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Frequently Asked Questions

During our first appointment, we will discuss your concerns, preferences, goals, and challenges in a manner that respects your dignity and honours your strengths.  I am truly interested in what you are doing already to find relief and comfort, your resources, any past experiences in counselling, and what you believe will be helpful to you. Based on what we discuss, we may start to identify your initial goals and begin to develop a counselling plan.  It is not important that you share all the details of your past experiences; it takes time to build trust in me and in our therapeutic relationship. You are encouraged to ask any questions you need to continue to assess the fit between us. I aim to provide educational resources, specific tools and strategies that you can begin to utilize right away.

See stages of therapy HERE

Counselling can generally be described as a process by which support and guidance are provided to assist in the process of self awareness, education, and self reflection. The intention of counselling is to assist in the building of resources & resiliency, create emotional acceptance, process the impacts of stress & adversity, find meaning, build relationships tools, receive validation & affirmation, discover self compassion, create a secure therapeutic alliance with the aim of providing opportunities to live in a manner aligned with life goals and well being. The therapeutic relationship is built in a transparent manner based on clear expectations, dignity, integrity, and security, so that the focus remains on your well being. It is not my aim to provide advice or tell you what to do, but rather to support you in finding your own answers and wisdom. I will provide guidance and education that fits with your goals and needs.

Counselling content will vary according to need, but may be concerned with developmental issues, addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, integrating the impacts of stress and adversity, coping with crisis, developing personal insights and knowledge, understanding feelings, or improving relationships with others.

Counselling relationships will vary according to need but may be concerned with developmental issues, addressing and resolving specific problems, making decisions, integrating the impacts of stress and adversity, coping with crisis, developing personal insights and knowledge, working through feelings of inner conflict or improving relationships with others.

See Process of Therapy HERE for more information.

This is an important question and knowing the differences between these practitioners is a step toward getting your needs met.
Registered Psychologists (R. Psych) Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) and Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCC) are all mental health professionals.  All can provide support through the therapeutic relationship. They cannot prescribe medications like psychiatrists.

The greatest differences between them is the amount of schooling and what they are qualified to do.

Some key differences:

  • Psychologists can provide a diagnosis
  • Psychologists can assess for learning difficulties by conducting a psycho-educational assessment.
  • Psychologists have advanced training at the doctoral level (PsyD or PhD). Counsellors cannot diagnose mental health conditions.
  • BC’s Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) and Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCC) have a minimum of a Master’s Degree (MA, MEd)
  • Registered Clinical Counsellor’s can provide services in British Columbia and provinces that are not regulated. Canadian Certified Counsellors can provide services across Canada.
  • All have ethical guidelines that provide structure and expectations for the manner in which they provide services including eligibility, continuing education, ongoing training, insurance, and supervision guidelines.
  • Sessions are generally not covered by British Columbia’s MSP plan, in order to get coverage for mental health support there are other options through: extended health insurance, Employee Assistance programs, Crime Victim Assistance Program, WorkSafe BC, First Nations Health Services, Income Assistance, Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Pacific Centre Family Services Association, Addiction Services, Community Mental Health Services such Vancouver Island Health Authority or Vancouver Coastal Health, or local hospitals.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD) and they assess, diagnose, and prescribe medication in order to treat mental health concerns. Most psychiatrists will choose to treat mental health diagnoses with psychotropic medications and may also use psychotherapy as a treatment option. In order to access the services of a Psychiatrist a referral is needed from your family doctor. In British Columbia the MSP (Medical Services Plan) covers psychiatry.

BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) – http://bcacc.ca
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)- https://www.ccpa-accp.ca
College of Psychologists of British Columbia – https://collegeofpsychologists.bc.ca
BC Psychiatric Association – https://psychiatrybc.ca

Each mental health professional has their own areas of expertise and specialization within their designation. It is important to find someone or a combination of care that best fits your needs so it’s ok to switch to another professional if your needs change or to access services from multiple types of providers.

