T: 604.800.9010
T: 604.800.9010

FAQs

What is the difference between a counsellor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?

Counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists all undergo many years of extensive formal training. The main difference is the focus of training received. This is summed up in the following chart:
 

  Counsellor Psychologist Psychiatrist
Credentials Master’s Degree Typically Doctoral Degree Medical Degree
Qualified to evaluate and treat mental health concerns Yes Yes Yes
Qualified to assess and diagnose mental illness No Yes Yes
Qualified to prescribe medication No No Yes
Medical Coverage

-Not Covered by MSP

-Covered by some extended health plans

-Not Covered by MSP

-Covered by most extended health plans

-Covered by MSP
Referral No Referral required No Referral required Referral required by Family Physician

 

Do I pay up front if I have insurance coverage?

Yes, the client pays up front then submits receipts for reimbursement to their insurance provider.

Do you offer low cost or reduced fee counselling?

If you need counselling but are on a limited budget, you can book with our intern at a reduced rate of $70/hour. For information about our current intern, please click here.

Does my insurance cover counselling?

Most extended health plans provide coverage for counselling with a Registered Psychologist. Many extended health plans provide coverage for counselling with a Registered Clinical Counsellor. Contact your extended health provider to see the specific coverage available to you. Official receipts (which include the therapist registration number) are issued for all sessions and is emailed to you at the end of each session. Unfortunately, we do not do direct billing for any insurance providers.

What are the methods of payment accepted?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, Interac e-transfers, and cash. Official receipts are issued for all sessions. All payments will be received by your therapist at the time of your appointment. 

Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not accepting cash and only accepting contactless payment (Visa, Mastercard, and Interact e-transfers) to ensure your safety.

 What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hrs cancellation notice to have sufficient time to accommodate other clients.  Cancellations within 48 hrs will be charged the full fee.

What are your office hours?

Our therapists have different schedules but generally, we offer services Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 8 pm. For information regarding a particular therapist’s schedule, please see our booking calendar here.

How long will I be in therapy?

The length of therapy can range from a few sessions to several months depending on the presenting issues. Our goal is to always provide the most effective evidence-based treatment in the shortest amount of time possible.

Is what I talk about confidential?

Psychotherapy is confidential except where limited by Canadian law. These exceptions include situations that involve child, elder, or dependent adult abuse, if clients pose an imminent risk of harm or danger to themselves or others, or if session notes are subpoenaed by court.

Written permission is otherwise needed to disclose any information to a third party, including insurance providers. When working with minors (under 19 years old), it is our policy to regard everything said in session as confidential except where noted above. We encourage minors to disclose to the parent information regarding substance abuse, sexual activity, or other behaviour that places them at risk.

What are your safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To ensure the safety of our staff, clients, and community, our office adheres to the policies as set by the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer, BC Centre for Disease Control, WorkSafeBC, and the therapists’ governing bodies. These safety precautions are in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please click here to read our safety protocols.

Do you offer online sessions?

Yes, we are offering online sessions during the pandemic. Please inform us when booking if you prefer to do online sessions. You will be emailed the link and consent for online counselling.

How do I book, change, or cancel an appointment?

You can book, change, or cancel appointments on our website through our online booking system here. You will be emailed appointment confirmations and reminders. On these emails, you are able to click on the link to change or cancel any appointment. If you have had previous sessions, the e-receipt issued via email will also have a link to change or cancel any upcoming appointments.

Alternately, we can assist you with booking, changing, or cancelling appointments. Please email us at info@brentwoodcounselling.com for assistance.

Do you offer psychological assessments?

No, we do not offer psychological assessments. To find a local psychologist who may be able to offer this service, please visit:

Do you work with children?

Our practice is primarily set up for therapy with individuals ages 15 years and up. We are unable to accommodate for child therapy (play therapy, art therapy, etc.).

To find a child therapist, please visit:

 

Do you offer free consultations prior to booking an appointment?

You can email our office at info@brentwoodcounselling.com for more information about
our counselling services. Or if you have specific questions for a therapist, you can email
them directly. Please click here for our therapists’ contact information.

How do I choose the right therapist? What should I be looking for?

Choosing the right therapist can seem like a daunting task. A good place to start is to search for therapists who practice in the area that you are seeking help in. To search for a therapist, you can visit:

Ensure that the therapist has met specific educational and training criteria in his or her area of practice, have clinical competence, field experience, and is registered for practice. You may also want to check if the therapist is covered by your extended health plan. Most importantly, you will want to meet with the therapist to determine if he or she is the right fit for you.

All therapist at Brentwood Counselling Centre have extensive education and training in their areas of practice. Furthermore, they are all registered for clinical practice in BC and adhere to the strictest ethical guidelines as set out by their corresponding governing body.

For more information about our therapists and their areas of practice, please email our office at info@brentwoodcounselling.com. Or click here to view our therapists’ profile, contact them directly, and request an appointment.

What happens during therapy?

Therapy will look somewhat different for all clients, depending on the clients’ presenting concerns and the therapist they are working with. Because every client is unique, there is no universal description of the therapeutic process. Our team at Brentwood Counselling Centre caters our sessions to best serve our clients. We endeavour to create a safe environment in which clients can openly discuss and work through any presenting concerns.

The initial session is typically used as an intake, to gather more information about the client’s presenting concerns, set therapeutic goals, and determine if the client and their therapist are a good fit.

Subsequent sessions will be used to go deeper into the client’s presenting concerns. Throughout therapy, the therapist will collaboratively support clients in their therapeutic goals by offering therapeutic interventions to help clients enter into and move through their concerns. Between sessions, some therapists may ask clients to practice what they’ve learned or give goals to complete before the next session. Regardless of therapeutic approach, our therapists respectfully listen without judgment and support clients to overcome their presenting concerns. 

Why see a therapist?

Most individuals seek therapy to work through issues that they feel stuck in or don’t have the skills to navigate through. They may have sought out advice from friends and family, read self-help books, or tried different avenues to resolve their issues, but still cannot overcome their struggles.

Others seek therapy to enrich their lives, learn new relational skills, grow in self-development, overcome challenges, gain a professional perspective on an issue, or work through a difficult situation.

Common concerns that individuals address in therapy include couples conflict, relationship issues, trauma, grief, and struggles with anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. Our team at Brentwood Counselling Centre are trained and experienced in supporting clients in these areas and more. To find out how we can help, click here.   

I’m a minor (under the age of 19), does my parent have to give permission for me to go to therapy?

The Infants Act of BC explains the legal position of children under 19 years of age. It states that children may consent to a medical treatment (including therapy) on their own as long as the health care provider is sure that the treatment is in the child’s best interest, and that the child understands the details of the treatment, including risks and benefits. It is up to the health care provider to assess and ensure the child’s understanding of the treatment.

For more information on the Infants Act, visit:

https://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96223_01#section17

What is “mature minor consent”?

A child under the age of 19 is called a “minor”. “Mature minor consent” is the consent a child gives to receive health care (including therapy) after the child has been assessed by a health care provider as having the necessary understanding to give the consent. A child who is assessed by a health care provider as being capable to give consent is called a “mature minor”.

A child who is a mature minor may make their own health care decisions independent of their parents’ or guardians’ wishes. In B.C. there is no set age when a child is considered capable to give consent.

A health care provider can accept consent from the child and provide the treatment without getting consent from the parent or guardian if the health care provider is sure that the child understands:

  • The need for the treatment
  • What the treatment involves and
  • The benefits and risks of having the treatment