Counselling & Psychotherapy


Thunder Bay Counselling provides counselling for people of every gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or cultural background and faith. Services are available for individuals, couples/partners and families. There are no fees for many of our services.

Counselling and psychotherapy are forms of “talk therapy”. Talk therapy provides you with a confidential, safe and supportive environment to share what is troubling you. It is a process that can be used when you want to change something in your life and overcome thoughts, feelings or behaviours that may be keeping you stuck.

Counselling/Psychotherapy can help when:

  • You’re experiencing a high level of stress
  • You experience mood swings or feel your emotions are out of control
  • Your relationships are strained
  • You have feelings of being disconnected
  • Your day-to-day life is impacted (school, work, etc.)
  • You feel no one understands you and you just need someone to listen

We assist with issues such as:

  • Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, stress and emotional regulation
  • Trauma
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Sexual Violence
  • Relationship issues
  • Grief
  • Life transitions like break-ups, job loss/change, retirement, “empty nest”
  • Substance misuse and addiction
Our professional counsellors will work with you by first learning about you and your strengths, goals, current situation, and past experiences. You will then work together to plan for your services, including what you want to work on to make a change in your life, how frequently you will meet and for how many sessions.

You are never obligated to continue with counselling if it is not working for you. You are also always welcome to request a change in counsellor if you don’t think it’s a good fit.

We provide services both in-person and virtually depending on what works best for you.

Walk-In/Talk-In Counselling Clinic
The Walk-In Counselling Clinic provides free, immediate, same-day counselling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families on a first come, first served basis. We work with Children’s Centre Thunder Bay to provide the Clinic so it is available for people of all ages for a range of issues.

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Mental Health

Counselling and psychotherapy are often an option for people who are experiencing mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress and difficulties with emotional regulation. A counsellor will work with you to understand and work through the underlying causes and help you to develop coping strategies to deal with the symptoms.

It may also be an option for people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, depending on whether symptoms are well-controlled. For some people, counselling by itself is not the best option and accessing a family doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association may be the better first step.

A traumatic event might be a single event (like a violent crime, accident, sexual assault) or it could be something that you’ve experienced repeatedly over a period of time (like abuse, racism, neglect, bullying, homelessness). Experiencing a traumatic event can be a life-changing and everyone’s reaction to the same events can be different.

If you are having difficulties coping and adjusting due to trauma, counselling/psychotherapy can help you. A counsellor will work with you to understand and deal with your emotional response to the trauma you experienced.

Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence (also called domestic violence) is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain power and control over another person with whom they have or previously had an intimate relationship. Anyone can experience intimate partner violence, regardless of age, race, economic status, religion, sexual orientation or education.

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Sexual Violence
Sexual Violence is an all-encompassing term that includes sexual assault, sexual abuse, human (sex) trafficking and sexual harassment. The word violence does not only refer to physical violence but also includes emotional and psychological harm.

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Our relationships with others are an important part of who we are and how we are doing. When our relationships with our partners, children, parents, family members, friends or co-workers are not going well, it can impact your mental health. You may feel anxious, worried, depressed or angry and have difficulties doing your daily activities and meeting your responsibilities.

Relationship counselling can be helpful at any stage of a relationship. Your counsellor can help those involved gain an understanding of the patterns in the relationship, identify the sources of stress for each of you and help you improve the ways you respond and react to each other.

Losing a loved one, a relationship, a pet, occupation, your health or identity/role can have a significant effect on us. The grief can be overwhelming, painful and debilitating. It can affect our physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being. Everyone experiences and expresses grief differently and it is often based on your culture, beliefs and your relationship with what was lost.

Counselling can help you understand the stages of grief, support you in recognizing and expressing your feelings, and learn coping skills.

Life Transitions

Changes like the start or end of a relationship, births, jobs, school, moving, retirement or the “empty nest” phase can difficult. Even when the change is for the better or something that you’ve wanted, it can create stress. You might feel depressed, anxious, tired and experience headaches, sleeplessness or a change in eating and substance use habits. Sometimes, we can’t move past these feelings and symptoms on our own.

Counselling can help you explore the impact of the change, understand why you are experiencing the feelings and symptoms, see the lessons you can learn from the change, and learn new skills for coping with the change that happened but also for changes you will face in the future.

Substance Misuse and Addiction

Thunder Bay Counselling offers a wide range of services to assist with substance misuse and addiction. 

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Ontario Structured Psychotherapy
In collaboration with St Joseph’s Care Group, the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy (OSP) program provides adults in Ontario with publicly-funded, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and related approaches to help manage depression, anxiety, and trauma-related conditions.

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