Cathy Keough

2020 Commitment to Person-Centered Practice Award - Calgary

Director of Counselling Initiatives

Calgary Counselling Centre

Nominator Comments:

Cathy Keough, Director of Counselling Initiatives at Calgary Counselling Centre (CCC) has put people at the heart of her work, adapting the way she leads her team of staff, and serves clients to meet their unique needs. Her commitment to person-centred care has been even more evident this past year while facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. CCC’s use of Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) sets the organization apart from other counselling services and gives counsellors reliable information on outcome measurement that achieves a number of important goals: it helps individuals and families achieve results, helps in the development of more effective programs, and helps improve counsellor practice. Our programs are person-centered to support the diverse mental health needs of individuals and families. Cathy helped to create an internal culture where this type of person-centred care was ingrained. 

She trained fellow counsellors and counselling students on the importance and utility of using many methods of feedback to give our clients an experience that led them to the best possible results. Within the past few years, Cathy has also extended this training to local and even major national organizations in the human service industry. 

CCC’s way of serving clients is being recognized as effective and impactful, across the country. In Cathy’s 22 years at CCC, she has provided meaningful, transformational training to others in the use of FIT. Cathy has played an integral part in the improvement of mental health of thousands of Calgarians through CCC’s strategic use of outcome measurement and focus on person-centred practice.

 “It allows me to keep the client’s voice front and centre, to ensure that as much as possible, there’s an understanding that we are working together, and that my job is to try to provide as much of an individual and unique experience as possible so that they can realize and experience positive results.” With Cathy’s leadership and guidance, CCC transitioned from in-person services to virtual counselling with 36 hours of the initial COVID-19 lockdown in Calgary.  Through this adaptation and focus on the clients, Cathy and the CCC team were able to serve 16 per cent more people than 2019 and provide over 43,000 hours of counselling in 2020. CCC data shows that online counselling sessions during the pandemic resulted in significantly better outcomes than in-person counselling in the year before the pandemic. It also showed that client levels of mental health distress were significantly higher at the start of counselling and came down to levels similar to those pre-pandemic times.”

Have you been helped by a human service champion? We would love to hear about it.

Submit your story