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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What can I expect from my first appointment?
    Your first appointment is an intake assessment. It will involve talking about your reasons for coming to therapy, personal history, and goals as well as what you can expect from counselling and a review of my policies. By the end of the assessment, I will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a treatment plan. It is also an opportunity for you to meet me and decide if I am the best therapist for you. Treatment does not usually take place in a first appointment.
  • What are your credentials?
    I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor-Approved Clinical Supervisor (RCC-ACS) #15707 in good standing with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). The RCC-ACS designation is given to qualified members practicing as Clinical Supervisors who have achieved a specific standard of experience and training. I am also a non-certified professional member #10005841 of the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and an accredited member #2526 of the College of Sexual & Relationship Therapists (COSRT) which is a UK based college.
  • What is your treatment approach?
    My training has been integrative, which means I may use different models of therapy to facilitate the most effective treatment for each client. My primary modality is Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, which means I believe difficulties in the present are likely to have originated in the past. Helping you to understand these links is a necessary step towards achieving changes in perception, awareness and patterns of behaviour in relationships. The relationship between therapist and client (referred to as transference) may also form part of the therapy by helping you to understand how relationships in therapy mirror your relationships in the real world. I take a bio-psycho-social approach to sex therapy which means I consider the possible biological (body and brain), psychological (personal experiences and feelings) and sociological (our social world and wider culture) factors and provide treatment to address each. Sex therapy typically includes elements of psycho-education, exploring sexual values, challenging areas of shame and practical homework exercises. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is also part of sex therapy, as sex is relational. I have additional training and experience in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is most often used when exploring trauma. Other forms of therapy I might use may include, but are not limited to, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), emotion focused and somatic approaches. Overall, I like to work holistically, which means looking at how a variety of factors may be contributing to the problem.
  • How do I make an appointment?
    The quickest and easiest way to make an appointment is to book online here. If you have questions before you book you can email me via the contact page.
  • Do you offer online counselling?
    Yes, I provide online counselling sessions via Jane video, which is a HIPAA/PIPEDA/PHUPA compliant platform. Please note that talking via Jane video is not considered 100% confidential. Factors such as the insecurity of sharing information across the internet or the location of where we are talking may limit confidentiality.
  • Is therapy covered by insurance?
    Every plan is different. You should contact your plan provider before your first session to ensure that your plan covers Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC). I am a registered provider for the Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP), First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  • How much does therapy cost?
    My hourly fee is $175+GST as recommended by the British Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). Other professional services such as longer appointments or report preparation are billed at the hourly rate in 15-minute increments.
  • How long is each session?
    A regular clinical hour is 60 minutes total, comprised of 50 minutes face-to-face therapy and 10 minutes documentation time. I also offer extended 90 minute appointments (80 minutes face-to-face therapy and 10 minutes documentation time) for those who need or want more time.
  • How often do I need to come to see you?
    Frequency can vary depending on your needs and availability, but weekly or biweekly is most common. Therapy must be regular and consistent to be effective. There are evidence-based studies that suggest a minimum of 8-12 sessions are required before clients see any noticeable progress, although progress can be subjective.
  • What happens if I cannot make my appointment?
    When you book an appointment, this time is reserved for you. Cancellation policies allow for sufficient time to try to fill your appointment if you cannot make it. Late cancellations or no-shows result in a financial loss for me and the potential loss of support for other clients who may have been able to use that appointment time. I require at least 48 hours notice in advance of your scheduled appointment start time to cancel without a fee. Cancellations with less than 48 hours notice and no-shows (not attending a scheduled appointment without notice of cancellation) are charged at 100% of your session fee.
  • Is what we discuss confidential?
    Confidentiality is extremely important in therapy and nothing we discuss can be shared without prior written consent. I adhere to the BCACC Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice which you can read more about here. My professional code of ethical conduct places the following limits on confidentiality: If you present an imminent risk of danger to yourself or others the law requires me to take steps to prevent such harm. If a child needs protection, I must file a report with the Provincial Ministry responsible for child protection. If a vulnerable or elderly adult is abused or neglected, I must file a report with the Provincial Ministry of Health. If a subpoena by a court of law orders the disclosure of records I must comply.
  • Do I have to bring my partner(s)?
    Research indicates a link between relationship satisfaction and difficulties on an individual’s sexual functioning, so it is often useful for the therapy process and a predictor for a successful outcome to have your partner(s) present, however it is not a requirement. I am more than happy to see you alone for an initial consultation and we can discuss your feelings about including or not including your partner(s). I am also happy to work with individuals who may not currently have a partner.
  • Will I have to take my clothes off?
    No, I will never ask you to undress. Any practical exercises I prescribe will be done in the privacy of your own home. I will usually recommend that you see your family doctor to rule out any physical causes of the problem if you have not already.
  • Will therapy help me?
    Finding the right therapist is the most important part of therapy and is a very personal decision. You have to be confident that I am the best person to help you and that we are a good fit. The best way to decide is to arrange an initial consultation so we can meet and you can get an idea of what it might be like if we decide to work together. If you decide I am not the best person to help you, I will do my best to help you find someone who can. Psychotherapy is like the gym, you must attend regularly and consistently to see progress, and what you will get out depends on the effort you put in. Therapy calls for a very active effort on your part. Like a personal trainer, I am here to support you with my knowledge, skills, and expertise, but I cannot do the work for you. For the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things that we talk about both during our sessions and at home, therefore it is important to consider whether this is the right time for you to start therapy.
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