Informed Consent

Informed consent is a core component of counselling. Informed consent is composed of 2 things: it is informed, and it is ongoing. Informed means you, the client, fully understand what you are agreeing to and have the chance to ask any questions you have about the counselling process. Ongoing means you, the client, can withdraw your participation at any time and your counsellor will not force you to keep going. (Court-mandated counselling is a rare exception to this rule. If you are involved with the legal system, your case will be referred to a different practice).

Risks and Benefits

The goal of counselling is always to get better, but it is important to recognize that choosing to start counselling has some risks. As you begin to talk about things that are uncomfortable or upsetting, your symptoms may seem to worsen at first. This is normal and should resolve within the first few sessions. You may notice change in your mood and behavior, which can impact your relationships, work life, and/or daily activities.

Starting counselling has risks and benefits, which are outlined below. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to talk to your counsellor before starting therapy.

Confidentiality and Privacy

What you say during counselling sessions will be held in confidence and will not be divulged to anyone without your express written consent. This includes details on what will be discussed.

Your Counsellor cannot be held responsible for how your information is handled by a third party, family doctors, EAP providers, or other healthcare professionals. By agreeing to release your information to other healthcare professionals, you accept this risk.

Exceptions to Confidentiality

There are rare exceptions to confidentiality; this means that at certain times your Counsellor is required to talk to someone in order to protect yourself or someone else, or comply with a legal warrant.

  1. If your Counsellor or clinical file is subpoenaed by the courts or a legal warrant is produced.
  2. If you am deemed to be at risk of harm to yourself or others,
  3. If there is an imminent or suspected abuse to a child or vulnerable adult. Please speak to your Counsellor for further explanation.
  4. The Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA) and/or approved clinical supervisor has the right to audit a candidate Counsellor’s files if they perceive a need to protect the public.

Professional Consultations

To maintain a level of professional integrity and ensure best practices in client care, your Counsellor may consult with other Counsellors and/or an approved clinical supervisor. No identifying information will be shared under these circumstances.

Audio Recordings

Your Counsellor uses use audio recording during all sessions (in-person and online). Audio recordings are used to aid with file maintenance (e.g., making notes, reviewing progress). These recordings will be treated in the same secure and confidential way as your file and will not be shared for any other purpose

Information Transmitted via the Internet

Any information transmitted via the internet cannot be guaranteed to be secure. By consenting to take part in online counselling, if applicable, you accept these risks.

Payment

The counselling hour typically allows for 55 minutes with the Counsellor and 5 minutes reserved for file review and notations. Fees for this service, as well as for consultations, reports, and letter writing, are $80.00 per hour. Payment can be made by cash or e-transfer ONLY; we cannot accept debit or credit cards as there are no payment options on site. Online appointments are payable by e-transfer ONLY.

Payment is due immediately before (no more than 3 hours) or immediately after the appointment. If late payment is not received before the next appointment, your appointment will be rescheduled.

Insurance Coverage

We do not do direct billing. Payment accepted in cash or e-transfer and a receipt is given at the end of each session. Please check with your insurance provider regarding coverage. If services are refused your Counsellor will be happy to intervene on your behalf. Sorry, we do not do direct billing.

Cancellation Policy

To avoid being billed for a missed appointment, we require at least 24 hours’ notice for cancellation or reschedule. Missed appointments or short-notice cancellations will be charged at half of your expected session rate. Short notice cancellations will only be in emergency situations (inclement weather, family emergency, etc.). Appointments can be cancelled by phone or email only please. If you arrive late or leave early, you will still be charged for the full session. Please call if you expect to be late.

Insurance law states all missed appointments must be clearly indicated on the receipt. Most insurance companies do not provide coverage for missed appointments.