, or to as many sessions as you wish.

In a counselling session I may use talking together, questions, body awareness or mindfulness or movement activities, as well as giving information. Or, I may simply listen.

I may offer suggestions that other people have said they found helpful in similar circumstances, but I do not give advice or make decisions for you. Sometimes I may suggest an activity or exercise for you to try between sessions.

In counselling we can focus together on one specific area of concern for you. We can also look more generally at how your family history or past experiences have influenced how you see yourself and others.We can also explore parts of your inner life, such as your thoughts, values, assumptions, feelings, and how these might affect your view of yourself and how you choose to live your life now.

Counselling may not make a problem disappear or ‘fix’ how someone else in your life is behaving. But counselling can offer you new ways of thinking or responding that may be helpful for you to begin to live more effectively with that problem or person.

Counselling can be a support in a crisis or during a difficult time.

Counselling can also provide an opportunity for you to explore behaviour, relationships, feelings, or thoughts which trouble you or cause difficulty in your life.

Counselling can offer opportunities for deeper personal insight and awareness, better ways of understanding and coping with problems, and improved relationships.

You should know, however, that doing counselling may bring forward uncomfortable or unexpected feelings, thoughts, or recollections for you. Working with these is part of doing counselling. Counselling may also invite you to examine difficult topics or times in your life, to experience stronger than usual emotions, or to try out new and different behaviours.

Your Rights

As a person seeking counselling, you have the right to ask questions of the counsellor before making a decision to commit to counselling with that counsellor.

Information you may want to ask about might include:

  • The counsellor’s type of training, level of completed training, professional membership
  • The counsellor’s general approach to counselling and to the type of concern you bring to counselling
  • Whether you can invite a support person to your counselling sessions
  • What sort of records does the counsellor maintain
  • Fees and services

As a person coming to counselling you have rights, such as:

  • You have full and active participation in decisions which affect you, and freedom of choice within the counselling process.
  • Your participation in counselling is voluntary
  • You can ask me questions about the work we are doing together
  • You can disagree with any task, assessment tool, or exercise I may suggest
  • You can tell me if the counselling is not helping or meeting your expectations
  • You can end counselling at any time
  • You can ask me to refer you to someone else
  • You can ask to see or obtain a copy of your clinical file, and can ask that I correct any errors in your file
  • You have a right to privacy and confidentiality (with some exceptions)

Confidentiality is an important part of the counselling process, so I will keep the personal information you share with me in counselling confidential. Information you share with me will not be disclosed to anyone without your consent, except under the following circumstances:

  1. I am required to inform the appropriate authorities if I believe that you might harm yourself or another person.
  2. I have a legal obligation to inform the appropriate authorities if there is a reason to believe that an individual under the age of 19, or a vulnerable adult, is or may be at risk of abuse or neglect, or in need of protection.
  3. If I am legally required by a court of law to provide information.

As a Registered Clinical Counsellor I am bound by the ethical principles of the British Columbia Counselling Association to respect the dignity, beliefs, rights and freedoms of all persons and peoples, provide responsible caring and integrity in relationships.

If you have concerns or complaints about the counselling service you receive from me you can contact the British Columbia Counselling Association at 1-800-909-6303.

You can see more information on my Disclosure and Consent to Counselling Form. You receive a copy of this form at our Consultation or your first counselling session with me.


Gentle Lion Counselling - Now with offices in Vancouver & Richmond
Serving Metro Vancouver, BC


Gareth Llewellyn MA RCC CCC - Gentle Lion Counselling - 778-688-4522 - info@gentlion.com - www.gentlion.com