Mental Health & Human Performance
The first step to therapeutic support is always the hardest.
What makes a good therapeutic experience? What happens on the first session? How much is this gonna cost me? All of these are very common concerns and questions. Taking the first step to seek out support is one of the hardest and it can make anyone a little nervous. Below are a few FAQs with the hope of putting you more at ease. If your questions are not included below, please feel welcome to email me any questions or concerns you may have.
What is the difference between counselling, therapy, and coaching?
These terms get used interchangeably but do mean very different things. Coaching will use behavioural interventions such as action planning and focus on barriers that get in the way of moving forward. Rooted in positive psychology, coaching can be helpful for those who may need guidance and focuses on more superficial challenges. Counselling may provide guidance through challenging perceptions or habitual negative self talk (for example) and is usually over a short period of time. Counsellors speak to a wide variety of challenges and serve to help clients unravel or make sense of the root of that challenge; going deeper than coaching. Counsellors can help us make sense of our emotions (or lack thereof) and may take many routes to that end. Therapy is more long-term with a focus on challenges related to anxiety, depression, and trauma. Therapy goes deeper into those factors that cause mental illnesses including early childhood adversity, traumas, and the like. Those therapists with all three skill sets can weave in and out coaching, counselling, and therapy seamlessly as a way to help one transition into a more holistic way of living.
What makes a good therapist and therapeutic experience?
The secret behind "good" therapy isn't the method of therapy but the relationship between client and counsellor (also known as the therapeutic relationship). Feeling a sense of trust and fit with your counsellor is what matters most. It is important to shop around and ask questions before making this important decision. In addition, making an informed choice comes from understanding the professional standards of clinical counselling. For more information on this, and a list of registered counsellors in your area you can visit the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors.
What can I expect in the first session?
The first session is the toughest for many people. You are just meeting me for the first time and may feel nervous about how this first session will go or what will be expected of you. In my practice, I tend to navigate this first session slowly; getting to know you and what brings you in. In other words, the first session is like an information gathering session for both of us and will provide you with an idea of who I am, how I work, what I can do to support you along with working together to set your goals for treatment/therapy. I welcome you to come with your questions or concerns. The first session, for me, is about gaining an understanding of where you are and where you want to be; from there, I will be able to create an effective plan of action as we move forward. I promise, it won't hurt a bit (insert a friendly smile emoji here).
What about fees & insurance?
The governing body of clinical counsellors in British Columbia (British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors) has suggested a professional fee between $130 - $150 per 50 minute sessions. My fees for individual sessions start at $130/55 minutes. I am covered through many EAP programs that accept registered clinical counsellors (RCC) under the BCACC. Before making your appointment, contact your EAP program to confirm they support RCCs. You will then be able to submit your receipts for full or partial reimbursement.
I am able to receive payment through all major credit cards, debit, Apple Pay and Google Pay. I will also accept cash payment in full (as I do not keep cash on hand to make change). Please note: fees are due at the end of each session. I am unable to offer payment deferrals.
What if I can't make my appointment?
Life happens. If you have booked an appointment and cannot make it, I require 24 hours notice of cancellation. This policy serves a few purposes. First, I'm able to offer your space to a client waiting for an availability and second, I am able to save my time preparing and planning our session. Should a client not show for a scheduled session without 24 hours notice, there may be a charge for the full fee before another session can be scheduled. Thank you for your understanding.