Welcome to Esther Oh Counseling Services
Hello! I’m Esther.
I am a counsellor based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Prior to becoming a counsellor, I was a tax and estates lawyer at one of Canada’s leading law firms. I left the practice of law to specialize in helping clients who are working through career or life transitions, stress and burnout, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, grief, perfectionism, low self-esteem, professional identity, and cultural identity.
Work With Me
I welcome clients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, faith backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, or other identities. I look forward to working with you!
I am currently in the process of completing my Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. I will be graduating in the fall of 2022. I am being supervised by a Registered Clinical Counsellor, and I regularly pursue continuing education to remain current in counselling theory and practice.
As a therapist, I work from a psychodynamic approach that incorporates Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Therapy (AEDP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), and feminist theory. I have also received certification in Trauma-Informed Practice Training.
My work as a counsellor is informed by my previous experience as a lawyer. I understand the value of work in bringing meaning to our lives, but I also know how elusive this can be, with many of us suffering from career-related burnout, stress, and anxiety. In our work together, we can develop your professional identity, clarify your career goals, and align your work with your life’s purpose.
Another important aspect of my context is that I am a Korean Canadian woman born to immigrant parents. Belonging to a racialized group presents unique challenges, such as struggling with self-acceptance, belonging, and racial trauma. Counselling is an invitation for you to reclaim your identity, honour your story, and find a sense of liberation.
Since I was young, a lot of my identity and sense of worth was based on what I achieved. I held onto this way of being throughout high school and university, which led me to a career as a lawyer. I thought that once I attained a certain level of success, as defined by the world, I would be accepted by others and truly happy. However, the higher I reached, the more miserable I became. I had become a person I did not recognize. I was living a life that was not my own, in accordance with the values of others. Every day, I felt weighed down by the burdens of inauthenticity and emptiness.
INDIVIDUAL ONLINE COUNSELLING
I provide online counselling services for adults using Jane, a secure and encrypted videoconferencing system.
- Stress and coping strategies
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal or relationship challenges
- Emotion regulation
- Life transitions
- Grief and loss
One of my passions is to increase mental health awareness and understanding through public speaking engagements. I am available to present to your workplace or organization on a variety of topics, including:
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Diversity and inclusion
Please contact me for more information.
- September 22, 2022: Resisting Burnout at Work – The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (live webinar)
How much are your fees?
My fee is $90 for a 50 minute session.
For new clients, I offer a discounted rate for three 50 minute sessions at $70 each, so you can determine whether we are a good fit. I am also available for a free 15 minute telephone call if you have any questions about me or counselling.
I offer a sliding scale to a limited number of clients in acknowledgment of the financial barriers that exist in accessing mental health services. Priority is given to individuals who identify as trans, non-binary, Black, and Indigenous. Please inquire for more details.
How do online sessions take place?
Please ensure that you are in a private space for your appointment, free from distractions or interruptions. I recommend that you have a fully charged device and strong internet connection to minimize technical difficulties. You may also wish to test your microphone and speakers prior to the session.
Are your services covered by third-party insurance?
My services may be covered by third-party extended health benefits. I recommend contacting your health insurance provider to determine whether they cover the services of a pre-licensed counsellor working under the supervision of a Registered Clinical Counsellor.
What can I expect at my first appointment?
The first appointment will focus on getting to know you and what you are hoping for by attending therapy. I will ask you questions to better understand you, your history, and your contexts, but you are not expected to share personal details that you feel uncomfortable sharing.
Most importantly, the first appointment is about building a connection and establishing trust and safety. You should feel comfortable, safe, and respected with your counsellor. I will not be hurt or offended if you determine that we are not a good match.
How often should I attend counselling?
What do counselling sessions look like and how will I know I’m making progress?
Counselling is not about giving advice or problem solving. After the first session, counselling together will be quite conversational and relational. I will ask you questions to deepen your understanding of a situation and to notice what is happening for you emotionally and somatically.
Progress in counselling looks different for everyone, and it is not a linear process. For example, you may find that: your day-to-day functioning has improved, you’re practicing different behaviours outside of therapy, you understand yourself more fully and have greater self-acceptance, or you’re able to manage challenging emotions and situations effectively.