Calgary Personal Counselling Psychologist

Dr. Susan MacDonald – Registered Psychologist

Individual, Couples, and Family Counselling:

Dr. Susan MacDonald’s counselling practice in Calgary includes working with individuals, couples, and families. Counselling is offered in all areas of life management including relationships, health psychology, life transitions, and clinical issues.  Making the decision to seek counselling is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. It takes a certain degree of courage to take the step to seek help, yet it is a very positive and encouraging sign that you are a proactive and resilient individual. Through counselling, Dr. MacDonald can help you live your life to your maximum potential.

free telephone consultation
Dr. Susan MacDonald Ph.D., Registered Psychologist
Calgary Counselling Psychologist
430 15 Street NW Calgary
403-295-8355

Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Who are your clients?

A common term describing people who attend counselling is known as the “worried well” population. In essence, they are just like you and I; anyone who encounters some obstacles along the path of life. People who are wanting solutions to problems, or are looking for insight into issues, are perfect candidates for counselling. Perhaps you are feeling stuck, or have tried unsuccessfully to fix something on your own, then counselling may be helpful for you. If you are seeking growth and understanding regarding your life situation, you could benefit from my services.

My clients are very diverse: Some are young, others are older. They are males and females, of all ethnicities and beliefs. Some are students, others work in almost every occupation imaginable, while still others are retired. If I had to find a common thread amongst the clients I see, I would say that all are looking for a change. That change may look different to each individual, as the change may be internal or external, it may be large or small, but in some way that change will make a difference in their lives, whether it be slight or significant.  I hold profound admiration for all my clients who put their trust in me to facilitate this process.

Who are you as a counsellor?

I am a person who believes in the hope that change is possible, and that we sometimes need help to implement desired changes in our lives.  I believe that one of the greatest purposes in our lives is to learn life lessons, and it is often through the toughest times in our lives that these lessons are the most profound.  I feel honoured to guide people through this journey, and believe in the resilience of the human spirit. I think it is important to treat every individual with integrity, honesty, and respect, and to be open and non-judgmental of others.  I am a caring and compassionate person who has found my life’s calling in helping others in times of need.

How long does counselling take?

The number of sessions a person requires is highly individual, and based upon what my clients feel is best for them; after all everyone is an expert in their own lives.  For most people, counselling is a short-term, strengths-based, solution focused process, requiring only a few sessions.  Other people feel they need longer term therapy to meet their goals and needs. Sometimes people check in with me after a few months or even years, or sometimes when they feel the need for a “tune up” in a manner of speaking.  We will always discuss approximately how many sessions may be helpful when counselling begins.

How does counselling work?

People typically enter counselling when going through a life change or transition, or when realizing their patterns of thinking, behaving, or feeling are no longer effective. Sometimes people come to counselling recognizing their issues, but unsure of what solutions may help them to resolve their concerns. Setting goals for counselling helps make sessions purposeful and offers direction to the process. I follow research based methods to help people find insights, and to facilitate desired changes so my clients may live more fulfilling, productive, and meaningful lives.

Is counselling confidential?

Yes, counselling is completely confidential, meaning information is not provided to third parties without your written consent. No information is shared with your family, your employer, or others.   Confidentiality may be limited in some circumstances: (a) if a child or dependent adult is in need of protective services; (b) if your life or someone else’s life is in imminent risk of serious harm; (c) if you are a minor or dependent adult, your guardian can limit your right to confidentiality; or (d) if your file is subpoenaed by a court of law.

Are there risks to counselling?

While people generally attend counselling with the intent on improving their lives, there may be the possibility of uncomfortable thoughts or feelings that may arise during the process. These should be discussed with me in order to help you overcome any struggles or difficulties you may experience.  Overall, the benefits, growth, and insights that occur during the counselling process should outweigh any perceived obstacles. Change can at times be a challenge, though should ultimately be a positive, empowering, and enlightening experience.

How do I book an appointment?

Please call 403-295-8355 or use the website contact form to book an appointment (see the Contact page).  Cancellation or rescheduling requires 24 hour notice.  Sessions are typically 50 minutes in length, with an additional 10 minutes required for note taking and administration. Longer sessions are available upon request.

free telephone consultation
Dr. Susan MacDonald Ph.D., Registered Psychologist
Counselling Psychologist – Calgary
430 15 Street NW Calgary
403-295-8355

What does counselling cost?
Please contact Dr. MacDonald for more information on fees

What types of concerns do you typically address?

