"Don't turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you" Tara Brach
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenges in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting the difficulties you are facing and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
What will a session be like?
My aim is to provide a healing space that is comfortable, non-judgmental calming and supportive. Each session will be your forum to discuss the challenges you are facing. I will provide a listening ear and validating presence and will ask you questions to help you focus in on certain issues more closely to uncover the root cause of your difficulty. Through this process you will build awareness, gain useful insights and process stuck feelings so you can find resolution and healing.
We will work together in a way that is paced to your comfort level so you can feel nurtured and supported. My approach is relational and empathic which are the necessary conditions for people to open up, heal and thrive. I will work alongside you to craft your therapy sessions to your specific needs rather than the ineffective 'one size fits all' approach. I will attune to you as a unique person so you can truly find effective relief and have a transforming experience.
If me and my partner come in for couples counselling, does that mean our relationship is ‘bad’?
Not at all. All relationships, including the healthy and happy ones, go through struggles from time to time. Getting support is a sign that you and your partner are committed to each other and making it work. We are always in a state of growth. In relationships, we are looking for understanding and validation and sometimes each others differing needs and growing edges can create a frustrating impasse. I believe all relationships can use support at some point to learn healthy communication tools to work through future difficulties.
FAQ - Cont.
How long does it take before I start to see changes?
Generally psychotherapy is not a quick short term fix. It is important to give the problem or issue the time it needs to resolve effectively. We are working with conditioned patterns of thinking and relating that may be long-standing. Growth and change is a process and there are no magic wands. That being said some people find relief little by little throughout the process. I will help you to be patient with yourself and have the best experience possible.
The length of counselling can vary depending on a few factors: The nature of the issue, how long it has been going on and your commitment to change. Some problems can be worked through in as little as 8-10 sessions. Other problems can be more complicated and require longer term. After our initial session I will give you an idea how long I think we should work on a particular problem. At regular intervals we will have a review to discuss how you think the therapy is going.
How long will my appointment last?
Appointments are for 55 minutes or 85 minutes depending on what feels comfortable for you. Usually for individual sessions 50mins is a good length.
For couples and families 85 minute sessions are recommended. The initial session is 85mins which covers a couples assessment, review of the presenting issues, discussion on aims and an introduction to the Couples Dialogue.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel or reschedule a session, I require 24h notice. Any late cancellations are charged the full session fee. If you schedule an appointment with me that will be your reserved time unless you cancel the appointment in advance. If you are running late I will not leave or see someone else in your reserved time.
Scheduled appointments are reserved solely for you and are honoured as sacred therapeutic time. Late cancellations are rarely able to be filled and so policies are essential. I will discuss this and any questions you may have with you in person.
I understand that there may be extreme circumstances out of your control that might prevent you from attending your appointment. If this is so I ask that you contact me as soon as you can so we can discuss it. Read more about my appointment policies.
Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. However, provincial law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.
* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threatened to harm another person.
You can read more in my Informed Consent form
In couples therapy, I abide by a ‘no secrets’ policy on “secrets” and confidentiality in the context of our work together. My policy is based upon the premise that when I agree to work with a couple, I consider that couple/relationship to be the client.
What are your fees? How do I pay?
My fees for individual and couples therapy sessions are in line with the recommended fee schedule of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Find my up to date fee schedule here
All fees are payable at the time of service apart from e-counselling which payment is due in advance of each session.
Cheque, cash and Credit cards (via Square card reader) are accepted in person. You can also make a payment online via PayPal. There is a charge for PayPal and Square reader payments.
Do you take insurance, and how does that work?
I do not bill directly to insurance companies. All fees are due at the time of the session. Upon request I will provide an official receipt for you to submit to your extended medical coverage provider for reimbursement.
To determine if you have mental health coverage through your employment extended medical insurance, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:
What are my mental health benefits?
Do my benefits cover the services of a Registered Clinical Counsellor?
What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?