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Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need counselling? I am not crazy

Anyone can benefit from counselling. Counselling is not equal to crazy.  Counselling is a collaborative process where you and your counsellor work together to help improve your current status.

What is a Registered Clinical Counsellor? Is it the same as Social Worker? Psychologist? or Psychiatrist?

A Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) holds a master’s degree from an accredited institution in a field of study prescribed by the BCACC Board of Directors (e.g. counselling, clinical or educational psychology, pastoral counselling, child and youth care, marital and family counselling, clinical social work, psychiatric nursing, applied behavioural sciences).  Registered Clinical Counsellors are bind to a code of ethical conduct, and insures educational standards. These standards help to ensure that clinical counsellors provide a quality service.

Social workers provide counselling and other supportive social services. They help individuals develop the skills and resources needed to function well in society. Social workers respond to broader social issues such as racism, unemployment and poverty.

A psychologist must obtain a PhD or PsyD doctoral degree, which can take up to four or six years. Psychologists are also qualified to conduct psychological testing, which is critical in assessing a person’s mental state and determining the most effective course of treatment. Psychologists help people to overcome or manage their problems using a variety of treatments.  Psychologists usually charge a much higher fee than Registered Clinical Counsellors.

Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors, they can prescribe medications, and they spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment.

What is the Initial Consultation for? 

Finding a counsellor that you feel comfortable is important for your healing. This 20-minute free initial consultation (can be done by phone) is for both client and counsellor to have an opportunity to meet/talk and see if it is a right fit for both. This consultation allows you have a 'feel' about the counsellor and ask logistic questions related to counselling. 

Will the counsellor keep my information confidential? 

Confidentiality is of paramount important in our work. Confidentiality is the first step to create a safe environment for you to share with counsellor your vulnerability, it is also a primary element to build a trustful relationship between you and the counsellor, as well as a very basic gesture of respect.  However, in some particular circumstances, there is a limit to confidentiality:

  • When it is required by law or by an order of court;

  • When there is reasonable ground to believe that such release will prevent you to harm yourself or other people, or being harmed.

In case there is a need to communicate with other professionals with the intention of supporting your needs, verbal or written consent will be obtained from you before doing so.

Why do I need to pay full fee if I cancel my appointment in less than 24 hours? 

Your pre-booked appointment is exclusively reserved for you, in which counsellor is not able to book another client in a short notice if your cancellation is less than 24 hours.  This policy is based on fairness to you, your counsellor, and other clients who need the service. 

Does MSP cover clinical counselling fee? 

Unfortunately, MSP does not cover clinical counselling services. However, a lot of extended health insurances provide coverages for counselling services provided by Registered Clinical Counsellor. Usually, there is a yearly maximum amount for counselling service. Please check with either your HR or your plan provider prior to your first visit.  Counsellor will not deal with your extended health plan provider directly, but will provide the receipt you need for you to claim your reimbursement.

How often do I need to see my counsellor? 

Usually appointments are set once per week or twice per week, depending on the situation.  Most of the time, after 3-4 months, the frequency may reduce (e.g. once per two weeks), and may turn to once per month for maintenance. 

How long do I need to see my counsellor? 

Counselling is never a quick fix. Majority of clients report feeling better after 3 months of weekly therapy.  Recent research indicates that on average 15 to 20 sessions are required for 50 percent of patients to recover as indicated by self-reported symptom measures.  Counselling process usually takes 10 - 20 sessions, but some may take a longer term depending on the nature of their concern.  In practice, clients and counsellors sometimes prefer to continue treatment over longer periods (e.g., 20 to 30 sessions over six months or some take up to a year or more), to achieve more complete symptom remission and to feel confident in the skills needed to maintain treatment gains.

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