I am in the office Monday to Friday. I do not offer weekend or evening appointments, though depending on my schedule I can at times offer a later appointment at 4:30pm or 5:00pm.
I schedule my own appointments. My voice mail will take your call if I am not available. The message you leave will be completely confidential. Counselling sessions are one hour in length. I do not offer free initial sessions, but I am open to speaking with you on the phone for 10 to 15 minutes to discuss any questions you may have about my practice. I am also open to meeting with you in person for this same period of time.
Fees and cancellations
My fee is $130.00 per hour session, payable after each session (cheque or cash only). You may wish to check into possible sources of third party coverage, such as Employee and Family Assistance Programs; Extended Health Insurance; Workers’ Compensation (includes Criminal Injuries); ICBC; and First Nations Health Authority. In these cases, I will work out the billing procedures with you.
I endeavor to make my services more accessible by offering a sliding fee scale. Please ask me about this if you have no coverage for services and you are unable to afford the full fee.
I would appreciate 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment; otherwise you may be billed for the session if I can not fill your time. However, if you are ill on the day you are scheduled to come in, by all means stay home and look after yourself! You will not be charged for this missed appointment.
If you need to speak with me or communicate via email between appointments, you are not billed for brief contact. However, if your concern requires more discussion, you will be billed for the time on a pro-rated basis according to your hourly fee.
Our sessions are completely confidential: no information will be released to anyone without your written request/consent. There are standard situations in which I am required by law to break confidentiality, such as intent to harm oneself or others, and in the case of child welfare concerns. Confidentiality of younger clients is also assured, though we may agree together on what should be shared with parents or other significant adults in their lives. During your first counselling session, you will be asked to review and sign a confidentiality policy, and we can address any concerns or questions in more detail.
As a rule, I do not provide written assessments, reports or letters for legal or work-related advocacy reasons. Sometimes such documentation is needed for third-party billing approval, and if this is the case, we can review what is required and see if I can help. If you are seeking counselling with a need for an assessment or report, please let me know from the outset. You may require a specialized assessment for which a referral may be necessary.
Ages of Clients
My clients typically range in age from 12 to late into adulthood. Youth are entitled to confidentiality unless there is reason to believe there is immediate risk to their physical health and safety. In cases where youth are struggling with self-harm, eating disorders or addiction, though there may not be immediate risk, I do speak to the teen about engaging their parents in their therapy, if feasible, as well as finding additional resources; this is a situation that I monitor closely. I find that often parents do need to be involved in some capacity depending on the age of the youth and their family/living situation. Also, when parents are able to acknowledge their own struggles in parenting, doors can open in repairing family attachments that can support change and growth for all concerned.
Client Rights and Responsibilities
Your responsibilities as a client are basically to commit your time and attention to resolving the issues you brought to counselling, and to work in partnership with your therapist toward this end. If something in your therapy doesn’t work for you, or if the “fit” isn’t right for you, it is your responsibility to let me know. It is your right, of course, to terminate your therapy at any time whether you want to inform me or not; however, it would likely be helpful to both of us to have a mutual understanding of why therapy is being terminated. Also, please note that if there is a problem in our working together, I am happy to assist in making a referral to another more suitable professional.
You can expect a compassionate, safe environment to explore your concerns; a clear idea of what your counselling will involve and require from both of us, and the length of time it may take to achieve some progress and/or resolution. It’s important to remember, however, that the process of change also has its own timetable; in other words, therapy also involves “following” your process, and therefore patience and gentleness with yourself is a helpful attitude to cultivate.