When you seek therapy, it is because you want to change something about yourself or your life, but don’t know how to do it on your own.

Depression, anxiety, phobias, past traumas, personal relationships, chronic physical pain and a myriad of other problems can rob your life of enjoyment and a sense of feeling grounded and in control. This can stop you from achieving your full potential. I offer help with making these changes. Any change is possible if you feel safe and understood. I am committed to seeing that change come about. I am a Registered Psychologist (Registration # 1383). You can learn new understandings, new ways of viewing yourself or your world, and new skills which will help you lead the kind of life that you want and be the kind of person you really want to be.  

Finding a Therapist

It may have taken you a long time to reach the decision to seek help. It is hard to open up to a stranger and tell him or her things you have never told anyone else. Therefore, finding the right therapist is really important. It is not just a matter of finding a competent, well trained therapist, it is also about finding someone that matches your personality and makes you feel you are being genuinely understood. Before settling on a therapist, take time to talk to at least three practitioners and ask them questions. You can get a feel for someone even if this is done over the phone. A trained professional should welcome your enquiries. Here is an interesting article that lists 7 Challenges of Psychotherapy (of finding a good therapist and of therapy itself) and what you can do about it.   During this interview you could ask:
  • What training do you have?
  • What organization are you licensed with (e.g., College of Psychologists, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Social Work)?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What is your treatment approach?
  • Do you have experience in my area of concern?
  • How much do you charge?
If you decide to see the therapist for an assessment, which may take one to three sessions, you could ask:
  • How do you view/conceptualize my concerns?
  • What are your suggested treatment goals?
  • What treatment approach do you suggest?
  • How many sessions do you estimate I will need?
  • How will my progress be evaluated?
  • What is your policy for late or missed sessions?
  • What is your policy for between session contact if I need it? What do you charge for this?

The Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist (in BC)

A Psychologist…

  • usually has a doctoral degree and has several years of specialized training in understanding and treating thoughts, feelings and behaviours that lead to a variety of problems.
  • must be registered with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia (CPBC)  which means they have passed a written test of competency and an oral exam by their peers.
  • cannot prescribe medication, so they tend to work with the client’s psychiatrist or family doctor if medication is warranted.
  • is not covered under the Medical Services Plan, but is covered under a number of extended health plans.

A Psychiatrist…

  • has a medical degree (MD) and has taken specialized training (a residency) in psychiatry.
  • can prescribe medication. Some offer counseling along with medication, and some offer only medication.
  • can bill for your sessions on the Medical Services Plan (MSP).
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