Frequently asked questions
What is clinical counselling?
Clinical counselling helps people improve their mental, emotional and physical health while encouraging positive relationships with self, others and the larger community. The building of a trusting and comfortable relationship between client(s) and counsellor is important as counselling may cover topics of distress, therefore questions or comments on the counselling process are invited at any time.
What are the risks of counselling?
Temporary emotional discomfort due to close examination of difficult topics
Emotional or physical fatigue immediately after a session. It may help to schedule some time after a session to process what was discussed.
Changes in relationship patterns with those close to you, which may need a time of adjustment before things improve
What should I expect in the first session?
During your initial session, you will meet with your counsellor who will guide you through the Informed Consent paperwork, which describes your rights as a client and the legal and ethical responsibilities of the counsellor. At any time during this process, you are welcome to ask questions you may have. Following the paperwork, you will have a brief opportunity to begin discussing what has brought you to counselling and what your hopes and goals are throughout the counselling process. This will form the basis for your initial counselling session.
How many sessions will I need?
Most clients have anywhere from 4 to 20 sessions, depending on what concerns are brought in. Some clients prefer a more in-depth exploration of their issues or concerns and attend counselling for longer periods of time, but many clients gain considerable satisfaction after only 4 to 6 sessions. I will be able to give you an idea of how many sessions you might need by the end of your first session. Once the initial set of planned counselling sessions is complete, many clients return in the future for occasional "booster" sessions or when other concerns arise.
How often will I be expected to come in for sessions?
You can decide what feels right for you, but most clients come in once a week or once every two weeks, especially at the beginning. Over time, sessions are tapered off until they are no longer required. Whether you choose to come in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, attending sessions on a consistent basis provides the best results because it keeps you on track and motivated. Advance booking of appointments is available if you wish to reserve a preferred day or time.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral for counselling. But if you are working with another health care professional (GP, OB/GYN, psychiatrist, physiotherapist, etc.), we may ask your permission to consult with them to provide you with the best care possible.
Is everything I say confidential?
Yes, with a few exceptions, Any personal information that you share in a counselling session is kept confidential by your counsellor according to BC's Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA, 2004). Under PIPA, your records belong to you and information cannot be disclosed to anyone outside of the office unless you provide a written request for release of information. Every effort is made to respect client confidentiality, however counsellors are required by law to share your information when/if:
It is revealed that a child is or may be at risk of abuse or neglect, or in need of protection
If you or another person is at clear risk of imminent harm
If disclosure is otherwise required or authorized by law (e.g., legal order, subpoena, warrant)
How do I make an appointment?
To make a counselling appointment please go to the "Contact" button on the website to access the online booking form or leave a voicemail at (778) 654-6411.
Appointments hours are currently held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm. Extra evening hours are available on Sunday and Tuesday from 5-8 pm. Appointments may be made for 50 minutes or 80 minutes.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
Your appointment time is reserved specially for you, which means that others are required to wait to access counselling services. Therefore, 24 hours cancellation notice is required or a no-show fee equivalent to the full session amount will be charged (except in the case of an emergency). You can cancel your appointment by email, or by calling (778) 654-6411.
What if I am late for my appointment?
Clients arriving more than 15 minutes late for their scheduled appointment will be considered to have missed their appointment and a no-show fee equivalent to the full session amount will be charged (except in the case of an emergency).
What if it is an emergency and it is outside of normal business hours?
If it is an after-hours emergency and you require immediate attention please call the Vancouver 24-hour Crisis Line at 604.872.3311. You may also call 911 and/or go to your nearest hospital Emergency Room for assistance.