Telephone counselling ... another option for lawyers

by Ross Chilton, Regional Director, Interlock

Ross Chilton of Interlock spends time on the phone with a client. Help is just a call away with the telephone counselling service Interlock offers for B.C. lawyers and articled students.

As a family law lawyer, Rod knew what a separation or divorce could mean both financially and personally. For several years he had been working long hours to build a thriving practice. While he was experiencing significant success at work, his marriage was clearly struggling. He and his wife were frequently arguing, and he found himself wanting to spend less and less time with his family. Rod did not feel he knew what he needed to do differently to improve his relationship with his partner and children. While it was clear he should seek assistance, he felt he didn't have the time to attend an appointment. When he contacted Interlock he discovered that he had the option of scheduling an appointment to speak with a counsellor by phone.

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Julie had always been a top producer in her firm. She enjoyed the hard work and challenges that each day offered. Her family and friends have looked up to her as someone who "has it all together." Over time she began to notice changes in how she felt about work and life in general. She felt constantly fatigued and was not enjoying her personal and professional life in the way she had before. She started to avoid social situations as her positive attitude started to disappear. Her family doctor diagnosed her with depression and recommended that she seek assistance. Julie put off making an appointment until one Saturday she realized she urgently needed to talk to someone. She called the Interlock after-hours line and spoke with the on-call counsellor.

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Jackson had always enjoyed a few drinks after work with his colleagues. He felt it helped him to unwind after work, and he enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with other people in his firm. He had noticed that he was drinking more frequently than he had in the past and that his wife resented how much time he was away from the family. His father had been a very heavy drinker. Jackson was worried that a professional would label him an alcoholic if he even mentioned his concern about his drinking. He wanted help in deciding what was best for him and his family. He called Interlock and was able to discuss his concerns with a counsellor that day.


Each lawyer was able to get his or her counselling needs met through Interlock. Rod used his scheduled phone appointment to clarify what assistance would be helpful and how he could best achieve his goals. He recognized that attending counselling with his partner would send a message to her that the marriage is important to him. He scheduled an appointment for them to see the same counsellor. Julie found her counsellor very helpful and she decided to continue scheduling appointments to speak by phone. Jackson discovered that the counsellor was there to help him, not to attach labels or make judgements. This positive experience on the phone made it much easier, and he opted to pursue counselling in person.

Interlock has provided confidential, professional service to the lawyers of British Columbia and their immediate family members since 1981. Interlock offers exceptional accessibility to counselling services in offices throughout British Columbia and across Canada. Counselling by phone is one option and part of Interlock's commitment to provide the service in a way that eliminates barriers to reaching out for support.

The Law Society funds the Interlock service for B.C. lawyers and articled students and their families. If you or a dependant would like assistance with personal, family or work-related concerns, please call Interlock for confidential, professional counselling:

Lower Mainland / Fraser Valley (604) 431-8200 or 1-800-663-9099
Okanagan Region / Kootenays (250) 763-2033 or 1-800-663-7411
Prince George / North 1-800-663-9099
Vancouver Island (250) 727-2861 or 1-888-227-7897
Emergency after-hours 1-800-324-9988

Note: Case examples and names are fictitious and for illustration only.