What can I expect when I call for services?
We will talk to you about what type of service you might be looking for, such as counselling sessions to help with a particular problem or area of concern in your life, formal assessment for diagnosis, divorce mediation, school-based concerns, etc. You may be asked about benefit coverage or be encouraged to find out the type of coverage you have access to, to help increase your potential financial reimbursement for services received. We will have a quick chat about costs for services, and will then book our first appointment.
What is the cost?
The fee-guide rate for psychology services is $190 per 50-minute session. Services are eligible for full or partial reimbursement through health benefit plans and health spending accounts, and may also be claimed as a medical expense on your income tax return.
In extenuating circumstances our psychologist Associates are able to make adjustments to the fee-guide rate. Please let us know if fees are a concern.
For clients without benefit coverage or for those families in need due to low income or other factors, counselling services are available on a Sliding Scale. Our counsellors Lisa and Joanne are able to provide services to clients on a Sliding Scale.
Is my first phone call confidential? Are my sessions confidential?
Yes*. There are times when it may make sense to collaborate with other professionals regarding your care. However, this will only occur if you provide consent for us to do so.
*Provincial legislation dictates that there are limits to confidentiality. In circumstances when a person is at imminent risk of harming themselves or another identified person or group of persons, or when there is reasonable suspicion that a minor is being exposed to any form of abuse, a psychologist is required to break confidentiality and follow reporting procedures
What will my first session be like?
On your first session, come in and take a seat in the waiting room at #103, 191 Edwards Way SW. When your appointment time has arrived, we will come to the waiting room and head into our therapy office.
When the first session begins, we will go over some paperwork together (such as the consent form and fees/invoicing form), check-in to see if you may have any questions about the forms, and then will begin to gather some information from you. Your psychologist will jot down details about your family tree and other important people in your life to help get an understanding of where you are at and how you may be impacted by others. There may be some screening questions about substance use, exposure to abuse, family history of depression, anxiety, or other related issues. This information is voluntary of course, but can be quite helpful to formulating a treatment plan, etc. We will check-in with you again to see how you are doing and how the session is going for you (Hint: a client’s honest feedback to their psychologist during session is extremely valuable information, and will always be taken with understanding and a sincere effort to match their style to your needs). We will be through the first half of our session by now, and the second half will be focused on: 1. What brought you in for counselling/therapy, and 2. What parts of your life will be different when counselling is successful. (Hint: It is extremely common for people to answer those last two questions with “I don’t know”. That is completely okay. It is your psychologist’s job to ask the right questions and provide the interventions that will help to find answers to those questions.) Now we will wrap up with a final check-in (to your comfort level): How are you doing? Do you feel like this might be a good fit for you? What parts did you like/not like? And finally, when would you like to meet again?
Is a therapist the same as a counsellor? …And is that the same as a psychologist?
Some registered mental health professionals may refer to themselves as counsellors or therapists, depending on the type of work they do (i.e. Play-Therapy, Art Therapy, Group Counselling, and Guidance Counsellor).
However, the names therapist and counsellor are not protected under the Health Professions Act in Alberta. In other words, technically any person could go ahead and call themselves a counsellor or therapist. On the other hand, only a psychologist on the registrar with College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) may refer to themselves as a psychologist, as this name is protected under the Health Professions Act in Alberta.
What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
A psychiatrist in is a medical doctor who has completed a 5-year residency training program and may assess for and treat symptoms related to mental health. A psychiatrist typically works in a hospital setting with children, adolescents, and adults, and is able to prescribe medication.
A psychologist has a minimum of 6-years post-secondary education, including a Master’s Degree and internship in Psychology and 1600 hours of supervised clinical practice. A psychologist at Restored Wellness is able to perform many professional activities, including: intervention to promote functioning and sense of well-being; formal and/or general assessment that may result in diagnosis and/or written report to help others understand what you may need, or to guide treatment in session; consultation to others to provide professional advice for the purpose of resolving problems (i.e. to help a school understand how they might understand and support a child).
