Frequently Asked Questions
Below, are a list of frequently asked questions by prospective and new clients. If you have any remaining questions after reviewing this list, please feel free to contact us.
If you would like to review the initial intake documents before your first appointment, please send us an email requesting copies of the forms listed below. Please note, the confidentiality of email cannot be guaranteed (i.e., third party access) and if you are concerned about your privacy or someone locating these documents on your email server, then please wait to meet with one of us in person to review these documents.
You do not have to sign any of these forms until you have met with one of our clinicians and you understand the forms in their entirety. Filling them out ahead of time, however, will help save more time for sharing your concerns and answering any questions you may have.
If you book an appt online, a link to these forms will be included in the appt confirmation email that you will receive.
Initial Intake Form
Social Media Policy
Client Service Contract / Confidentiality Agreement
Yes, we can communicate through email for scheduling purposes. However, we strongly caution you in communicating any confidential or private information with us by email. This is because the confidentiality and security of email communication cannot be guaranteed. All emails are retained in the logs of your and my internet service providers. Although unlikely to occur, these logs are available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the internet service providers. There is also the risk of your emails being read by an authorised third party (i.e., employer, family member, etc). If there is confidential information to be shared please share this information by phone or in person.
The same cautions exist for texting and we strongly discourage communicating by text.
Sessions last for 50 minutes and are $215-$230/session. Payment is required at each session. We accept most major credit cards, cash, cheque, and online bank transfers.
Psychologists' fees are income tax-deductible.
At this time, psychological fees are not covered by Alberta Health Care. However, many people may be eligible to have some of their sessions covered by an employee assistance program available through their work or their spouse's work.
Additionally, whole or partial reimbursement may be available through your extended health care plan (i.e., Blue Cross, Manulife, Great West, etc). Please keep in mind that your extended health care plan is separate from your employee assistance program.
Some of our team members are also approved providers for the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), Veteran Affairs, and RCMP. You will need to present your respective cards/identification numbers at the time of your appointment.
It will be important to discuss the coverage details with your specific plan(s) prior to starting any psychological services.
If your circumstances do not allow you to cover the full cost of a therapy session, please contact us directly to discuss other options.
Due to it being difficult for waitlisted clients to have enough time to accept time-slots that open up in our schedule for the following day, our clinic requires 48-hour notice for cancellations or rescheduling. This helps our clinic to meet the needs of our all clients and to ensure waitlisted clients are not unnecessarily left...well...waiting.
Unless you provide 48-hour notice, you will be responsible for the full cost of your session. Further sessions will not be arranged until late cancellation or no-show fees are paid.
To clarify, this means that if your appointment is at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, then you must cancel or reschedule your appointment by 3:00 pm on Sunday.
If you have an appointment on Monday morning, and thus need to cancel by Saturday morning to meet the 48-hour requirement, then it is best to cancel your appt online (rather than calling the office). This is because the office is not open on weekends, and canceling online releases the appointment immediately for another client to book.
If payment is not received, then your file will be closed.
Counselling is not always an easy process but it is usually a beneficial one. Although we cannot promise that all your goals will be achieved, by working together, clarifying what goals are most important to you, and deciding what steps are needed to begin working towards those goals, changes can usually occur. Counselling will involve some hard work and dedication from you in order to achieve the results you want.
In general, counselling usually involves getting to know each other and sharing your personal information at a pace that you feel comfortable with. At times, sharing this information may be difficult as you may have not shared certain thoughts, feelings, or beliefs with anyone else due to fear of judgment, looking 'stupid,' and feeling 'crazy.'
As therapists and counsellors, we have heard and seen almost all types of thoughts and fears, and there is little left that surprises us. By sitting in our therapy chairs over the years, we have become intimately acquainted with the fears that many people hold and we know full-heartedly just how common many ‘seemingly unique’ concerns really are. The beauty of this truth is that if concerns are universal and shared by other people besides yourself, then there is little chance that there is something fundamentally flawed with you (which also happens to be a very common fear/concern). Rather, it may be how you currently perceive or think about your circumstances or skills that need strengthening in a certain area; both of which are things that can be changed. We can relate to these struggles and the fear of judgement personally as the team members at PsychSolutions have also sat in the chair of the client and received our own therapy when needed. We do this because as a team, we believe in the effectiveness of counselling and we are strong advocates that to be a therapist, one MUST first work through their 'own stuff' and know what it is like to sit in the chair of the client.
Finally, although counselling can feel like you are talking to a trusted friend, counselling is VERY different from friendship. As your therapist, a professional, we are here to help you gain understanding and insight into yourself, your concerns, and how you interact with others. Although we may briefly share some of our own personal learnings when appropriate and beneficial for you, the focus of our sessions is on you and not us. Our therapeutic relationship is not bi-directional. This means that your time with one of our team members is for you. You are not responsible for us or our well-being. You are only responsible for participating in your own growth.
During the first session, we will go over the forms you completed and answer any questions you may have. Your therapist will then conduct an assessment (sometimes this may be just questions asked while you are sharing your story or it may also include filling out some questionnaires or tests). The assessment will help us understand what your current concerns are, their severity, if there are any life-threatening or safety issues, what your coping strategies are, and what your support system looks like. It will also help us to understand what you want to get out of therapy and the specific goals you would like to achieve. Near the end of the session, we will summarize the information gathered and discuss what could or needs to be completed before the next session. At times, certain insights may have arisen during the session and we may spend some time discussing those and how you can begin to implement them in your life.
