Common Questions

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

The main differences are in the highest university degree achieved, fees and the professional organization with which they are registered. Both designations are highly accomplished and all our therapists have at least a Master’s degree. We pride ourselves on having both experienced Psychologists and Counsellors who provide exceptional service to clients.

The distinction between the two professions is more academic than anything else. Both Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCCs) and Registered Psychologists (RPsychs) hold graduate degrees from recognized educational institutions. An RPsych has generally completed a doctorate degree and university research. An RCC has a Master’s degree but not all their thesis work is research-based. NOTE: Counsellors and Psychologists are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe drugs.

Counsellors and Psychologist often have the same training in a range of therapies, such as EMDR and CBT. In fact, clients should not notice the difference between a Counsellor and a Psychologist when these therapies were being applied in-session.

All of our therapists are registered with their respective professional regulatory body and are members in good standing (see below). All of our therapists are covered by the appropriate professional insurance.

To learn more about counsellors and psychologists contact the registering bodies;
BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, 1-800-909-6303
BC College of Psychologists, 1-800-665-0979

Please call our Front Desk if you would like assistance with your choice of therapist for your needs.

How long are sessions?

Most sessions are 50 minutes in length. If your therapist would like you to book a longer session, they will let you know. Rarely will a session be longer than 1 hour and 20 minutes.

How often will I attend sessions and for how long?

Most clients begin attending sessions weekly or bi-weekly, while they form a relationship with their therapist and build momentum. After a few weeks, sessions may become less often, depending on what the therapist recommends. It is difficult to predict the number of sessions as each person and situation is unique. However, some therapies are designed to be short-term and are highly successful at accomplishing change almost immediately. It is important to discuss the plan for your treatment and the timing of sessions with your therapist.

What if I have to cancel a session?

We require a full business day notice for appointment changes or cancellations (i.e. Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). It is always best to speak with one of our administrators when cancelling an appointment, rather than leaving a message or email. If we receive less than 1 full business day notice that you will not be attending your booked session, it will be considered a missed appointment and you will be charged the full fee.

Do you have Saturday or evening appointments?

A number of our therapists provide services in the early evening or on Saturdays. To check availability, call our Front Desk or check online.

How is my privacy and personal information protected?

Communication between a therapist and the client is confidential. Therapists are bound by the Code of Conduct to which they agreed when they became registered. No information can be disclosed to others without written consent of the client except under the following conditions when the therapist is bound by law to report or respond to a court order;

  • Client discloses abuse or neglect of a child
  • Client is in danger
  • Client is hurting another
  • When the courts order the release of confidential information

Is confidentiality any different if I am going through a divorce?

If you are working on your own personal issues with a therapist the same confidentiality as any other case would apply. If the entire family is working with a therapist then confidentiality may work differently. In circumstances where the client is a family navigating divorce and separation issues then the therapist or team of therapists may need to communicate with each other and work with the entire family. In some cases it may be best for the clients to agree to transparency of information within the counselling process and the exchange of information between other professionals to best serve the family through the transition. If this is the case, then a unique consent to counselling and consent to release of information will be presented for signature by the client before any personal information is shared.

To learn more about confidentiality, consult with your therapist or lawyer.

What are the fees and how do I pay?

Fees are based on the type of therapist (i.e. Clinical Counsellor or Psychologist) and the length of the session.  For more information on fees and coverage by health plans, visit our Fees page.  Before each session, our Admin staff will collect payment in the form of credit card, cash or cheque.  Most clients choose to provide a credit card with authorization to charge it for all services, including sessions, correspondence, report reviews or other consultations.

Do you accept ICBC, WorkSafe BC or other third party claims?

While a number of our therapists are approved providers for several third parties, you must have an approved claim and authorization to attend counselling prior to setting up your first appointment. Please provide this information to our Front Desk when you call for an appointment.

Do your therapists do custody reports or consult as experts for family court?

Currently, none of our therapists produce Custody Reports such as a Section 15 Custody and Access Report. Our Divorce and Separation team’s goal is to provide a full range of therapeutic services for children, teens, parents and families. Often our therapists will review these documents and assist families with developing parenting plans, mediating various conflicts and interpreting how to support the children through transitions. For referrals to therapists who provide formal custody assessment, ask for a referral from your lawyer or the Alyson Jones & Associate therapist who will be providing therapy to your family.