Who are you?
My name is Dallas Shirley and I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. I am passionate about making the world a better place and believe that if children and families are able to find healthy ways to express their thoughts and feelings, it can change the course of their lives. To learn more visit the About Dallas page.
Who do you help support?
I specialize in grief and loss and have focused much of my training and experience on children’s counselling.
Over years of working in non-profit agencies, I have worked with families dealing with a variety of challenges in their lives. If you are interested in learning more about my work and experience to see if I may be a good fit to help support your family, please visit About Dallas page.
If you are currently dealing with a high-conflict divorce, addictions, or severe mental health challenges, I do not have the specific training and expertise to be the most helpful for you or your family. Please connect with other Counsellors who have specializations in the issues that are at the forefront of the challenges you and your family are facing.
Two helpful resources to find children’s counsellors and other support professionals in British Columbia are:
There are also wonderful and often free community family services societies in many cities that provide amazing resources of groups and other services to help support families. Call 8-1-1 to locate services in your area or visit:
What is the age range of children you help to support?
Often the children I help to support are anywhere from 6 to 16 years old. However, every child is different. It will depend on if you believe your child is able to stay on a task for 5-10 minutes at a time and would respond well to connecting over video. Youth who are interested in using arts and crafts to express their thoughts and feelings may also benefit from this support.
Do you offer online counselling services outside of BC?
I am registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors which means I only provide counselling for residents of British Columbia, Canada.
What made you choose online counselling as a way to support families?
I started providing online children’s counselling support as a function of necessity. At the time, families could not come in for in-person sessions. It was then, I experienced how helpful it was to have the caregiver in the session with the child. Caregivers participated in the play and art activities and learned different healthy ways to express feelings together with their children. Skills they took from the sessions then carried on after the session was done and became a part of their every day coping skills. It was beautiful to see. I was inspired by the capacity for families to come together and work on a path towards growth and healing.
How effective is online counselling?
Online counselling can be as effective as in-person counselling support. However, there may be some struggles that would not be appropriate for online support. Feel free to connect to figure out what type of support might be best for your child and family.
There are benefits to online counselling which can help in it’s effectiveness for some people. If you struggle to find child care for your other children, if you do not have transportation, if you have struggles with mobility, or if it is difficult to leave your home for whatever reason, then online counselling may be a helpful option. There is also the added bonus that you and your family get to wear cozy clothes and hopefully feel more relaxed as I come to “visit” you from the comfort of your home.
How will it be helpful for me to take part in my child’s counselling session?
You are the one with the ability to incorporate coping skills into their everyday lives. You are the person that has the greatest impact on your child’s life.
What type of technology do I need to connect with you for sessions?
We both must use a private WiFi connection for sessions or a direct Ethernet connection. This will significantly help with a clearer video quality.
I strongly recommend you use a computer or laptop for video sessions rather than a cell phone for security and comfort reasons. Also, a Chromebook or iPad can work, but programs runs much faster and smoother on a computer or laptop hooked directly up to your Ethernet.
What is the cost?
The cost is 130$ +GST (if applicable) per counselling session.
What is your cancellation policy?
The hope is you provide 24-hours notice unless there is an emergency. If you do not provide 24-hours notice, the full session fee will apply as a late-cancellation fee and will be owed before the start of the next session.
How long can I expect to be in counselling?
That will depend on many factors. For some, it is a couple sessions. For others, it may be for a year. Some see me weekly, some bi-weekly, and some monthly. Others have seen me regularly in the past and now only connect occasionally when they would like extra support. We can talk about what feels best for you and your family.
I have noticed the best results have come when families engage on a regular basis for 8-12 sessions. The reason is the use of repetition to strengthen new neural pathways that are formed as you and your family discover healthy ways to express your emotions together. 8-12 sessions are often effective as most change in counselling takes place after we feel a safe space created to express our thoughts and feelings. It can take 4-6 sessions to build rapport and strengthen the counselling relationship. Change or progress typically occurs after rapport has been built and the environment feels safe.
How will I be able to fund 8-12 sessions?
Please visit the Fees & Funding page for information on funding options.
What is confidentiality in counselling and what are the limits to confidentiality?
Everything you or your family members disclose to me is kept confidential which means you can trust your private information will remain with me. There are limits to confidentiality. I am legally obligated to report if:
- there is suspected child abuse or neglect of any child under the age of 19
- you or your family that are engaging in services express an intention to harm yourselves or someone else
- subpoenaed by a court of law
Will you tell me what my child says if there comes a time that they would have a one-to-one session?
Just as adults are entitled to confidentiality in counselling, children are as well. There are exceptions to confidentiality such as those listed above. We will go through confidentiality together during our intake session, so you are informed about the rights and limits to confidentiality in counselling.
How can I connect with you to find out more about the online children’s counselling and family support that you offer?
You can email me to inquire further and if you would like we can set up a time to talk on the phone for a free 15-minute consultation.