Depending on how complex your situation is or how much information there is for you to share, we may not be able to cover everything you want to within the first session and some of the information gathering may occur over a few sessions.
After the first session, however, subsequent sessions usually start with an update on what has happened since the last session and then move towards either exploring your thoughts and beliefs and/or working on strategies that will help you towards your goals.
On average, most people will attend 8-12 sessions before ending therapy. For some people, the number of sessions may be lower or higher. When therapy ends, there is always the option to leave the door open for future sessions on an as needed basis or what some people call “booster sessions.”
However, if your situation changes unexpectedly and you can no longer attend, then it is advisable to arrange for at least one closing session. This will allow for us to wrap up and bring closure to any of the work we were doing.
Before starting your therapy journey, it's important for us, at PsychSolutions, that you understand your privacy rights as a client and what limitations exist.
First of all, you have the right to share what you want to share. If you do not want to discuss a particular topic, you have the right to say, “not now,” not yet,” or “pass.” You also have the right to leave a session if you want too. You get to decide what is discussed in the therapy room, what your goals are, and which therapeutic strategies or tools are used or not used. You are the boss!
Before booking or having a session with one of our therapists at PsychSolutions, and prior to disclosing any personal or sensitive information, let us first go over what your privacy rights are as a client and what limitations currently exist. If, at any point, during your therapy, you have questions about your privacy rights or what is in your file, please ask your therapist to review these points with you again.
Below are two separate sections with information relevant for 1) Adults and 2) Dependant Adults and Minors.
As an adult, you have full right to confidentiality, but several limitations exist. Examples of limitations include, but are not limited to:
- Expressing a desire to harm/kill yourself, someone else, or an animal,
- If we receive a subpoena or summons for your file from the courts or Workers Compensation Board,
- If you arrive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you insist on driving (and refuse alternate arrangements),
- If a medical emergency arises,
- Third-Party Payment
- Debt collection procedures
- If you consent to having information shared with an entity (e.g., a business) or someone else.
If we provide services to you through a third party (someone else paying for your sessions), such as an agency, insurance carrier, employee assistance program, or your lawyer, then these third parties may have the legal right to access your information. If this is the case for you, it will be important to establish prior to therapy, who would have access to and control of your information and for what purposes.
If you have concerns about this, please speak with your therapist AND your third party directly.
2. Dependent Adults and Minors
Anyone under the age of 18 years or who is deemed to be a "dependant adult," the above limitations also apply.
However, as a dependant adult or minor, legal guardians/parents may have a right to the information shared during the provision of services.
Often, however, therapeutic work is stalled if there are fears that a legal guardian or parent will access private information. In our experience, an agreement made in advance (between the dependant adult or minor, the legal guardians/parents, and me) about what information will be shared and when allows enough trust in the therapeutic process to occur so that work towards goals can occur. Without this prior arrangement and establishment of trust, we have found that clients will rarely engage in therapy and therefore, therapy is not beneficial or productive.
Divorced or Separated Parents: Normally, consent from only one of the parents is required. However, if the minor's legal guardians/parents are separated or divorced, then both parents must agree to and sign the consent form prior to the minor beginning therapy unless a court order or custody agreement stipulates otherwise.
In our experience, it is usually more beneficial to have both parents involved. At times, this is not possible, and if this is the case with your family, then the specifics involving your family can be discussed in more detail during your first consultation meeting.
Involvement of Other Professionals: Additionally, if there is a team of professionals working with the minor (i.e., Family and Children Services, family doctor, psychiatrist, teachers, etc), then a discussion will need to be held about what information will be shared with the minor's "team" in order to ensure a streamlined approach can occur and that all "team members" are working collaboratively and or on the "same page" with each other.
Mature Minor: Finally, there are times when an older minor may not want to obtain parental consent for services. If you are a "mature minor," and you have been deemed to have sufficient understanding and cognitive skills to fully understand what counselling involves (i.e., risks and benefits), then you may not require parental consent. If you are not deemed to be a mature minor, then you can access counselling through your school as guidance and counselling services are considered an integral part of your school program, and thus parental consent is not required.
In short, your privacy is very important to us. Discussing your privacy rights and current limitations will be a vital part of your work with your therapist. We encourage you to discuss your privacy rights with your therapist on a regular basis, in addition to what information is being documented. Understanding all of this prior to and throughout your therapy journey can make the journey feel safer and more rewarding. Again, you always have the right to decide what to tell your therapist about yourself and to decide together, what your plan of action will be if any of the above situations occur.
Prior to entering a clinical or therapeutic relationship with one of our team members, it will be very important that you understand what a social media policy is and how not following it may impact your confidentiality and your work. If you would like a copy of this policy, please email with this request. As your therapy continues, you can revisit any questions you may have regarding this policy.
When sending messages to PsychSolutions, so there are no surprises, it is important for you to know that this correspondence may have to be kept for at least 11 years, as per current legal requirements - particularly if you disclose potential harm to self or others. We strongly recommend you read about the privacy limitations briefly mentioned under our FAQ page. This will ensure you understand, in advance, what PsychSolutions, Inc., can and cannot keep private as well when we may have to get assistance to ensure your safety or the safety of others. Also, please do not share any information related to sexual issues (e.g., abuse/assault) until you met with a therapist and have been briefed on the Alberta laws regarding record keeping when these types of issues are mentioned to regulated professionals. It is VERY IMPORTANT TO US THAT YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS & LIMITS TO PRIVACY and we also recognize that these privacy warnings may not be relevant to why you are contacting us :).