Frequently Asked Questions about Counselling

What are the benefits of counselling?

There are many benefits to Counselling. But basically, what counselling tries to do is make you feel better. When you come for counselling it’s because some part of your life isn’t working as well as it could. You’re feeling miserable, angry or anxious about an issue and you’ve tried to fix it, it but nothing seems to work. My job is to help you gain an understanding into your negative patterns and then teach you some successful skills to avoid these pitfalls in the future. You benefit by finally, Getting Control of your Life.

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Is everything I discuss confidential?

Yes. Your confidentiality is very important to me. Everything that is discussed with me is confidential.   

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How many sessions will it take?

The length of time you spend in counselling is totally up to you. You choose your goals and you choose how much time you’re willing and able to spend on them.  There are no right or wrong answers. What’s right for you is what’s right. However, the research has shown that counselling is most effective if you see the counsellor once a week versus once a month. Improvement tends to be quicker this way because you build on the momentum. However, that also depends on the complexity of the issue. Sometimes people only need one or two sessions to get back on track. The choice is yours.

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Do I need a referral from my doctor?

Referrals from doctors or any other professional health care body are not required.

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Do you offer reduced rates or sliding scale fees?

Yes, I do offer reduced rates. Our first session is for 90 minutes and I only charge you for the 60 minute rate, which is $100. This allows us more time to get to know each other, look into your issues, and start developing solutions. I find this process makes my work easier and saves you time and money, in the long run. All additional sessions are 60 minutes long. Please note that my rate is less than the suggested rate of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

However, due to this reduction, I am unable to provide a sliding scale rate as well. Please check back for any changes.

If you require low-cost counselling, I would be happy to recommend some not-for profit organizations that do offer reduced rates.

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How do I pay for counselling?

You can pay for counselling by cash or cheque. No additional tax or charges apply. 

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What is the difference between a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist and a Counsellor or Therapist?

A Psychiatrist is a medically trained doctor who has received additional training in mental illness and disorders. As such, they are able to prescribe medications. Often psychiatrists do not engage in long term psychotherapy, but instead manage their patients from a medical model, employing medications primarily.

Psychologists have obtained a doctorate degree in psychology (Phd). They may be employed doing research or counselling or a combination of both. In BC, psychologists are unable to dispense medications to patients. Most psychologists provide psychotherapy for everything from anxiety to depression. Some work only with individuals, while others treat couples and families as well.

A Counsellor or Therapist is a title that is used interchangeably in the field. Some practitioners refer to themselves as counsellors while some prefer the term therapist, such as an art therapist or music therapist. However, individuals that are seeking counselling should note the educational qualifications of their counsellor/therapist. Not all have advanced education or experience. Actually, some counsellors have no post secondary degrees at all! However, to belong to a major regulatory body, they require that you have extensive education, including a master’s degree and internship training in order to qualify with their regulatory body. Regular professional development is also required.

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What regulating body do you belong to?

I belong to the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and the national regulating body, the Canadian Psychotherapy and Counselling Association. This provides me with a RCC designation as a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a CCC designation, as a Certified Canadian Counsellor, respectively. I provide this service for my clients so they have additional opportunities for receiving third party funding. This could include funding from your extended health care plans, Work Safe BC, ICBC coverage or others. Please check with your insurance provider. 

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Do I have to talk about everything?

Absolutely not! It is your decision on what we talk about and what we don’t. You choose your goals and my job is to help get you there. You are at the helm of this ship and I am your navigator, to make sure we stay on course. 

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When can I receive my first counselling session?

Generally, I try to schedule our first appointment within a week or two at the latest. Please note when booking through email I will always confirm your appointment within 24 hours.

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