Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)?
A: Registered Clinical Counsellors are professional counsellors who are registered with and accountable to the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). The BCACC meets the strictest academic and professional qualification standards and all RCC’s are required to adhere to the Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice. All RCC’s have also fulfilled the Association’s rigourous requirements with respect to education, supervision, and clinical experience. For more information feel free to visit the BCACC website here.
Q: Who goes to counselling?
A: Everyday people from all walks of life go to counselling and of course, there’s no doubt that it takes courage, and it may be just what you need to get things back on track.
It can be a little intimidating for people to seek counselling. It’s normal and makes sense to not be totally sure. Feel free to give me a call and we can chat for a couple of minutes – It’s important that you feel comfortable with the counsellor you’ll be working with.
For many people, there is still the stigma that there has to be something abnormal about you to come for counselling. Normal, everyday people go to counselling, and it’s often just our perceptions about ourselves that make us feel abnormal. This too is normal!
Q: Do I need a referral from my family doctor to see you?
A: No, you do not need a referral from your family doctor, or anyone else, to come and see me. You can contact me directly at 604-653-1283 to schedule an appointment.
Q: Is everything we discuss in counselling kept confidential?
A: Yes, as a Registered Clinical Counsellor I am required to keep everything that is discussed in counselling in the strictest of confidence, unless you give me voluntary written consent to do otherwise. There are 3 exceptions to this rule:
- If your counsellor feels that you are a serious danger to yourself or others.
- If your counsellor, or your counselling file is officially subpoenaed in a court case.
- If there is information shared about current child or elder abuse.
Q: How much does each session cost and is it covered by insurance?
A: My session rate for counselling is $120 (including HST) and the sessions are 55 minutes long. Longer sessions are available upon request. Payment is due in full at the beginning of each session. You can pay by cash or cheque.
*Although counselling fees are not covered under the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), you may likely be covered by you or your partner’s extended health benefit plan through work. Visits to a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) are often included under those plans. Refer to your plan manual for details or call the insurer and they’ll be able to assist you.
Q: Do you offer free initial consultations?
A: I offer a complementary initial phone consultation in which you can ask me any questions about my practice and you can tell me about what your present concerns are. If we decide we’d like to work together, we can then book a session.
Q: How many counselling sessions will it take?
A: In my experience, people often begin to feel some relief after the first session. It can be incredibly healing to finally have a safe space to talk openly about your concerns and feel genuinely heard. As everyone is unique and has different goals, there is no prescribed timeframe or number of sessions.
For specific concerns clients often come for 6 – 10 sessions, and for more complex issues such as seeking significant change in lifelong challenges, patterns, or beliefs, or working through things like trauma or significant loss it will take until you feel you no longer need counselling. The counselling process is a journey which, although without a set time frame for completion, is often characterized by significant and long-lasting personal growth, peace, and healing.
Q: Are there any risks involved in therapy?
A: Although benefitting from therapy is highly likely, there are also some potential risks. The therapeutic process may bring up past and painful memories, may evoke strong feelings or reactions, and may change how you understand yourself or relate to others (which can be initially painful). Sometimes things even feel worse before they feel better. You can always, ALWAYS talk about anything you are going through with me.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: 24 hours notice on the previous business day must be given for the cancellation of all appointments. If not, the full session fee will be charged. There is a high demand for services, especially at certain times of day and your session is reserved exclusively for you and is thus not available to others.
Q: My partner won’t come in for counselling, is it still useful for me to come in alone and talk about my relationship concerns and challenges?
A: Absolutely. The truth is, we only have control over ourselves and can only change our thoughts, our actions, and our reactions. Many clients have reported significant improvements in their relationships with others including their intimate partners, their family members, their friends, as well as with their work colleagues from coming in for individual sessions.