What happens with the information I discuss in my treatment ?

Confidentiality is covered extensively in the Intake and Consent form and within our first session. In accordance with healthcare patient privacy laws, all information shared within our session is strictly confidential unless you give written consent for us to share information with a third party. Other exceptions to break confidentiality are if we become aware that there is imminent harm to you or someone else, or if there is any instance of unreported child or elder abuse.

How often should I be in therapy and how long does therapy last?

This is unique to you and your unique situation and goals. The length of time varies greatly between clients and what issues they are working through. The goal is to get you to a place where you are stable, empowered and consistently applying these tools to be who you were created to be and come more alive in these areas. For most anxiety, stress, or depression situations, an average of approximately 6-8 sessions is often recommended to really form new ways of thinking.  However, this may be more or may be less depending on your unique situation and goals. For trauma work, this may be longer understandably. 

You are always welcome back at any time and for check-ins. 

What can I expect at my first therapy appointment?

During the first appointment, Our counsellors will get to know you and discuss your concerns, preferences, goals, challenges, any past experiences in counselling you have, and what you believe will be helpful to you. Our counsellors use a client-centered therapy which involves a therapeutic environment that is conformable, non-judgmental, and empathetic.   You and your therapist will also come to an agreement about the length of your treatment, methods to be employed, and ins and outs of patient confidentiality.

Future visits will be more therapeutic in nature. For example, in your second session, you may explore a specific symptom, problem, or past trauma you mentioned in the first session.

What is the difference between counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist?

This is an important question and knowing the differences between these practitioners is a step toward getting your needs met.
Registered Psychologists (R. Psych) Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) and Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCC) are all mental health professionals.  All can provide support through the therapeutic relationship. They cannot prescribe medications like psychiatrists.

The greatest differences between them is the amount of schooling and what they are qualified to do.

Some key differences:

  • Psychologists can provide a diagnosis
  • Psychologists can assess for learning difficulties by conducting a psycho-educational assessment.
  • Psychologists have advanced training at the doctoral level (PsyD or PhD). Counsellors cannot diagnose mental health conditions.
  • BC’s Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) and Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCC) have a minimum of a Master’s Degree (MA, MEd)
  • Registered Clinical Counsellor’s can provide services in British Columbia and provinces that are not regulated. Canadian Certified Counsellors can provide services across Canada.
  • All have ethical guidelines that provide structure and expectations for the manner in which they provide services including eligibility, continuing education, ongoing training, insurance, and supervision guidelines.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD) and they assess, diagnose, and prescribe medication in order to treat mental health concerns. Most psychiatrists will choose to treat mental health diagnoses with psychotropic medications and may also use psychotherapy as a treatment option. In order to access the services of a Psychiatrist a referral is needed from your family doctor.

BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) – http://bcacc.ca
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)- https://www.ccpa-accp.ca
College of Psychologists of British Columbia – https://collegeofpsychologists.bc.ca
BC Psychiatric Association – https://psychiatrybc.ca

Do I need a referral from a doctor to see a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)?

No, a doctor’s referral isn’t necessary unless your insurance company requires one for reimbursement.