Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay?

You can pay by E-transfer or credit card or cash. Refuge Counselling does not accept debit card.

E-transfer to: beckymichaluk@gmail.com. No password is needed. Please send your payment immediately following your appointment, unless otherwise arranged. It may take up to two days for your payment to be reflected in your online Account.

To pay with a credit card, login to your online account here, and under "My Account" there is an option to select "Credit Cards on File". Click on that, then select "Add New Card" button located at the top right hand corner of the page. I will charge your card immediately after our session unless otherwise arranged.  Credit card payments are reflected immediately in your online account.

What is the cancellation policy?

Refuge Counselling requires 48 hours cancellation notice. This is to ensure that there is time for another client to take your space. We will waive this fee in case of emergency or sickness. Please email as soon as you know you cannot make your appointment. If less than 48 hours notice is given then you will be charged for your full session fee. Thank-you for your understanding! 

Is my counselling covered by insurance?

If you receive benefits through your employer (called an employee assistance plan or EAP), your insurance may cover all or some of your counselling. The only way to know for sure is to contact your provider and ask them how much is covered. Some plans cover only a few sessions, and only a portion. If you are unsure how to contact your provider, ask your workplace HR person. Employers often have a number they can call to ask provider questions about their benefits, or an online portal that you create an account for and can read your benefits package that way.

 

Some plans will require you to pay upfront, and submit your invoice to them for reimbursement (often via an online portal). Most plans reimburse very quickly within days. Some plans will allow me to bill them directly on your behalf and you do not need to you to pay up front. Please ask your provider if they offer this option and I will be happy to submit your invoice directly to them on your behalf.

 

Most plans want your counsellor to be a Registered Clinical Counsellor (which I am) and some require your counsellor to be a registered psychologist (which I am not). 

 

Currently, mental health counselling is not covered by MSP.

Should I do Online sessions, or In-Office Sessions?

Many clients are reluctant to do Online counselling because they think it is less effective. However, in my experience, Online counselling does not detract from the work we are doing. In fact, there are some additional therapeutic benefits! Being in the comfort of your own home can foster more inner focus, added sense of safety and comfort, and can require less time and money on transportation. 

On the other hand, you can consider the benefits of in-person counselling: being with another human being in presence offers a more somatic experience of connection; visiting a peaceful, healing space which has been set up for inner work is healing; office sessions can be good for getting you out of your home and any potential distractions.

What feels right for you and your counselling goals?

How many sessions will I need?

This is completely up to you and your satisfaction with how much progress you have made. I recommend a minimum of 4 one-hour sessions.  For partners counselling, I recommend a minimum of 12 sessions.

I have never been to counselling, what can I expect?

Counsellors do not give advice, or tell people what to do. A good counsellor will help you discover your true experience, facilitate your emotional processing, and to help you do your own healing work. In the beginning of each session, the client determines the topic of focus. The counsellor recommends an intervention, and gets informed consent from the client to do the intervention. The "intervention" might be to just talk about the situation, or it might be an inner inquiry guided by the counsellor. There is never any pressure to give details, or talk about topics that the client does not want to address. The best therapy is gentle, and works within the zone of comfort and safety. At the end of the session, the counsellor and client might recap/chat about what they discovered or observed. Counsellors usually take  brief notes during a counselling session to track what the goal is, what the intervention was, and any plans for next session.  Counsellors are never making a diagnosis (counsellors do not diagnose). My style of counselling focuses on your insights, and not my own analysis of your situation.  You are welcome to look at our session notes anytime!

How can I let someone know if I am not satisfied with my counselling?

I do my best to foster a transparent environment where you feel comfortable telling me when you are not satisfied with the way counselling is going. I do this by regularly checking in to see if you are finding our sessions helpful. I welcome you to please talk to me directly if you are experiencing any issues around your counselling experience. The integrity of my work entails that I welcome your feedback as an opportunity to become better at my job, and to help you to find a solution that fully meets your needs. Your mental health is my top priority and I am truly at your service in whatever way necessary.

How am I protected as a client?

As a client, you possess rights. You have the right to receive professional and ethical counselling treatment. The BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) protects your rights, and you can file a complaint against any counsellor who you feel has acted in an unethical or unprofessional way. The BCACC ensures that clients have recourse, and counsellors are held accountable. As a BCACC member, I am obligated to follow their comprehensive Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. I take this commitment seriously and it is my goal is to always remain a BCACC member in good standing.  

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