Is counselling covered under health benefits?
Counselling is often partially or fully covered by extended health benefits. Please check with your extended health care provider to see if you are covered for counselling services offered by a Registered Social Worker (RSW).
Since 2012, RSWs are listed as authorized health care providers for the purpose of claiming medical expenses on income tax returns.There is a 15% tax credit on fees paid for the services of an RSW that exceed 3% of net income.
You may also be eligible through the following programs:
- B.C. Ministry of Justice: Crime Victim Assistance Program (www.pssg.gov.bc.ca)
- I am an approved Counsellor for the Crime Victim’s Assistance Program. If you have been impacted by a crime and are covered under the CVAP, I am able to provide counselling and direct bill through CVAP. Please check with your local Victims Services office to see if your covered.
- Health Canada: Non-Insured Health Benefits Program for First Nations and Inuit (www.hc-sc.gc.ca)
- I am an approved Mental Health Service Provider for the First Nations Health Authority, First Nations Benefits program: Crisis Intervention Mental Health Program and the Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program (IRS-RHSP).
- Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC)
- Association of Workers Compensation Boards (awcbc.org)
What form of payment does Converging Currents Counselling accept?
I will accept e-transfers prior to scheduled appointment, or cash or cheque will be accepted at appointment.
How long are sessions typically?
Sessions are generally 50 minutes in length. However, EMDR sessions are must be 90 minutes for best results. I recommend 90 minute sessions at the start for couples therapy and family therapy. Individuals can choose what suits them best, either 50 minutes or 90 minutes.
Why are EMDR sessions 90 minutes long?
It is necessary to have 90 minutes to allow the client to fully reprocess their experiences. Since the client is reprocessing their experiences through the brains natural processes they are able to process more then usual in one session. EMDR is highly efficient and clients often report noticeable differences within the first few sessions. The length and cost of therapy is frequently less in the long run, due to the fact that the overall length of counselling is often reduced by EMDR.
How often should I come for counselling?
This is entirely up to the individual and their circumstances. I generally recommend once a week at least in the beginning stages. I have had some people who want to come once a week and others who feel they need to come twice a week. Contact me to discuss the best option for your circumstances.
How do I choose a counsellor?
Choosing a counsellor can be intimidating. I often say to people that choosing a counsellor is like buying a pair of shoes: you should try on a few before you decide what is the best fit for you. You should feel comfortable with your counsellor and feel safe talking about the challenges you are facing. I offer a free 10 minute consultation over the phone or email to discuss your needs and help you decide if I would be the right fit for your situation.
What can I expect from my first few appointments
The first 1-3 appointments allow us to get to know each other. During these sessions I will complete a genogram (family tree) with you and we will explore together your experiences and the nature of the presenting situation that has led you to seek counselling. In these first few sessions you will get an idea of how we can work together towards your goals and preferred direction in life and what future sessions might look like.
Is there a limit to how many times I can come to counselling?
Usually counselling is short-term (6-20 sessions); however, there is no limitation to how many times a person can come for counselling. We can discuss how many sessions might be useful for you. In some cases I may refer people to specialized services or practitioners for longer-term support.
How will counselling help?
Talking to a supportive counsellor can help you learn new strategies for coping with challenges, offer an alternative perspective on struggles you are having, create space for you to talk about your feelings and think things through, help you identify your strengths, and explore personal, academic or career goals or changes. EMDR helps clients who have had disturbing or traumatic experiences reprocess the experience in a way that allows that experience to no longer recreate further trauma.
Should I be able to work things out on my own?
Asking for support takes courage. Everyone has faced times when they feel challenged or have trouble managing difficult feelings. Talking with a counsellor can bring new perspective and new hope to your situation. The challenges we face often impact those around us; asking for support will improve the positive impact we have on our friends and families.