Do I have to book a consultation before booking my first session?
You do not need to book a consultation if you choose not to. Some people prefer to get started with therapy without delay! My booking website provides an option for an initial 50-minute session.
How do I prepare for my consultation?
A consultation is a time for you to meet me before you commit to a whole session. It is an opportunity to ask any questions or to address uncertainties before we commence working together (if you choose to continue on working with me). To prepare, you may wish to make a list of questions and uncertainties that you would like to address. You may also consider what qualities you are hoping for in a counsellor, and ask about those as well.
What is an Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and why does the title matter?
An RCC is a counsellor who is part of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). RCCs must meet certain training requirements and are required to possess a master’s degree in counselling psychology or a related field. RCCs are also committed to abiding by the BCACC code of ethics. In BC, anyone can call themselves a counsellor, regardless of training or education, which is concerning considering how important your mental health is! Someone without proper training/education can do much more harm than good. If you access services from an RCC, you already know that your counsellor is a qualified professional.
Why choose a counsellor rather than talking to a supportive family member or a friend?
Family and friends can be fantastic parts of your support team; however, they are not professionally trained in mental health support. As a Registered Clinical Counsellor, I am trained to be unbiased and completely focused on supporting you. I know how to assess the information you share with me, and to help you determine what needs to change so you can achieve your mental health goals. Part of my studies also include basic knowledge of biology that impacts your mental health. This education and training helps me create a safe space for you to explore and grow under the guidance of a trained professional.
Does counselling have to be a long-term commitment?
Absolutely not, but it can be with you would like it to be. Some people find it helpful to talk to a counsellor for two or three sessions, gather some feedback and mental health tools, and go forth without continuing a counselling relationship. Others require more frequent support and in-depth discussion, and they tend to book frequent sessions over a longer period of time. Finally, others benefit from having a counsellor to meet with once every month or two as an act of self-care and mental health maintenance. What counselling looks like for you is unique and normal.
What if we are not a good fit?
My greatest wish for you is that you find someone you are comfortable working with. If that person is not me, that is totally okay. I can give you a referral to another counsellor, if you wish. The bottom line is, there are no hard feelings if you don’t feel like we are a good fit. It is essential that you form a genuine connection with your counsellor.
What is your approach? What counselling modalities do you employ?
I use an integrative approach that is informed by various therapeutic modalities, including Internal Family Systems, Mindful Self-Compassion, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. These evidence-based approaches guide me as we work together to find what resonates best with you. I always operate with compassion and curiosity, and my clients tell me that these qualities are what help them feel comfortable during therapy.
What should I expect during a first session? How should I prepare?
During the first session we will start by reviewing standard confidentiality and informed consent agreements. It is important that you understand what to expect from me as a counsellor. After we have completed the paperwork, we will talk about what brings you to counselling. I will ask you lots of questions so that I get a more complete picture of what is going on for you. We might discuss some tools you can use to help start making a change, and we will end with a check in to see how you felt about the session. First sessions can sometimes feel awkward because we are just getting to know each other. If this has been your experience with counselling, take heart! It does get better!
Do you only work with clients experiencing anxiety/low self-esteem/shame?
I am qualified to work with clients experiencing a range of issues, and I am open to working with clients outside of the anxiety/self-esteem/shame range. If you book a free consultation, we can discuss if I am a good fit for you.
With online counselling, how do you ensure confidentiality? How can I know that my information is safe with you?
I protect confidentiality and information security in a number of ways:
- I use a private computer, always work in a private office, and always use a private internet connection.
- I use headphones to enhance the quality of the session, and to ensure that sound does not travel outside of my office.
- I use Owl Practice for scheduling sessions, storing client information, and facilitating video sessions. Owl uses only Canadian servers, which means that your information never leaves Canadian soil, so it is never subject to international privacy laws, which differ significantly from country to country. Further, Owl is explicit in stating that it does not own the information stored on my account.
- I use Hushmail, which also uses only Canadian servers. These accounts are password protected, and accessible only to me. Further, I do not use email for communicating about private matters.
Do you offer direct billing?
I do not offer direct billing. I offer receipts that you may submit to your insurance provider. Please ensure your provider covers Registered Clinical Counsellors specifically.
What is your availability?
Tuesdays: 10:00AM-4:00PM; & 7:30PM-9:30PM
Saturdays: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
How do I book a session?
I’ve worked hard to keep booking sessions simple. Visit my booking webpage for access to my calendar. If you are a new client, you will be able to book either a consultation, or an initial 50-minute session. If you are an existing client, log in to your Owl account, and you will have access to book a continuing session.