Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked QuestionsTREATMENT QUESTIONS

Q: Do I/we need therapy?

A: This may be the wrong question to ask. " Could I benefit from therapy?" or "Could  we benefit from therapy?" is a better way to think about it.

Q: What qualities should I look for in a Therapist?

A: This is not an exhaustive list but they are qualities I work  towards and would expect in someone I would refer to:
• Be warm and non-judgmental
• Have a sense of humour and relate to me as a real person
• Help me set attainable goals and work with me to achieve them
• Genuinely seek to understand me and not make assumptions about my experience
• Be understanding of any reservations I may have about therapy
• Be respectful at all times
• Show interest in the difficulties I am having
• Be willing to meet with other members of my family if I request it
• Be willing to see me in times of crisis
• Not dismiss other forms of therapy I may be interested in
• Be psychologically healthy
• Have the proper education, training, and experience related to my particular issue
• Demonstrate high ethical standards and have clear professional boundaries
• Offer referrals if he/she cannot provide appropriate treatment for my difficulties
• Have a working knowledge of medication for mood disorders and be able to discuss this with my physician if it is appropriate.

Q: What questions should I ask?

A: This is also  not an exhaustive list but it is a good start:
• Are you a Registered Psychologist? How many years have you been practicing psychology?
• I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.), and I'm having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of problems?
• What are your areas of expertise--for example, working with children and families or couples etc?
• What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?
• What are your fees?  Do you have a sliding-scale fee policy?
• What types of insurance do you accept?
• How will I know if therapy is working?

Q:  What will my first appointment consist of?

A: Your first appointment will be a consultation visit lasting approximately 60 minutes. You and I will discuss your current concerns and goals for therapy and we will put together a treatment plan.

Q:  How long are all subsequent sessions?

A: Each following session is 60 minutes long. Most patients attend sessions on a weekly basis, but others opt to attend sessions twice a month.

Q:  How long will I need to be in therapy?

A: Some people report benefiting from even a single session. However, most people attend a minimum of four to six sessions. Keep in mind that if you would like to change some life-long patterns, you may need several months or more of weekly psychotherapy to make ensure headway is achieved and long-lasting. The length of your treatment depends on the issues that you need to address. After our first meeting, I will assess and offer a suggested length for your therapy. As you make progress, you and I can discuss the option of maintenance sessions. These can be conducted monthly or even every other month and are designed to monitor the changes and continue the growth and progress you will have made.

Q:  Is what I share with my therapist confidential?

A: Your confidentiality is protected by the Canadian Code of Ethics by Psychologists law and by the rules of my profession. All information concerning clients is held strictly confidential and is released only through procedures consistent with Canadian law and professional ethics.

Q:  How will I know if I'm getting better?

A: After our first session together, we will identify the goals that you would like to accomplish during therapy. We will continue to measure your progress by evaluating these goals. Is is also possible that we may decide to add additional goals throughout the course of therapy if and when appropriate.

Q:  What if I think I need to be evaluated for medications or I am already prescribed medications?

A: I am licensed and trained to practice psychology, not medicine. However, I often consult with physicians who prescribe medications to provide you with a medication consultation and/or continued medication management.

Q: What is the difference between a Psychologist, Psychiatrist and a Counselor?

A:
• A Psychologist earns his or her degree from a graduate school of Psychology. At present in BC, only Doctorate level (Ph.D) therapists can use the title "Psychologist"  or "Registered Psychologisy" if they have completed the necessary education, training, work experience, and meet registration requirements. Psychologists generally receive more training in therapy and assessment than Psychiatrists and as such, specialize in these areas. It is not uncommon for someone to meet with a Psychiatrist for medication needs and with a Psychologist for therapy.
• A Psychiatrist has degree (MD) from medical school and has specialized in Psychiatry, they are  licensed to prescribe medication for psychiatric conditions (e.g., anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, etc.)
• Anyone can call themselves a Counselor or Therapist – check out the credentials before you book an appointment as it is best to see someone that has received registration from a credentialed organization that is professionally accountable. (eg. Registered Clinical Counselor, Registered Social Worker)

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT PAYMENT

Q:  Do you take insurance?

A: I am a Registered Psychologist.  Therefore, we are covered by many extended health plans but not by basic MSP.

Q:  Do you have a sliding scale?

A: Under some circumstances, such as financial hardship, I may be able to see a limited number of clients for less than my normal fee.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have additional questions.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 604-362-7847 or send an email to:
info@iamlistening.ca