FAQ

What are your fees? For details please see my Payment and Fees page.

Am I covered by MSP? For details please see my Payment and Fees page.

What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist?

Psychologists and psychiatrists have approximately the same number of years of formal training.   The basic difference is the kind of training they have received.

Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine, like your family physician, with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioural problems.  They are able to prescribe medication and their fees are covered by MSP.  In BC they are licenced by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.

Psychologists have graduate training in psychology and specialize in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of human emotion, thought and behaviour. Although they may have training in the use of medication, in BC they are not able to prescribe medication.

Psychologist’s fees are covered by private payment, extended medical plans, Employee Assistance Plans and through government agencies or other special programs.  They are licensed by the College of Psychologist of British Columbia. (See my Ethical Standards page.)

Why should I choose a Psychologist?

When you choose a Psychologist, you can be assured the professional has extensive formal training as well as supervision in their areas of expertise.  In addition, a psychologist must adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional standards and is governed and regulated by the College of Psychologists of BC.

Do I need a referral from a doctor?

No, a referral is not required from a doctor. However, some extended health plans do require a doctor’s referral. Please consult with your plan to determine if a referral is necessary.

How do I choose a therapist?

Perhaps the most important component of therapy or counselling is the fit between you and the psychologist. So, doing your research is important. Make a list of what you are looking for, have a look at some websites, see which psychologists might meet your needs and then make some calls. Choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable.

What kind of problems do you work with? For details please see my Areas of Practice page.

What can I expect the first time I see you?

My goal in the first session is to listen to you tell your story in your own words and ask relevant questions as you go along. This initial session is a slightly structured process so that I can assess your situation and needs and so that we can determine your goals.

During this session you will also assess me, determining whether:

  • you are comfortable with me
  • do I answer your questions adequately
  • do I understand what your are saying
  • do you want to work with me

I understand how difficult it can be for you to reveal such personal information when we first meet, particularly if this is your first experience with a psychologist.  I will always respect any need not to answer questions that you might be uncomfortable with.