You've got questions? I've got answers.

What usually prompts your clients to seek counselling?

There can be a lot of different reasons someone seeks out the support of a counsellor and anyone can benefit from professional counselling.  Some of the challenges I help people through most often include stress, anxiety and phobias, mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and SAD, struggles with negative thoughts and unhelpful beliefs about yourself, others or the world, low self-esteem, anger, ADHD, self-harming behaviours and suicidal ideation, trauma, borderline personlity disorder (BPD) and attachment issues. I also have a special passion for supporting people through difficulties related to distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and skill building.

What can I expect from counselling & how can it help?

Sometimes, therapy is about having a safe and non-judgmental space to get whatever is bothering you out in the open which allows you time to talk about your feelings instead of bottling them up.  At times, it's about having an objective ear to pick up on patterns that may not be best serving you and gaining insight as to what purpose these coping patterns haveThrough exploring your abilities and brainstorming solutions as a team, we can discover what changes or strategies will most positively impact your life and allow you to  break free from maladaptive cycles. On occasion, we may dive deep into painful feelings and past experiences that need to be healed in order to move forward fully in the present.  Other times, learning positive ways of coping, communicating, or trying new skills is the type of support needed to level up your life

At all times, I will be there to hold space for what you are needing that day and support you through it.

I value handling things on my own- aren't people who get counselling weak?

Not at all- in fact, I believe it's very much the opposite. Reaching out and asking for help takes a lot of courage, as does showing up for yourself every day by practicing the new skills learned in sessions or daring to try something new and hard.  We all have aspects of ourselves that we could improve and everyone needs helps sometimes- just because you can handle hard things on your own doesn't mean you have to.! Through our work together, we will explore and highlight your strengths and how they can best be applied to find solutions to the current problems you're dealing with.

Why is talking to you different than talking to my family or friends?

Friends and family are a crucial part of one's support system for sure, but sometimes people face problems that they don't feel comfortable sharing with their inner circle or that their friends and family aren't equipped to deal with. Those closest to us also can't always provide objective feedback. A mental health profession is trained to help one approach situations with fresh eyes and unbiased insight. In addition to new perspectives, a counsellor can teach you new skills and provide a safe space to share that is totally confidential and non-judgmental. Sometimes people are also hesitant to lean on their family or friends for emotional support because they don't want to "burden" them or worry them- mental health supports are trained to deal with difficult times so that you can lean on them without worrying about any potential negative impact. 

Do you accept insurance?

I am currently not offering direct billing to insurance companies. However, I am happy to provide an invoice for services which you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement if my services are covered.  Some health plans provide coverage for certified counsellors services. If you have a plan, it is up to you to get in touch with your insurance provider prior to our first session to determine if they cover counselling services.

Some important questions to ask your provider may include: 

-Does my plan cover the services of a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) approved by the CCPA or a Licensed Counselling Therapist-Candidate (LCT-C) approved by the CCTNB who engage in private practice? If so, how much coverage do I have each year?

-Does my plan reimburse 100% of the amount or will I have to pay a portion of each session? How do I submit my claim for reimbursement?

-Do I require a doctors referral to qualify for coverage?

How is my information and privacy protected while doing online counselling?

Protecting your personal information and confidentiality online is one of my top priorities. For this reason, I use the practice management system Jane, which holds clients personal information and session notes, takes care of credit card information and invoicing and offers secure, encrypted video chats. This software is compliant with both Nova Scotia's Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) and Canadian privacy laws (PIPEDA) regarding online information to ensure your safety.  Using Jane as an Electronic Medical Record means everything done online is encrypted, none of the data is saved anywhere ever and no video, audio or chats are recorded, as required by privacy regulations to protect you. If you prefer to speak over the phone or text, I will contact you using an encrypted phone number for enhanced security.  

Should I just take medicine?

Medication can definitely be effective for some people, but it is not the answer for everyone nor a magic solution. Sometimes medication is helpful in conjunction with counselling to be able to get the most out of talk therapy and other times, counselling alone to unearth underlying unresolved issues that may be maintaining the problem is what's needed. It is different for everyone!

How long will it take?

This is another aspect that is unique to everyone- in short, it is hard to give an accurate guess of how long each person will need in counselling, as their special circumstances, motivation, abilities, experiences, current issues and more will impact the length of time it takes.  What I can say with certainty is that one's success in counselling will be enhanced by their level of commitment, their desire for personal growth and their active participation throughout the process.  Showing up is half the battle!