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Frequently Asked Questions

It's so common when embarking on something new such as therapy, or even when starting with a new psychologist to have many questions. Here are my efforts to answer the most commonly asked.....

   

Where are you located?

 

My office is on the south side of Edmonton in the Terrace Office Tower; a building attached to the Radisson Hotel. The main entrance to the building faces west onto Calgary Trail, and free parking is available anywhere out front of the building. Once inside the tower, please take the elevator to the 8th floor, and have a seat in the waiting area. My official address is 830, 4445 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, AB  T6H 5R7.

Are you taking on new clients?

Yes and no. Currently my practice is full with a few people on my waiting list and so I am not taking on new clients at this time as the waiting time for a first session is just too long for what I feel is responsible care. I do update this portion of my website as my availability changes and I always encourage people to reach out to me as my wait list can fluctuate.  

Do you offer virtual sessions?

I am pleased to be able to offer virtual or telehealth sessions through the Zoom platform. Telebehavioural health (TBH) – the provision of psychological services through the use of telephone, video conferencing and /or other digital means (e.g. text) has allowed me to continue to provide psychological services through the pandemic and will continue to be an integral part of my practice going forward. Why?? Because the evidence supports its effectiveness, it has a convenience factor that is critical for many people, and it allows me to see anyone within the province of Alberta which allows for those who might otherwise not have access to traditional mental health services to receive care. Of course, as with any form of therapy there are benefits and risks that are important for you to know about when thinking about virtual sessions.​

 

Do you offer evening or weekend spots?

No. My latest appointments of the day begin at 1:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday or 2:30pm on Thursday. Naturally, these spots are in high demand and are often booked many weeks out. Thursday appointments are virtual appointments, so sessions would be using the Zoom platform. I do try to accommodate other times that would allow for less disruption to your work day such as a 7:30am spot on Tuesdays and an 8am spot on Thursdays, as well as 12 noon and 12:30pm spots on Monday through Friday.    

Are you covered by Alberta Health Care?

No. I am not covered by Alberta Health care. I do, however, have all the credentials you need to be reimbursed by your extended health care benefits if you have them, or if you have a partner that has extended health care coverage. I will provide a digital receipt each session that you can then submit to your provider to receive reimbursement. If you do not have extended health care benefits, receipts can be saved and used as a medical expense deduction on your next year's income tax filing. 

How much does therapy cost?

I follow the recommended fee schedule by the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta. For me, these fees reflect the number of years I have been in practice, that I have the highest level of education to practice as a Psychologist in Canada, and my advanced clinical level of skills and ongoing training. They are as follows:

  • Individual Therapy/Assessment    $220.00
     

  • Group Therapy (per two hours)     $125.00
     

  • Expert Witness Testimony (half-day minimum fee)       $1300.00
     

  • Expert Witness Testimony (full day minimum fee)         $2600.00
     

  • Consultation/Corporate Services (half day)        $1000.00
     

  • Consultation/Corporate Services (full day)          $2000.00
     

  • Report writing, telephone consultation, letters & form completion is billed at the rate of the service being provided.
     

  • Billing can also occur in 10 minute increments for services done outside the therapy hour such as phone calls, letters & the like calculated at one-fifth the hourly rate for each 10 minutes. Incremental billings are also appropriate for services provided beyond a 50-minute session.

 

Fees for specialized services & treatments not listed on the above schedule may exceed the current recommended guidelines.

 

Since the onset of COVID, all payment now occurs through e-transfer. I ask for payment either immediately before or following our session (same day) as you would with other professional services. In individual cases, we can discuss a payment process that meets your unique needs. 

 

Once payment is received, I will issue you a digital receipt which you can then submit to your extended health care provider (e.g. Sunlife, Blue Cross) if you have one, or save as an income tax deduction as a Medical Expense through your next year’s Income Tax Filing. 

Please note that I have all the credentials required for you to be reimbursed through your extended health care provider and you do NOT require a physician referral to access my services. 

At the current time, I ONLY direct bill to the PFSP, NIHB and IRS programs.

 

I've never seen a psychologist before, what can I expect?

