Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between single-session appointments and short-term counselling?

A single-session appointment lets you meet with a counsellor without waiting long. The support or information you get from one session might feel like enough. The counsellor can help you decide where to get more information and support if you need it.

Short-term counselling is a chance meet with the same counsellor several times focusing on a certain goal or issue. You may have to wait for a short-term counselling spot to open.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

When you arrive at the Centre, you will be given some paperwork to fill out. We ask that you show up 10 – 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete the paperwork. The paperwork gives the counsellor an idea of what your goals are for counselling. You will have up to an hour to meet with a counsellor, this time may include a conversation about referrals and other available services. You’re not required to use the entire hour and if you’d like a tour of the centre, we’re happy to do that!

Do I have to pay for counselling services?

Single-session and short-term counselling services are free of charge. Rainbow Resource Centre gratefully accepts donations to keep this service free.

Can I see a female counsellor, a particular counsellor, a psychologist, etc.?

Tell us your needs or preferences and we will let you know if we can meet them. If we cannot meet them, we can refer you to other professionals.

How long are sessions?

Single-session and short-term counselling sessions are up to 1 hour long.

How often can I see my counsellor?

That depends on the plan you and your counsellor make and how often you are both available. Sessions are often biweekly (one session every two weeks).

Can I email/call my counsellor in between sessions?

Counsellors are generally not available between sessions.

Do I have to talk about my sexual orientation or gender identity in counselling?

People choose to come for counselling at Rainbow for many reasons, these may include:

  • coming out
  • exploring sexual orientation or gender identity
  • painful feelings
  • loss and grieving
  • adjusting to change
  • substance use
  • suicidal feelings
  • relationship problems stress, anxiety, depression
Do you offer crisis counselling?

We do not provide crisis services. If you are in crisis, please call the Klinic Crisis Line at 204-786-8686 or use other supports. People can use single-session appointments for additional support during especially difficult times.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

Please let us know in advance or as soon as possible if you miss an appointment.

If you miss a single-session counselling appointment it is up to you to contact the front desk to reschedule.

If you miss a short-term counselling appointment and your counsellor hasn’t heard from you, they will call or email you to reschedule. If you miss several appointments without notice your counsellor will end counselling.

What type of counselling do you provide?

Our paid staff and student counsellors have Social Work and Marriage and Family Therapy backgrounds. Counsellors use a range of approaches and work from an anti-oppression, feminist and social justice lens.

Where else can I go to get 2SLGBTQ+ counselling?

If you are in crisis:

Please call Klinic Crisis Line: (204) 786-8686 or call 911.

If you are 18+, the Crisis Response Centre offers walk-in mental health assessment and treatment at 817 Bannatyne Avenue.

You can reach Mobile Crisis at 204-940-1781.

There are other counselling services in Winnipeg that are free or have a sliding fee scale (based on your income). Ask for an 2SLGBTQ+-affirming counsellor at one of these counselling centres:

  • Aurora Family Therapy at the University of Winnipeg – (204) 786 9251
  • Klinic Community Health Centre - (204) 784 4067
  • Women’s Health Clinic – (204) 947 2422, Ext. 204

Check if your workplace has a free Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

If you are a student, check with Student Services at your University or College to find out about the supports offered.

If you have insurance or can pay full price, you can ask us for referrals to 2SLGBTQ+-affirming counsellors in private practice.

Do you provide support letters for Gender Confirmation Surgery / Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)? Do you do assessments for Gender Dysphoria?

If you are over 16 and are looking for information or services related to medical transition we will refer you to the Transgender Health Clinic, which operates out of Klinic Community Health Centre.

We do not provide assessments related to gender identity. If you are working with a counsellor on issues related to gender identity we can consult with the psychologist or provider who is doing the assessment. This may be helpful but is not required.

If you are under 16 or a parent of a person under 16 who needs medical support or information on transition please visit the GDAAY Clinic.

I’m looking to connect with the 2SLGBTQ+ Community, do I need to come for counselling?

Some people find it helpful to connect with a counsellor, for others it’s not necessary. Various social and support groups meet at Rainbow. Many people find it helpful to attend these groups to meet others who are a part of the community. Information on social and support groups can is here.

For more information on 2SLGBTQ+ events around Winnipeg, sign up for our newsletter or join our Facebook page.

I’m under 18 and want to see a counsellor, do I need my parent’s permission?

You will need consent from your parent or guardian if there is a developmental disability or if you are under 13 years old.  If you have questions about confidentiality or consent from your parents please contact the front desk at or (204) 474 0212, Ext. 201.

What happens if I see my counsellor outside of the office?

Your counsellor will do everything they can to protect your privacy, so your counsellor will not approach you if they see you outside of the office. You are welcome to discuss this with your counsellor at any time.

I’m a parent and my child has just come out – can you help me?

If you would like to see a counsellor, you are more than welcome to access single-session appointments as a family or individually. The counsellors can also recommend resources and books for you and your family depending on what you’re looking for.