FAQs

It is important for you to understand that you are the primary decision-maker in the direction your therapy takes, and therefore you have the right to full and active participation in the decisions that affect you. Expecting answers is part of that.

What happens in a Consult?

The consult would be for 20 minutes, either in person or on Skype or Zoom. I would be asking about your current struggle, what your goal would be for having sessions and how I can serve you. The consult would allow you to get to know my approach and me before we set up appointments.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions is very individual to your circumstances. It might depend on the amount of things that you want to work on as well as the scale and urgency of those things. This can all be discussed in your consultation.

This also depends on the degree that your distress or dilemma is impacting your ability to function in your life and be healthy. If you are in a high state of anxiety, missing work or feel in considerable distress, you may have to start off with more frequent sessions.

What about privacy?

My office is in a quiet, very private location in Sooke. There will never be another client showing up while you are seeing me.  I book accordingly.   My licensing body holds me to both confidentiality and privacy.  It is also a part of my required ethics of my practice. My policies address these details.

Is what I say confidential?

Absolutely, it is confidential.  What we discuss never leaves the room except for these circumstances:
• A child is or may be at risk of abuse or neglect, or in need of protection
• You or another person is at clear risk of violence or harm
• The courts subpoena me as a witness, or subpoena my files

How and when do I pay?

If you are doing a session online, it is preferred that you make a payment 24 hours prior to your appointment. If your session is face-to-face, you can bring your payment with you and pay at the appointment time.

What if I don’t have a PayPal account?

You do not need a PayPal account in order to make a payment.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

I require cancellation notice 24 hours in advance because your appointment time has been specially set aside for you.   If a client is a no-show, then the equivalent to the full session amount will be charged (except in the case of an emergency).  Cancellation can be done either by phone (250-889-6002) or email: donna@countrysidecounselling.ca.

What hours do you work?

I try to keep to a schedule of three and a half days a week (Wednesday through Saturday morning) to see clients; however I can be flexible, especially with people’s work schedules and availability. On the days that I work I will take daytime and early evening appointments.

Is counselling covered by my health care plan?

BC’s provincial health care plan (MSP) does not cover the cost of counselling. However you may want to contact your extended health care plans prior to making an appointment.  If you have coverage, you will be required to pay for the counselling session. You would then submit your receipt to your extended healthcare plan for reimbursement.

I am in Crisis, what should I do?

I am not a crisis counsellor and do not deal with personal crisis. If you are feeling in crisis you should call the crisis line at 1-888-494-3888 (Vancouver Island Crisis Line), 1-800-784-2433 (Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C.) OR your local agency, which you can find online.

Is Online as effective as in-person sessions?

Yes, both are as effective, although different. Most people find online easier because they don’t have to leave home, where others prefer to be in person. There is no difference in the quality of the experience.

What is Zoom and how do I use it?

Zoom is a program that operates much like Skype.  The main difference is that instead of requiring you to download the program to operate it, I send you a ‘link’ by email and at the prearranged session time you log into the link from email.  Once into the “online office” you will see me waiting for you. It’s super simple, easy to use, and very effective.  You don’t need to download anything or be a techie person!

How do I know if we will be a good fit?

I believe that the initial free consultation will help establish a rapport and also help you feel comfortable with my ability to be of help. This is the reason I promote this first contact experience.

Can I bring someone with me to my sessions?

If you have a friend or relative who is willing to accompany you and this makes you more comfortable to begin your sessions, I would certainly be in favour.

What is the difference between a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, a Clinical Counsellor, a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

Registered Therapeutic Counsellors are registered with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT) and are regulated by the ACCT Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. They are dedicated to providing the highest standard of competent professional counselling services.

A Registered Clinical Counsellor is a professional who has completed Master’s level counselling education / training and has met the necessary standard requirements to receive the classification as a Registered Clinical Counsellor from the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors

A Psychologist is a mental health professional trained in the study of human behavior. He or she assesses, diagnoses, and treats mental health issues and behavioral disorders.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who go on to specialize in mental health and mental disorders. Psychiatrists often use medication to help their clients manage their mental disorders.

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