FAQ

What is Therapy?

Therapy is a working relationship between client (you) and therapist (me) which consists of one or more meetings in which we engage in problem solving, insight building, challenging of old beliefs, introduction of appropriate resources (external and internal), and relationship building.

The counseling environment is a safe and confidential place where the client is encouraged to share his/her current experience of life. The respectful therapist will work with the client, sharing the client’s goals in creating more adaptive patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing.Therapists come from many different modalities, and use a number of different approaches. My own form of counseling incorporates elements from various modalities into a unique treatment plan for each client.

Why do people go to therapy?

Here are some of the things my clients have said when they’ve started therapy:

  • I thought id be happy by now but I’m not.
  • I want to let go of all the baggage
  • I keep getting myself in the same crappy situations. help me stop!
  • My mind keeps racing and i don’t know how to slow it down
  • I don’t know whats wrong
  • I don’t know what to do with my life
  • I don’t know where i’m supposed to go from here
  • My life feels out of balance/control
  • I feel out of balance/control
  • I’m not sure how to deal with my mom/partner/sister/child…
  • I feel guilty, ashamed, inadequate, stupid…
  • I can’t get myself to do the things that i know will make me happy
  • I feel overwhelmed by life
  • I need help from a professional

What is Online Therapy?

Online therapy is therapy that is done on Skype, phone, or email. Many therapists have opened their practice to online clients for many different reasons including more flexibility. more convenience, lower overhead, larger client base and more variety.

Which is better, In-Office or Online sessions?

Research shows that the outcome of therapy remains the same wether it is done online or face to face. Your choice depends largely on preference and availability. If you live in the Vancouver area, then you may prefer to see me in one of my three conveniently located offices.

People choose In-Office sessions for reasons that include:

  1. They are used to it
  2. They like it
  3. They can (they live nearby)
  4. They don’t have Skype
  5. They don’t have privacy where they live

People choose Online sessions for reasons that include flexibility, convenience, comfort, distance from the office, and limited time.

Is therapy with you confidential?

Both Online and In-Office therapy with me is 100% confidential – It is critical for our work together. Therapists take confidentiality extremely seriously, and it is the first thing we will discuss as part of the Informed Consent. Because of the nature of the work, a developing feeling of trust and safety is necessary for your success in therapy. If you have any questions regarding this topic at any point in our work together, I encourage you to communicate them and I will do my best to relieve your concerns.

Things I do to protect your privacy:

  • I use Skype- Skype uses a number of security properties including Digital Certificate, Identity Authentication, and Encryption.
  •  I use Paypal- PayPal automatically encrypts your confidential information in transit from your computer to theirs using the Secure Sockets Layer protocol (SSL) with an encryption key length of 128-bits (the highest level commercially available).
  •  I use a secure email with Blue Host- one of the largest and most trusted web hosting and webmail services.
  •  I use a locked file cabinet where i store all my files. Legally i need to keep the records for seven years and then discard them.
  • I never share your information!
  • I am always alone in the room where sessions are done.
  • I keep minimal notes – it is how I was trained. Notes are purely for memory sake and are accessible to you at any point in our work together.

Things that you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Make sure that you have privacy during our sessions. Preferably in a room with the door closed, where people can not hear your voice. Again, for the best quality of our work, you want to feel comfortable and not on guard.
  2. The best place to do a session is at home, the worst is at a public place like a coffee shop or at work.
  3. If you are using a shared computer, always close the browser when you are finished.
  4. Do not share your passwords to your computer/email with anyone

 What can I expect from therapy?

  • You will learn how to use your brain as a tool rather than be enslaved to it.
  • You will be able to let go of old beliefs habits that no longer fit (and just get in the way).
  • You will be able to navigate life’s ups and downs calmly and with minimal reactivity
  • You will know that there is someone in your corner
  • You will lead a life that is in line with your best self
  • You will find your optimal path to happiness and success
  • You will enhance the quality of your life
  • You will live without regret
  • You will be able to let go of Fear, Shame, and Guilt
  • You will create lasting positive change
  • You will learn vital evidence- based tools to help you navigate through life’s ups and downs
  • You will Learn to master your own ‘blind spots’
  • You will enhance the quality of your relationships
  • You will find relief from chronic pain and suffering
  • You will reach a better understanding and appreciation of who you are
  • You will develop a gentleness toward yourself fans others
  • You will gain the tools and techniques to create and maintain the life you desire
  • You will have more flow in life
  • You will find fulfillment and balance

How long does therapy take?

That depends on two main factors:

  1. What your goals are — What you want to achieve out of therapy
  2. What your obstacles are — What is slowing you down in life?

Even one session can be beneficial but in general it takes from three to ten or more sessions to create the type of long lasting change that you likely desire.

What is the difference between Therapy and Counselling?

No difference. Technically I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor but I use the term Therapist on the site because I feel that people are more used to it. Legally in BC anybody can call themselves a ‘Therapist’, but to be called a ‘Counsellor’ you have to have completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology (which I have).

