Starting counselling for the first time or returning back to counselling can come with a bunch of questions about what to expect and the process. To help simplify your search for answers there are frequency asked questions below.
What can I expect from my 15 minute consultation?
Consultation spots are conducted via phone and are free. They are booked for 15 minutes to respect subsequent booked appointments. The consultation spots are designed as meet and greets to determine if working together is a good fit, answer any questions you may have and go over the logistics of onboarding into services- this may include discussing availability, fees, telehealth services and any other relevant information you may need to make a decision on booking a session. No therapy is provided in consultation spots.
What can I expect from my first session?
During your first session your counsellor will review your intake package with you. The intake package will be sent to you prior to your first session and includes basic background information, health information, treatment goals among other screening questions. During this first session, the counsellor may ask you to elaborate on some of the questions you already answered, clarify or establish therapeutic goals, discuss treatment planning and in general get to know you as the client. They will also go over any questions or concerns you have and review your informed consent. The first session is a full paid 50 minute standard counselling session.
Why do I need to fill out the intake package?
The intake package is sent to you upon booking for first session with your counsellor. It includes an intake interview form which collects information on your treatment history, medication history, personal health/mental health information, treatment goals, coping strategies, among other things. This helps the counsellor get to know you and understand you as a client so they can provide the best therapeutic approach. The intake package also contains your informed consent, which informs you of important policies including but not limited too; the cancelation policy, discontinuing of services, your rights and responsibilities, limits of confidentiality and risks and benefits to treatment.
How do online or telehealth sessions work?
Telehealth sessions have grown in popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic started. Conducting sessions online allows the counsellor and client to continue sessions seamlessly without interruption due to minor illness (when an in person session would otherwise need to be cancelled). Client's now have the convenience of signing into their sessions from home, on their computer or phone and enjoying coffee, tea, or snacks while being in their comfy clothes. There is no change in the efficacy of therapy conducted for participating in online therapy. For your online sessions you will be provided with an Owl Portal. This portal allows you to control your account, including booking/cancelling sessions, direct messaging with your counsellor through an encrypted service and signing into your video sessions. Owl is an encrypted service that meets all province and ethical standards for the province of British Columbia.
How is my confidentiality protected?
Confidentiality is the utmost importance for counselling services and your counsellor should have procedures in place to protect your confidentiality. For counselling sessions all verbal and written information is regarded as confidential under Canadian law and no information can be released without prior written consent from you as the client. However, there are four limits of confidentiality that your counsellor will inform you of in your first session together. For communication, our counsellors provide clients with access to encrypted messaging with their counsellor directly to help ensure confidentiality outside of sessions. The video platform is also encrypted for your security and protection. Session and health information are also stored in a highly encrypted service provider that meets all ethical and province standards.
What is the cancelation policy?
The cancelation policy for any booked session is 48 hours notice.
What are the fees for session?
The standard fee for an individual 50 minute session is 130$ + GST. For a more comprehensive guideline of the fees and different options, please see our service page by clicking the link below.
Does my insurance cover my sessions?
Insurance is a changing landscape in Canada and British Columbia. Because of this, it is always recommended that you check with your individual provider to ensure they will cover your sessions prior to booking. There is no way that your counsellor will be able to check your insurance coverage for you as that is confidential. When checking with your provider you will need to clarify if the designation Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) is covered specifically, as there are different designations within British Columbia. When you have coverage you will be provided a receipt to submit to your extended benefits for reimbursement.
What is EMDR therapy?
Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a therapeutic orientation primarily used for trauma reprocessing. EMDR therapy is conducted in a procedural way by a counsellor who has trained in EMDR. During your initial sessions, your therapist will screen you for EMDR work and determine collaboratively with you if that feels like a good fit for your therapeutic goals. The counsellor may suggest other therapeutic orientations that compliment yourself and your treatment along with EMDR. For more information on how EMDR works and its uses in therapy please visit our blog.
Is there parking at your location?
Yes, there is parking at the location. Client parking is located at the back of the building. There is also side street parking available. It is requested that you park in tandem with your counsellor. Your counsellor will tell you which vehicle to park behind. There is also a sign on location that will tell you where you can park. Parking is free.
For any questions that were not answered in this frequently asked questions page, please directly submit a request. You can set up a consultation by following the "book an appointment" button at the top of this page.