I see people for many varied reasons, and it is very common for clients to be struggling with a few issues at once, as often one problem can lead to what is typically called the “ripple effect”. If you are wondering if I might be the right person to help you with your concerns, please call me at 403-295-8355.

Health and Wellness

I have extensive training, knowledge, and experience in the area of health and wellness, and can help you on your path to optimal health and well being. I’ve listed some common concerns below, though these concerns are just a few areas I practice:

  • Addictions counselling, resolving habit disorders and concerns
  • Chronic disease and chronic pain management
  • Diet, exercise, and lifestyle for optimal health
  • Health psychology, wellness counselling
  • Hormones: Understanding balance for health and well being
  • Sleep disorders
  • Spiritual wellness
  • Stress, burnout, and coping
  • Weight management

Change Management

We all know that throughout life change is constant, and sometimes we manage change well, yet sometimes we can benefit from someone helping us to maneuver our ever changing world. Typically when faced with change, there are multiple areas of our lives that are affected, and counselling can greatly assist with managing these transitions.

  • Adjustment counselling, transitions in life, coping with change, decision making
  • Aging and retirement concerns
  • Cross cultural counselling, including expatriation, repatriation, and immigration
  • Managing change at any age, from youth to death, and everything in between

Relationships

As humans, we are all social beings, and healthy relationships are essential for our optimal health and well being. We will all experience difficulties in relationships at some point in our lives, and we can often benefit from a caring professional who can help mend or resolve difficulties we face with people in our lives, either personally or professionally.

  • Couples and relationship counselling
  • Facilitating work relationships including managers, colleagues, and direct reports
  • Family counselling, parenting concerns
  • Grief and loss counselling
  • Mediation and conflict resolution
  • Separation and divorce management

Mental Health Concerns

We all know people with mental health concerns, or you may struggle yourself.  Over 20% of Canadian adults will develop a mental health disorder at some point during their lives, and this number may be highly underrated.¹  The cost of treated and untreated mental disorders in Canada is estimated to be over $14 billion annually.¹ The good news is that most people with mental illness get well, and go on to lead purposeful lives, yet the sad news is only about 43% of adults with depression seek help.² The great news is that counselling has been proven to be highly effective in treating concerns such as depression and many other mental health disorders.³ Here are a few concerns I typically see in my practice:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, anger management
  • Trauma, stress, or post traumatic stress disorder
  • Many other types of mental health concerns

Personal Growth and Development

We live in a society that promotes self-knowledge and life-long learning. Many people I see are committed to ongoing personal growth and development, and are looking for information and insight that will enable them to live lives that are positive, purposeful, and rewarding.  Setting goals to capitalize on strengths and to work on other areas is an empowering, enlightening, and enriching experience. What is it you would like to accomplish in your life?

  • Becoming confident in understanding and managing conflict
  • Effective communication strategies
  • Learning effective decision making strategies
  • Life coaching to benefit from your gifts and talents, and to minimize and manage your obstacles
  • Managing your professional life, including job change, career planning, stress/career burnout
  • Managing perfectionism
  • Understanding your personality strengths and working on your challenges

Counselling Methods  

I tailor my counselling approach based upon your presenting concerns, and in alignment with your individual wants and needs. The counselling methods I use are based upon solid research, and effective frameworks, models, and theories. I offer strategies and tools to help you meet your goals, to overcome your struggles, and to empower you to live your best life possible. Much of my work is grounded in, though is not limited to, behavioural counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, and solution-focused strengths-based counselling methods.

free telephone consultation
Dr. Susan MacDonald Ph.D., Registered Psychologist
Counselling Psychologist – Calgary
430 15 Street NW Calgary
403-295-8355

1. Stephens T., & Jorbert N. (2001) The economic burden of mental health problems in Canada: Chronic diseases in Canada, 22(1), 18-23.

2. Diverty, B., & Beaudet, M.  (1997) Depression an untreated disorder? Health Report, 8(4), 9-18 (Statistics Canada Cat. No. 82-003-XPB).

3. http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-for-depression

 

contact Dr. MacDonald for more information on fees

contact Dr. MacDonald for more information on fees