Individual Counselling for Adults

Individual counselling is a one-to-one counselling experience between yourself and one of our registered mental health professionals (e.g., a Registered Psychologist). Individual counselling is synonymous with “individual therapy” or “individual psychotherapy.” Typically, individual counselling is conversational and is best suited for adolescents and adults. Individual counselling sessions are generally 50 minutes long and focus on the topics that are the most important to you. Counselling is most effective when there is a strong relationship between the counsellor and the client.

Clarity Psychology is proud to offer individual counselling for adults in English, Cantonese and Putonghua.  Services in Cantonese and Putonghua are offered by Dr. Janet Lau, R.Psych.


Common Reasons to Seek Individual Counselling

Common reasons that clients seek individual counselling at Clarity Psychology include:

  • Mood Disorders (e.g., Depression, Bipolar Disorder), Anxiety, Anxiety-Related Disorders (e.g., OCD, PTSD, Social Anxiety), ADHD, Eating Disorders (e.g., Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder), Personality Disorders (e.g., Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Loneliness, isolation, grief, loss, break-ups
  • Experiences of marginalization and oppression 
  • Gender and sexuality exploration, expression, and transitions
  • Self-esteem, body image, self-criticism, shame, perfectionism
  • Communication, boundaries, assertiveness, anger management, conflict management
  • Life transitions, decision making, career planning, stress, burnout
  • Physical health issues (e.g., chronic pain, chronic illness, acute illness)
  • Parenting challenges, relationship challenges, intimacy issues, fertility issues, family of origin concerns
  • Self-harm, suicidal ideation, addiction, emotional dysregulation
  • Personal growth and development
  • Goal setting and goal actualization
  • General emotional support

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Specialized Counselling for PTSD

Although PTSD can be effectively treated through many methods of therapy, there are some therapeutic approaches designed specifically to treat the symptoms of PTSD. These include Prolonged Exposure (“PE”), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (“EMDR”), Cognitive Processing Therapy (“CPT”), Somatic Experiencing (“SE”), and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (“SP”).

Currently, at Clarity Psychology, we offer Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy; we intend to expand our trauma therapy offerings in the near future.


Prolonged Exposure (“PE”)

Prolonged Exposure is a Cognitive-Behavioural approach to treating PTSD. It is based on the idea that, after a traumatic event, you tend to avoid memories, places, thoughts, feelings and situations associated with the event. This natural reaction to trauma can feel helpful for reducing overall distress. Avoidance, however, prevents your brain from learning that the things you are avoiding are actually quite safe (e.g., memories are not dangerous); because this relearning cannot occur, the anxiety (and the overall distress) is reinforced.

Prolonged Exposure is completed over 10 sessions. A clinician leads you through a series of exposure tasks to face both the memories of the trauma and associated stimuli that you may have been avoiding. PE sessions are 60-90 minutes in length.

Prolonged Exposure is a highly effective way of treating PTSD.

To learn more about Prolonged Exposure, please click here or email Dr. Erica Dunn at erica(at)


Cognitive Processing Therapy  (“CPT”)

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)  is a Cognitive-Behavioral approach to treating PTSD. CPT helps individuals comprehend and modify distressing thoughts that have emerged following their traumatic experiences. Individuals can effectively influence and transform their emotional states by altering these thoughts. By engaging in this process, individuals develop a new perspective and conceptualization of the trauma, diminishing its enduring adverse impact on their lives.
Cognitive Processing Therapy is completed over 12 sessions for 60 minutes per session. You will work with a clinician to modify distressing thoughts that emerged following their traumatic experiences through narrative-based writing activities conducted in session and at home. 
Cognitive Processing Therapy is an evidence-based treatment modality to target and decrease trauma-related symptoms.

To learn more about Cognitive Processing Therapy,  please click here or email Dr. Caitlin Fuller at caitlin(at)


Specialized Counselling for OCD

Research suggests that one of the most effective forms of treatment for OCD is “Exposure and Response Prevention” or “Ex/RP.”

When you experience OCD, you often have a recurring and upsetting thought (i.e., “an obsession”) and feel that the thought is more important than it actually is (e.g., “having this thought means it might actually cause an unwanted event to happen”). This causes great discomfort and anxiety. In order to manage the anxiety temporarily, you engage in a behaviour or series of behaviours called a “compulsion.” Compulsions can be external (e.g., hand washing) or internal (e.g., praying, mental “undoing” of thinking).

In Ex/RP, your therapist works with you to face stimuli that bring on distressing thoughts / obsessions. They help you to sit with the anxiety associated with the thought without engaging in the familiar compulsive behaviour. Ultimately, your brain then has the chance to learn that the anxiety associated with the thought will reduce on its own without the compulsive behaviour (through a process called habituation); this reduces both the distress associated with the thought and the need to perform the compulsion.

When working on Ex/RP, your counsellor is very much an ally that completes many of the exposure tasks with you.

To learn more about Ex/RP for OCD, please click here or email Dr. Erica Dunn at erica(at)