Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started?
There are 3 options:
1. You have no further questions and are ready to book an appointment. You can give me a call or you can click on the book online button. It will take you to my Jane app, where you can book an appointment. After booking, you will receive an email that asks for demographic information, along with your goals for counselling and consent for counselling. If you have any questions with regards to the form you can always call or email or ask more about them at your first session.
2. You have some questions or maybe you’d like to chat before booking an appointment. That is awesome. You can give me a call at (403) 320-4232 ext. 217 or send me an email with a good time to call and then we can talk more. We can make an appointment at that time or if you want to take some time to think about it, you can then book online or give me a call when you’re ready to book.
3. Continue to think about counselling or explore other options and when you’re ready, you can always give me a call then.
How much will it cost?
My rate for counselling is $150/hr. I charge the same rate for individuals, couples or family/co-parenting.
Payment is due at the end of the session and e-transfer is the preferred method of payment. Credit card payment can be done through the Jane App. Cash is also an option.
Receipts are provided, which may be used on your income tax or be reimbursed from your health benefits. Most health benefit plans recognize registered social workers as service providers.
Direct billing may be available through Alberta Blue Cross and Telus Health Claims. You are responsible for payment of any remaining balance.
Subsidized counselling may also be an option depending on your net monthly income and family size. I have access to a subsidy provided by a generous donor at Family Centre, which is restricted to families with a child under the age of 18 or youth under the age of 30. Lethbridge residents may also be eligible for subsidy through Integrated Coordinated Access through the CMHA. There is an application due by the 15th of the month to start counselling in the following month. Please call for more details.
What is the first session like?
Chances are you will come in with some level of nervousness and that is to be expected. After all, it is a big step to start counselling. Know that there is no right or wrong way for the session to go and it is my job to meet you where you are at. So no pressure!
My office is within Family Centre, so just let the front desk staff know that you are there to see me and they’ll give me a call and I will come and get you.
Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to complete your paperwork in the Jane App, if not you can finish it in my office. I am happy to answer any questions you might have, as this provides our foundation for how we will work together.
From there, we will start to get to know each other, of course I will know a lot more about you, as this is your time. I like to get a sense of who you are and what your goals are for counselling. I want to hear your story and of course it is up to you how much of it you want to share.
Some things I am curious about:
- your relationships (past & present)
- your experiences
- your thoughts & feelings about the above
- your strengths and resilience
My hope for you at the end of your first session is that you feel some relief, some hope and that you have taken something away from our time together. We can book your next session in the office or you can book online.
How many sessions will I need and how often?
It totally depends on your needs, your goals and your finances. Sometimes, the number of sessions is based on the number available through subsidy or how much your health insurance covers and I understand that reality and try to work within those limits.
I would say on average, clients attend 5-10 sessions, but there is no set amount. I have clients that are longer term as well, particularly when there is trauma or counselling is part of their self-care routine.
Typically, every 2 weeks is a good amount between sessions. It provides enough time to work on your goals, but not too much time. However, I want to work to meet your needs and am flexible to create a schedule that works for you.
How do I get the most out of counselling?
1. Be aware.
Counselling is a process that brings more awareness into your life. Awareness is required for change, so it is the first step.
Pay attention to what is happening.
What are you noticing in your mind? Your body? Your relationships?
Look for patterns.
2. Be kind to yourself.
As you start to pay attention, notice patterns and try new things, your inner critic may start to get louder. It is trying to be helpful, but generally it is not. What is helpful is self-compassion and being kind to ourselves.
Self-compassion at it’s core is about:
Mindfulness: recognizing when we are stressed or struggling
Self-kindness: being supportive and understanding to ourselves when we are having a hard time
Connectedness: remembering everyone makes mistakes and experiences difficulties.
3. Do your homework.
Counselling only happens for an hour a few times a month, the real work happens between sessions. This might include practicing strategies learned in session, reading, journalling, reflecting and other practices that help you to meet your goals. Set time aside for yourself to do this work.
What kind of training do you have?
I am a Registered Social Worker, with a Bachelors (2001) and Masters (2010) degree in Social Work and a Bachelors (1993) of Psychology. Social work is the foundation on which I practice and includes the following framework:
- Seeing people within the context of their lives. What happened to you? What are your relationships? Where do you live? What is your identity? What are your connections?
- Seeing the inherent dignity and self-worth of each person and their right to make their own decisions and determine their own direction.
- Being of service to others in a way that is ethical, helpful and within my scope of practice.
- Internal Family Systems Online Circle Foundations
- Collective Trauma, Thomas Hubl
- Betrayal Trauma, Therapy Wisdom
- Gordon Neufeld: Level 1 & 2 intensive, Making Sense of Teens, Making Sense of Anxiety
- Attachment Training (Level 1 & 2) Aulneau Centre
- Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead
- Gottman Level 1 & 2 Couples Therapy and much more.
If you are interested in my work history, check out my Linked In page.