Are you registered/licensed?

Yes. I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor. I am registered with the largest counselling association in British Columbia – BC Association for Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). I am member number 2102 and have been a member since 2001.

This question is especially important because the licensing/registering organization that a Therapist is a part of is your guarantee of the quality of the therapist’s work. The process of being accepted to a counselling association is gruelling and lengthy, and so you can be assured that a registered Therapist is fully qualified and of sound professional standing.

Are you experienced?

Yes, I have been practicing since 2001. You can read a list of my training in the About Me section.

Are the sessions covered by Third Party Insurance?

That depends on your individual  insurer. Many Insurance companies do cover Registered Clinical Counsellors, but since some don’t its best that your check with your insurer regarding such coverage. When insurance coverage is provided, you will pay me and then get reimbursed by your insurer. I will supply you with all of the information that the insurer will need for you to get your money back (or some of it).

Why should I go to you rather than someone else?

You shouldn’t necessarily. If you feel that working with a therapist is right for you, then you should work with the person that fits your criteria and with whom you feel the most comfortable. That may or may not be me. If you need help in finding another therapist whom you feel would be a better fit for you than me, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help direct you in the right direction.

The right therapist for you is someone who:

  • Offers the type of therapy you are interested in. For example some people want to focus only on their thoughts – “Don’t try to sell me that gooey feeling crap”, they say. Or I’ve heard people say “I don’t want to talk about my past at all”. Well, then I’m probably not the right therapist for them. I feel that we are much more than our thoughts and yes, I will encourage you to delve into your past, but I like to stay there only as much as is necessary for our work on your general well-being.
  • Is the right gender for you. some men prefer to work with men, others prefer to work with women. Same goes for women. The key is that you feel safe and comfortable.
  • You have chemistry with. Chemistry is big in any relationship, including the therapist-client relationship. This has to do with many things including: personality style, people the therapist may remind you of, and the energy between people. Scientific research shows that we influence each-other energetically. This is not hocus-pocus, it’s physics. You can usually tell if someone’s personality and style jive with your own.
  • Has the education, and credentials, is licensed to practice, and is registered with a governing body.

Are the sessions tax deductible?

In British Columbia counselling sessions are tax deductible under medical expenses.

What type of therapy do you practice?

I practice a holistic, humanistic, and experiential therapy. Here’s what it means:

Holistic

I believe whole heartedly that you are more than your symptoms. You have mind, body, and spirit. Your experiences are made up of your thoughts (conscious and subconscious), feelings, behaviors, body sensations, memories, dreams, and gut instincts. Your friendships, interests, cultural- background, family stories, family values, parents, siblings, childhood experiences, hopes, dreams, and fears are an important part of who you are in the world. When a person first comes to therapy their symptoms are front and centre. It is the responsibility of the therapist to look beyond the symptoms, between the lines, and past the words to the whole person.

Humanistic

You are complete, capable, and good. You are the expert of your experience, and you hold all the power for your healing and well being. My job is to help you see all that- to remind you of your strength, and wisdom, and to help you remove the obstacles that stand in the way of your natural movement toward physical, mental and spiritual health.

Experiential

Our brains are made of neural connections that are created and strengthened by experience. The more experiential the learning (the more we experience it through feeling, thinking, sensing and behaving) the stronger and more stable the connections. That’s why I use many proven techniques in the session to anchor the learning that takes place, and to encourage the behavioural shifts that follow.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent refers to the legal obligation of the therapist to inform the client of the nature of the treatment, the potential risks and benefits of the treatment, and the use, collection, and disclosure of the client’s personal information. The purpose of it is to protect the client from entering a relationship/contract without being sufficiently in the know.

The client’s rights are under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in Canada and the ‘Privacy Rule’ under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States. These rules assure that a person’s information is properly protected while promoting high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being. I am both PIPA and HIPAA compliant.

Every communication between therapist and client is bound by the standards of confidentiality, EXCEPT for the following

  1. If the client informs the therapist of current child abuse or neglect that is taking place
  2. If the client informs the therapist implicitly or explicitly that the client is in danger of harming themselves or another individual
  3. If the clinical files containing the contents of the sessions and other communications are court ordered.

If one of the above statements is true, the therapist MUST break confidentiality and take appropriate action.

What is the advice column?

The advice column is an opportunity for you to write to me about a problem that you have and receive an answer within a reasonable period of time. It is a free service that I offer to anyone. It is a one time service, meaning each individual can only use the column once. It is best used for a problem that can benefit from a one-time suggestion. I will do my best to offer you the best advice at my disposal using my expertise and professional knowledge.

Is the advice column confidential?

The advice column is anonymous. Only I will know your name (if you choose to tell me). The letter that you write to me will be posted on the site, but it will completely anonymous.

Is the advice column free?

Yes. The advice column is 100% free.