Although each initial session is unique to the needs of individual clients, there are some predictable components. I always begin our first session by welcoming you into my office and allowing you time to get settled.

 

After a brief introduction, I will review with you my practice paperwork that details my services and fees, limits of confidentiality, consent to treatment (including risks and benefits), policies and practices related to tele-health, email and text services, COVID, your consent to the release and obtaining of information about you with other members of your treatment team (if necessary/ wanted), and the collection of basic demographic information.

 

Once we have addressed those details, I then progress to telling you briefly about me and how I practice.

 

Finally, we move towards hearing what brought you into my office; the crux to the information gathering time. Through that time, I will ask you a range of questions as I endeavor to learn more about you, your areas of concern, primary goals for therapy, and whether what you are looking for is what I can offer therapeutically.

 

I will end our time together by letting you know what I think I can offer you and then will encourage you to think about that material, often with specific instructions of more focused ways to observe and describe specific areas of difficulty to bring forward to the next session.

 

Learn more about what to expect from Individual Therapy here.

What is confidentiality?

Confidentiality within a therapeutic relationship means that for the most part, any information you share with me is private. I will not and cannot share your personal information without your consent. I do take written or typed notes through our session, which I later translate into more formal notes for a file which I store on an electronic medical system named OWL.  Any rough notes I make are later shredded. The primary exceptions to this promise of confidentiality are legally based and involve situations where you share information that tells me that you are intending to hurt someone, to hurt yourself, where the possible abuse or neglect of a child or dependent adult is in question, and / or where your file is subpoenaed through a legal process you may be involved in. In essence, situations involving safety or issues related to legal processes. More recently, the WCB act states that as a treatment provider I now have a duty to inform WCB when a client has experienced a work place injury – including psychological injuries. 

If you are referred by your insurance company, including WCB, they will be requesting updates as to your progress, treatment goals, areas of concern, and in some cases likelihood of ability to return to work. In these situations, confidentiality is differently contracted, and by nature of the insurance company paying for my services, they are entitled to receive information that answers mutually agreed upon treatment goals and outcomes. As a client, it is important for you to know that I endeavor to provide the least amount of information possible to satisfy their needs whilst protecting your privacy. 

Confidentiality is of utmost importance to me as a psychologist. I believe it takes tremendous courage to come in and talk with a stranger about typically very personal issues. Given this, I take the privilege of knowing your personal information very seriously and work diligently to safeguard that information.

Confidentiality and teens: If you are a teen/ pre-teen coming to my practice, the above general information about confidentiality completely applies, regardless of age. As a minor, however, special considerations are taken by me to assess levels of imminent risk when engaging in certain behaviours (the common ones being sex, drugs, and/or life threatening behaviours/ potentially life threatening behaviours) and the need to inform your parent(s)/ guardian. Given that I believe we are equals in a real relationship, I will always endeavour to engage in that process transparently and collaboratively with you whilst balancing your needs for privacy with risk/ safety. Short version – I don’t go behind a client’s back if I have concerns. Rather, we figure out a way, together, to share the necessary and minimal amount of information to ensure safety. 

             

How are you managing COVID risk within your practice?

Throughout the pandemic, I have relied upon the science supporting best practices in COVID risk mitigation. In that regard, I am double vaccinated with two boosters, and require everyone who comes into my office space (waiting area and office area) to wear a medical grade mask (i.e. no cloth masks) throughout the duration of your time in my space. If you do not have a mask and/ or you forget one time, I will provide a K95 mask for you that can then become your ‘therapy’ mask as it is good for 40h of wear.

 

Due to some health needs for both myself and some in my immediate family, I have a select number of in-person sessions on Monday through Wednesdays and Fridays. If you are desiring an in person session, we can discuss the specifics of this further in our intake process before committing to an intake time. In addition to mask wearing within my waiting area and office, I have HEPA air filters running in both the waiting area and within my office, and I ask that anyone who is symptomatic (with anything), please not come to an in person session. I also have a COVID screening questionnaire that is part of the intake process and that I ask people to review prior to coming to each session. All of these mitigation practices and the cooperation of my clients allow me to provide the lowest exposure risk possible for my most vulnerable clients. 

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