Frequently Asked Questions
The terms ‘counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ are often used interchangeably to refer to talk therapy, although there are some differences. The ultimate goal of counselling or psychotherapy is to help improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PCFA) provides a good explanation:
“Although Counselling and Psychotherapy overlap considerably, there are also recognized differences. While the work of Counsellors and Psychotherapists with clients may be of considerable depth, the focus of Counselling is more likely to be on specific problems, changes in life adjustments and fostering clients’ wellbeing. Psychotherapy is more concerned with the restructuring of the personality or self and the development of insight.”
In British Columbia, the main difference between Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) and Registered Psychologists (RPsych) is the highest university degree achieved, and the scope of practice of each profession. Both designations require a minimum of a Master’s degree, and both designations are bound to a strict code of ethics through their respective regulatory bodies.
RPsychs in BC have obtained a doctorate (PhD or PsyD) in psychology, during which time they have learned more about research methods, and have typically dedicated significant time to conducting their own research. RPsychs have also undergone extensive training in psychometrics, and are qualified to conduct assessments and provide formal diagnoses. Both RCCs and RPsychs are equally qualified to provide counselling and psychotherapy services.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD) with a specialization in psychiatry; they are licensed to prescribe medication as well as perform assessments. Psychiatrists work in a variety of settings – commonly in acute inpatient and outpatient care at hospitals or clinics, as well as residential treatment centres and fee-for-service practices.
Everything that is discussed in your sessions is confidential and will not be communicated to anyone without your knowledge and written consent. By law, there are just a few exceptions to this strict confidentiality:
- when there is an imminent risk of you harming yourself or others
- when there is suspicion or disclosure of abuse/neglect of a child
- when client records are subpoenaed by court order
All reasonable efforts will be made to discuss these circumstances with you prior to the involvement of other professionals.
This really depends on what brings you into therapy. For example, if you are seeking counselling for help with stress management or basic coping strategies, you may only need a few sessions. If you are dealing with more complex issues that have been long-standing, it may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Often people will come for sessions more regularly at the beginning, then when they find some relief from their difficulties they may come in once in a while for some extra support.
Fees are based on the type and length of session. Our general practice rate for individual therapy is $165/hr (GST included). Payment is processed at the beginning of each session in the form of debit/credit, cash, or cheque. Most clients prefer to authorize us to charge their credit card automatically so that they don’t have to worry about payment beyond the first session.
For detailed information on fees and insurance coverage please visit the FEES page.
We require 24 hours notice for cancellation/rescheduling of appointments, otherwise, the full session fee will be charged. This applies to missed sessions also. Please note that this policy is based on fairness to you, your therapist, and other clients needing appointments. We appreciate your understanding.
Unfortunately we are unable to direct bill any third party, including ICBC or CVAP. However, most Extended Healthcare Benefits (EHB) cover our services. Please check your benefits plan for “Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)” or “Clinical Counsellor” or “Registered Social Worker (RSW)” coverage. After your appointment we will provide you with an emailed receipt that you can submit digitally for reimbursement. This process usually does not take long, and the funds typically appear in your account within 1-2 weeks.
At ARC we have taken active measures to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 transmission within our clinic. Some of these measures include:
- maintaining appropriate physical distancing
- asking clients to avoid arriving early for their appointment time
- frequent disinfecting of high touch surfaces
- providing all clients with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- requiring clients to switch to virtual or reschedule if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
- discontinuing the exchange of physical documents
- utilizing contactless payment options only
- asking all clients to sign a COVID-19 checklist/ agreement during intake
Yes; if you are a current client, reports and letters are provided at the discretion of your therapist, billed at their respective hourly rate. However, we cannot ethically provide letters to new clients who have not been under our care for some time. When our therapists sign their names on a document, they must be able to stand by and support what they have written with adequate evidence. We kindly ask that you respect our therapists’ professional and ethical obligations, and do not insist that they put themselves in a compromising situation for the purpose of providing a letter. We thank you for your understanding.
Having an unpleasant or unsuccessful experience in therapy can be discouraging, we understand. Although we cannot guarantee success, our therapists will do everything they can to understand why you didn’t find your previous experience helpful and to make sure that a more suitable mode of therapy is utilized this time. At ARC we do not take your commitment to therapy for granted. We know that it’s an investment of your time, energy, and money, and your success and healing in therapy is our top priority.
Countless research has shown the importance of goodness of fit between client-therapist, and the role it plays in therapeutic outcome. At ARC we understand that finding the right therapist isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve had a bad experience before. Therefore we invite you to start your counselling process with a complimentary 30 minute consultation.
During your consultation you will learn more about the counselling process, and have an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have before starting. It truly is obligation free, and if for any reason it’s not a good fit, we will do our best to connect you with another therapist.
If you would prefer to start with an actual counselling session, please head over to our online calendar to book your first appointment.
Although we aim to respond to all consult requests within 48 hours, sometimes mistakes or technical errors happen. This could mean a communication from you not reaching us, or a communication from us not reaching you.
Some legitimate reasons for this include:
- a technical glitch with the form button;
- our email security blocking a legitimate message;
- your server’s email filtering or spam settings (be sure to check your spam);
- our answering service failing to dispatch a message (if phone);
- simple human error
Ultimately, technology is still imperfect – and so are we! While all of these scenarios are extremely rare, we certainly own that mistakes happen. We ask that you accept our sincerest apologies in advance.
If you submitted a request or enquiry and have not heard back from us within 72 hours, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and/ or call 604 828 9508 to leave a message with our answering service.
We’re not ignoring you, we promise!