What to Expect / FAQs
What to Expect
Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to start counselling, so I’ve put together the following information to help you know what to expect.
Free 15 Minute Phone Conversation
Studies show that the number one factor leading to a successful outcome from therapy is a good therapeutic relationship. So, it’s vitally important you find a therapist you click with and feel you can trust. I provide a free 15 minute phone conversation to all prospective clients. This is a chance for us to connect and see if we may be a good fit. If I’m not the best fit for you, I’m always happy to provide referrals to other therapists in my network.
During your free phone consultation, I’ll ask you to briefly share some information about what brings you to therapy. I’ll also share some information about the type of therapy I use and provide some information about my fee, office locations, etc. I’ll ask you to choose between doing online therapy, or meeting at either of my two offices in North Vancouver. I’ll invite you to ask questions and I may ask some further questions for clarification. At the end of our conversation, you may choose to think about whether I may be a good fit for you or go ahead and schedule while on the phone.
Confirming Your First Appointment
When we schedule your first appointment, I will be asking you for a credit card number to confirm your appointment. Your card will not be charged unless you cancel the appointment within 24 hours of the scheduled time as per my cancellation policy. Once you arrive for your appointment you may choose a different payment method.
Finding the office
I offer therapy online and at either of my two convenient North Vancouver office locations. Please refer to the contact page for address, google map, information on parking, and finding the office.
Arriving at your appointment
Please arrive at least 5 minutes before your session so we can make the best use of the time we have together. At my Lonsdale Office, please enter the suite and take a seat in the waiting room. I will be out of session shortly and meet you there. At my home office feel free to park anywhere in the driveway, and then just come knock on the front door.
During your first therapy session, the most important task is to begin to develop rapport with your therapist. I will try to create a warm and inviting environment where you can begin to feel safe and secure so that we can establish trust. I will explain my confidentiality policy right at the beginning of our session.
We will jump right into the topics that brought you into therapy to make the best use of our time together. I will ask you for more information about what brings you and we will begin the therapeutic process. If you are coming for couples therapy, I will ask each couple to share, ensuring that both partners feel heard and understood equally.
Cost and Policies
$150 + gst per hour for Couples and $130 + gst per hour for Individuals. Sessions last 1 hour unless we agree otherwise.
To find out if you are covered by insurance benefits, please contact your insurance benefits provider and give them my professional association details of “Master Therapeutic Counsellor with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists (#1089) to confirm coverage.
All sessions are paid for by yourself, and a receipt is given for reimbursement through your insurance benefits provider.
I accept all major credit cards, cash, check or e-transfer.
My cancellation policy is that 24 hours notice must be given to cancel, or you session will be charged in full.
It’s not uncommon to have some ambivalence about starting relationship therapy. Sometimes reading common questions and answers helps to ease the anxiety. I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that’s not listed here, please contact me and I’ll be sure to get back to you ASAP.
How often do we meet?
I recommend weekly sessions, however we can discuss a course of treatment that fits with your schedule and finances.
How many sessions will couples counselling take?
The length of treatment in therapy is usually determined by a combination between the type of therapy used, the client’s commitment to the therapeutic process, and the issues brought into therapy. For couples counselling, assuming that the couple is committed to the process of therapy and uses the techniques discussed in treatment, therapy can take as little as 2-4 months.
Will you take sides?
No. Couples counselors are trained not to take sides. We see the relationship as the client. In Emotionally Focused Therapy, we view the relationship dynamic or as we say “the cycle” as the problem, rather than one partner or the other being “a problem.” We believe that everyone’s trying their best to get their needs met and keep the relationship together so no one is seen as “the bad guy.” There may be moments or even whole sessions when one person gets more attention from the therapist, but overall, both members of the couple should be heard, understood and supported throughout the process.
Is it ok if I go alone?
Yes. While couples therapy is more productive if both parties are present, individual relationship therapy can benefit your relationship and help you identify where you and your partner are stuck. It’s not uncommon for one partner to refuse to come to couples counselling. In that case, I would recommend individual relationship therapy. Often when the other partner sees how much therapy is benefiting the relationship they’ll rethink their decision.
Is it ok to talk about sex?
Definitely. Sex is an important part of romantic relationships and it’s important that we discuss your satisfaction or lack of satisfaction with your sex life, at your comfort level. If there are problems related to lack of interest or lack of fulfillment during sex it is often connected to your level of connection or disconnection in the relationship. That said, if you believe you’re having a specific medical problem, I’ll recommend you see your doctor or a specialist.
Will couples therapy save my relationship?
In short, I hope so. My job as your therapist is to work myself out of a job. I hope very much that the two of you re-establish the close, connected, happy relationship you both deserve. Most of the time, couples counselling works. Studies show that couples counselling using Emotionally Focused Therapy improves relationships for 75-80% of couples. EFT research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery through treatment and approximately 90% show significant improvements.
We’ve tried couples counselling before and it didn’t work.
Will it this time?
Many well meaning therapists offer couples counselling without any specific couples counselling training, not realizing that effective couples counselling requires different skills and techniques than providing therapy to individuals. Therefore, if you did couples counselling before and it didn’t work, it’s likely that your therapist did not have specific couples counselling training. Another reason it may not have worked is that both partners may not have been ready to commit to the process. There may have been personal issues or addictions keeping either partner from participating in treatment fully or being ready to make the changes necessary. While there are no guarantees that couples counselling will work this time, it’s likely that you need help to move through the issues in your relationship.