How I Work

engendering hope. building strength.

Working in partnership with my clients, I seek to transform negative emotions, like anger, by creatively integrating Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Integrating the Person-Centered, Gestalt and Existential psychotherapy traditions, EFT is a Humanistic, empirically supported treatment that is based on 30-years of research and is designed to develop clients’ emotional intelligence and emotion regulation skills.  As its name implies, EFT provides a unique perspective on emotion as a source of meaning and growth; according to this model, the ability to both experience and regulate emotion is the measure of emotional health.

One of the important goals of EFT is to help clients learn how to use their emotions as information to uncover associated unmet needs. Oftentimes, as we’re growing up, we’re taught to avoid our feelings, making it harder for us to get our needs met, especially in relationships. Also, emotions can be left over from previous situations, like abuse or traumatic events. I may use counselling techniques/procedures in these circumstances to facilitate the resolution of emotional pain.

I will provide you with the opportunity to try different counselling techniques/procedures, in the session and between sessions. I will introduce the technique/procedure to you as we go along and I will provide you with a brief rationale as to why I am inviting you to try it. You have the right to refuse a technique/procedure that doesn’t feel right for you. You also have the right to withdraw consent to clinical counselling at any time during the counselling process. In that event, you are invited to discuss your concerns with me so that I can tailor my approach to your specific needs by providing an alternative therapy.

Benefits of Clinical Counselling

Potential benefits may include significant reduction in feelings of distress by accessing important information about your emotions. You could also benefit by experiencing improved relationships, better problem-solving/coping skills, and an increased quality of life.

Risks of Clinical Counselling

There is a risk of remembering unpleasant events that may arouse intense negative feelings and discomfort. Once processed, negative intensity associated with traumatic memories should be alleviated. Risks and benefits may differ for everyone. You are encouraged to discuss this with me at any time during the counselling process.


There are some things you should know about confidentiality: You have the right, with some limits, to confidentiality. Limits to confidentiality include instances when:

  • a client is a danger to self or others
  • a child is abused or neglected
  • an elderly person is abused or neglected
  • a court or child protection worker orders a release of information (Section 96 of the Child and Family Community Services Act)
  • The client is younger than 19, parents/legal guardians have rights to therapeutic information (Section 1 of the Age of Majority Act)

Communicating with your parent(s) or guardian(s):

If you are an adolescent, please note that I will not tell your parent or guardian specific things you share with me in our private therapy sessions. This includes activities and behaviour that your parent/guardian would not approve of — or would be upset by — but that do not put you at risk of serious and immediate harm; however, if your risk-taking behaviour becomes more serious, I will need to use my professional judgment to decide whether you are in serious and immediate danger of being harmed. If I feel that you are in such danger, I will communicate this information to your parent or guardian.

You can always ask me questions about the types of information I would disclose. You can ask in the form of “hypothetical situations,” in other words: “If someone told you that they were doing ________, would you tell their parents?”

Even if I have agreed to keep information confidential (to not tell your parent or guardian) I may believe that it is important for them to know what is going on in your life. In these situations, I will encourage you to tell your parent/guardian and will help you find the best way to tell them. Also, when meeting with your parents, I may sometimes describe problems in general terms, without using specifics, in order to help them know how to be more helpful to you.

Personal Information and Privacy

A file will be maintained that will contain a record of the clinical counselling services provided. Unless required by law, your personal information will not be released to outside agencies without written authorization. Provisions under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act grant clients the right to view their file with formal or written consent.

Fees and Fee Collection Arrangements
The fee  for individual counselling is $110 per 75-minute session; the fee for couples counselling is $120 per 75-minute session; the fee for a one-page letter for a layperson (e.g., lawyer or insurance representative) is $110/hr. I accept cash and cheques and do not currently charge HST. Cheques are payable to: Sean Hassall Counselling & Consulting Services. Payment is due at the end of the therapy session.

Cancellation and Missed Appointments

If you cannot make a scheduled appointment for any reason, you must provided at least 24 hours notice. If you do not provide 24 hours notice or miss a scheduled appointment for any reason, you will be asked to pay in full the agreed upon fee for the missed appointment. Further, if you decide to discontinue services, you will be expected to pay any outstanding fees within one month of the service end date. Please email/phone ahead of time, if you are unable to attend a session.