What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

This is perhaps a bit like defining the difference between pop music and classical music: both have their place and it is often a matter of preference.  That said, counselling is often understood as contemporary, brief in duration, and solution-focussed, while psychotherapy  often goes deeper, involving itself in the "invisible"  (such as deeply rooted patterns, unconscious processes, dream-states, symbols, spiritual quests, and early/forgotten memories).  If you want quick tools for here-and-now problems, looking to change how you "do life", then perhaps conventional counselling is for you.  If you are after something deeper, and your quest is more about purpose and being in life, then psychotherapy might be the better fit. 

Take anxiety or depression as examples:  through a contemporary counselling process, we would likely take 4-6 sessions target cognitive-behavioural syptoms.  On the other hand, if we were to approach it through a deeper psychotherapeutic process, we'd be more invested in exploring the origins and roots in order to come to a more comprehensive understanding of how/why anxiety and/or depression manifest, in addition to providing insights regarding how to deal with it.

We'll probably figure out pretty quickly what it is you're after... but in either case, be prepared for some depth, some challenge, some fun, and a big dose of liberation!

Are you covered by insurance or my British Columbia Medical Services Plan)?

I am currently registered under the following providers:   Crime Victim Assistance Program, Worksafe BC, First Nations Health Authority, and ICBC.

In addition, many other insurance companies will reimburse employees for either the full amount or a portion of counselling fees.  Every plan is different, so please contact your insurance company/employee assistance plan to determine whether they cover fees for counselling with a Registered Clinical Counsellor.  Be sure to ask them regarding your annual limits (if applicable).

Counselling is not currently covered under British Columbia's MSP. 

If you are curious why I don't work with most Employee Assistance Programs (Homewood Health, Shepell, Aspiria, etc): the answer is that such insurance companies do not reimburse counsellors for the full billable rate set out by our governing body, the BCACC.  Instead, they contract the work out to those counsellors who are  willing to accept significantly (30%-50%) lower rates, and then the insurance companies pocket the difference.  While I would wish to provide service to such EAP-insured clients, it ultimately becomes a decision based on scruples and business principles. 

How long are sessions?  How often should we meet?  And for how many sessions?

Ideally, the first session would be 80 minutes.  This gives us time to get to know one another, to fill in some history and complete an assessment.  Thereafter, it's usually best to have sessions weekly for at least the first few 4 weeks so that things stay fresh in mind and on-track in terms of action plans.  There is, however, a lot of room for flexibility: some folks are understandably limited by such factors as time, service caps (in the case of insurance-billed sessions), or where surplus cash flow is a concern.  I've had clients meet with me weekly for years, and I've had clients who went away satisfied after only one session.  Much depends on your specific circumstances, needs, hopes, and availability.  We'll take some time during the first session to assess needs and set attainable goals that will work for you.

What form(s) of payment do you take?

Except in the cases of insurance-billed sessions (see above), payment can be made by cash or debit (preferred) or e-transfer.  I also accept cheque, Visa, and Mastercard.  In some cases, it may be preferable to have payment arranged online via electronic credit card invoice (especially in the case where one individual is paying for another).  I am set up for this via an online secure service through QuickBooks and Square.  Let me know your needs, and I'll do my best to work with you.

Where do I find your office?

The nearest main intersection is Wallace and Terminal.  The "Vault" coffee shop is in the same strip of buildings as my office... I'm just a little further up the road on Wallace.  The entrance to my part of the building is near the end, toward the lawn below city hall.  The address is 477 Wallace.  Parking during the day is (currently) free.  I'm on the third floor, near the end of the hall, on the left.  There is an elevator and there's a waiting room if you happen to show up early. 

My spouse has been unfaithful.  Is there hope for our relationship?

In a word: YES!  I've been working with couples where infidelity/broken trust have been the main issue for many years.  In some cases, the betrayal occurs in the form of romantic and sexual relationships; in others it is an emotional affair, and in still others, the problems have to do with pornography or "sexting".  Betrayal is extremely painful and difficult to deal with, and many relationships fail as a result.  That said, my track record is very strong when both partners are willing to do the work to repair and rebuild the trust, friendship, and esteem.  

Do you work with children/teens?

Not at this time.  Working with children/teens often involves a different skillset and mindset.  While I have worked with kids and adolescents a lot in the past, I have decided to focus my training and expertise on working with adults.

How do I book a session?

Or call me at 250-616-3579

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 #310, 477 Wallace St.
Nanaimo, V9R 5B7