What kind of training does my psychologist have?
A psychologist has a minimum of 6-years post-secondary education, including a Master’s Degree in Psychology (with clinical internship). In addition, Registered Psychologists in Alberta complete a 1600-hour supervised clinical/counselling residency (usually completed in 1-3 years), a rigorous panel ethics examination, and standardized formal examination.
Can I use my company benefits to help pay for sessions?
Benefit providers such as Blue Cross, Manulife, and Great-West Life (etc.) offer financial reimbursement for psychology services provided by a Registered Psychologist. Some benefit plans may stipulate a maximum they will cover per session (i.e. they may cover $50 per session, up to a maximum of $500 per calendar year), while others may cover any amount per session, up to their stated maximum (i.e. $1700 per calendar year).
So how do I get reimbursement for my sessions then?
On the day of your session, you will receive an invoice stating the amount you have paid for psychology services received at Restored Wellness Inc. If you have coverage for this service, simply submit your invoice to your benefit provider for reimbursement. Hint: Registering for direct deposit with your benefit provider may mean you can be refunded some or all of your cost for sessions just a few days later!
How does counselling / therapy work, what can I expect for an outcome?
Counselling/therapy is a collaborative process between yourself and your psychologist. Psychologists may draw upon different orientations/frameworks/models to guide their practice. When techniques from these models are used in session, they are a type of intervention and come from evidence-based psychological knowledge (in other words, they have been researched, peer reviewed, and are deemed to be effective) and your psychologist is trained, experienced, and competent in working from these models.
In terms of outcomes, it is important to be aware of your own readiness for change, as well as your expectations for sessions. The “I’m here because my spouse/partner/parent/boss said I need to, but I don’t want to change anything” scenario may be leaning toward different outcomes and time-lines than the “I have some general idea of things/scenarios/thoughts/feelings I would like to be different, and I want to put in some effort in session and in my life” scenario.
We will show you how to identify specific, measurable goals for change so that you are able to really notice when there has been progress and positive outcome from the investment you have made in yourself and your well-being.
Will I be in counselling / therapy forever?
We want you to be able to go on lead a happy, productive, meaningful life. Sessions are not meant to go on forever; the purpose is for you to get the tools you need so you can move on and realize real change in your life.
Can you prescribe medication if I need it?
Prescription privileges are reserved for medical doctors in Canada. If you are currently taking anti-depressants or another related medication, or you feel that this option might be a good fit for you, we may provide professional consultation to your physician in applicable situations.
If I use your mediation services, do I still need a lawyer for separation / divorce?
Mediation is voluntary and the results of mediation are not legally binding. You may make your mediation agreement legal through a lawyer, Family Court Counsellor, Justice Services, or on your own.
Can I do sessions over the phone?
So much happens during a counselling session that would be lost without being face-to-face and being able to tune in to non-verbal communication. To provide quality care, we prefer to not hold counselling sessions over the phone.
Can I do sessions over videoconference?
Geographical distance, car troubles, and dangerous weather are just a few instances when videoconference might be useful. We are able to provide this service when necessary.
Can I bring my baby to a session?
Babes in arms are welcome to attend session. Many other professionals and their clients may be sensitive to loudness or screaming. Little babes who are feeling calm and happy will help mommies and daddies relax and focus on themselves during session.
How often do I need to have sessions?
In most cases it is ideal to book the second session within one week, with weekly and bi-weekly appointments to follow.
I don’t want my spouse / partner to know I’m attending counselling. Can contact be discrete?
Yes. Our contact form on the website will allow you to tell us your preferred method of contact. If safety is a concern we will discuss details in session regarding a safety planning and how to handle our invoices, billing, and communication if necessary.
My child needs accommodations for their Diploma Exam in Grade 12. What should I do?
Contact us to find out more about this process.