Frequently Asked Questions
How should I choose a counsellor?
When selecting a counsellor, the goal is to find a good fit between your needs and the counsellor's expertise and interpersonal style. Your sense of fit with a counsellor can be confirmed by your positive evaluation of the following factors:
Does the counsellor possess the appropriate credentials?
Does the counsellor demonstrate expertise in the area(s) with which you need help?
Does the counsellor appear to be someone with whom you could feel comfortable and open?
This website is designed to help you assess my training, expertise, and therapeutic style in relation to your needs, goals, and expectations. If you remain unsure about the applicability of my expertise to your circumstances, or have additional questions that remain unanswered, I invite you to contact me.
How do I book an appointment?
Due to my appointment schedule, I am often not available to take your call directly. Please leave a message in my confidential voicemail box. I will make every effort to respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.
Please indicate if discretion is required when I return your call, and in what way you'd like me to be discreet (e.g., "please don't leave a message.")
Hours of availability
Daytime and evening appointments are available, Monday through Friday. The earliest appointment begins at 9:00 am, and the latest appointment begins at 7:00 pm. Other times may be available upon request. Standing appointments are also available, upon request.
What kind of paperwork is required?
There are several forms that must be completed in advance of your first meeting. These forms are available here for you to print, complete, and bring with you; or you can complete the set made available to you in the waiting room. (Please come 10 minutes early if you plan to fill them out in the waiting room, so that no time is taken from your session.)
What will our first meeting be like?
You are likely to feel nervous as the meeting begins; it is awkward, at first, to disclose personal information to a stranger. Additionally, you may feel unsure of how or where to begin. It is my job to make this as easy and comfortable for you as possible, and in my experience, most people feel completely at ease within the first few minutes. Once the dialogue gets underway, it usually flows very easily.
Some people prefer to talk freely, telling the "whole story" in a way that makes sense to them, without interruption. Others prefer that I initiate a series of questions in an interview format, until the important information has been uncovered. You will find me to be aware of and responsive to your preferred approach.
The most important information to provide in the first session is a description of what you want help with and/or the ways in which your life appears not to be working as you'd hoped. Having a couple of examples can be especially helpful.
If you are unsure where to start, it can often be clarifying to ask yourself the question, "Why now? " What has recently happened to you, or in your circumstances, that prompted you to book an appointment?"
It can also be helpful to articulate what you hope will change as a result of the counselling - if you know. Many don't know what their goals are at this point in the process; that's OK. Figuring out what your goals are can be one of your goals!
Remember, you are not expected to state clearly what you need or to how best to get there; if you knew the answers to those questions, you surely wouldn't be sitting in my office. Count on me to notice what you need help seeing, or saying, or doing, or changing; that's part of what you're paying me for.
How long do meetings last?
Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes. The number of sessions you will need to resolve the issue depends on a variety of factors, including the nature and severity of the problem, how long-standing it has been, and individual factors such as motivation, insight, and available support. Never one to prolong counselling, it is my commitment to help you achieve the deep, enduring, measurable change you need, as quickly as possible.
How do I pay? Will my insurance cover it? Is it tax deductible?
Fees may be paid by cash, cheque, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or INTERAC® E-Transfer (accessed through your bank's on-line banking services). Payment is expected at each session, unless other arrangements are agreed upon in advance.
The services of a psychologist practicing outside not covered by Alberta Healthcare; however, as a fully credentialed psychologist, my services are reimbursable by all extended health care plans that provide coverage for "psychology," "psychotherapy," or "counselling." Your session receipt will include the information required by your extended health care provider to process your claim. The amount you will be reimbursed depends upon the terms of your coverage.
Counselling is a tax deductible medical expense, governed by the same rules as those applying to other medical and dental expenses.