A note on counselling in British Columbia
In British Columbia, the designation of “counsellor”, “therapist” is still unregulated, so anyone can technically call themselves a counsellor and provide services even if they have no training in the assessment or treatment of mental health challenges. It’s important to find someone who is registered with a professional regulatory body. This means they have met specific educational and training criteria and are held accountable by professional standards. To help put your mind at ease when looking for a counsellor, be sure to seek out a ‘RCC’ (Registered Clinical Counsellor) designation in BC or the ‘CCC’ (Canadian Certified Counsellor) across Canada. The new Health Professions and Occupations Act in British Columbia was passed in 2022 will provide regulation for counsellors soon.

All information discussed in the counselling session is confidential and remains between the counsellor and client except in certain situations where there is a risk of harm to self or others, harm to children or other vulnerable populations or in the case that records are subpoenaed. These specific situations where information must be disclosed, will be discussed at your first appointment. You will be provided with a privacy policy and social media policy that outlines confidentiality in the informed consent document.

No, a doctor’s referral isn’t necessary unless your insurance company requires one for reimbursement.

Tate Counselling is currently accepting new clients and appointments can often be scheduled within a few weeks of contacting me.

Responses to the counselling process and the modalities used are individually determined based on who you are and your experiences. It is my responsibility to provide space for open discussions about how you are impacted by the process and to track your progress. You have choices throughout the counselling process about how you want to engage, I welcome ongoing dialogue about your needs and goals as they evolve though our work together. Desired change typically takes time, intention, and effort on your behalf outside of our sessions. Engaging in the counselling process may feel vulnerable and it is normal for things to feel like they get a little worse before they start to get better and the bigger shifts to occur. My aim is provide you with the support, resources, tools and strategies to manage and reach your goals.

Possible benefits of counselling may include improved: understanding of self, others, and experiences, capacity to be present and self aware, sense of hopefulness and self compassion, ability to rest, restore and enjoy life; development of skills, coping mechanisms, and resiliency; shifting unwanted behaviour and challenging thinking patterns.
Some of the potential risks may include experiencing: difficult or unpleasant memories & emotions, shifts and changes in relationships, uncomfortable or unfamiliar body sensations or other physical symptoms, difficult insights, changes in belief systems and behaviour that can disrupt your current lifestyle, tiredness/irritation during or after a counselling session. It is important to take good care of yourself outside of session times.

In order to determine if counselling is right for you, it is important to determine if the risks and benefits fit your needs and goals. There are times that engaging in counselling isn’t the best fit because of life circumstance; there is no requirement to complete a certain number of sessions or time.

Some people have a clear idea of where they would like to start and others come with a particular troubling symptom or general sense of unease. Either way, we will start with what’s most relevant for you in the moment. It’s normal to not know all the details of any particular event or experience, you don’t ever have to talk about something if you don’t want to or don’t have the memory. It is possible to create change and transformation without going into all of the details, how you are living in the present will guide our process.

Determining the treatment plan, goals, and modalities used in counselling is an ongoing and collaborative process. It is important that you continue to discuss your goals, preferences, insights, instincts, feedback, concerns, symptoms, and progress with me throughout the counselling process.

There is no finish line for mental health and wellness.  The journey is life long, similar to the daily care that optimal physical health requires.  

It is normal and understandable to need support and guidance in the process of building health and wellness.

Counselling will be just one aspect of your wellness journey. There are important contributors to your mental health and wellness that may include – doctors, psychiatrists, other health practicioners, health modalities, medication, supplements, movement, connection to others, animals, reading, cultural/spiritual/religious practices, education, time in nature, gratitude, rest, meditation, dance, martial arts, sports, adventure, nutrition, self expression, volunteering, work, travel, reading, breathing, body work, drinking water, creativity, music, and having fun!

Engaging in counselling takes effort and energy, I find that often people prefer to do a series of sessions and then take a break to let things settle and then return back to counselling. It is also important that you experience progress toward your goals and wellbeing as a result of the counselling process, discussing your progress and how counselling is impacting you is an important part of the process. I trust your wisdom and instincts about what is going to be most helpful and supportive for you.

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Reclaim your life! You can begin today by
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Schedule a consult to explore whether working together is a fit for you.