How do I know if counselling is right for me?

The decision to participate in counselling is an individual one, and a voluntary one. Choosing to talk to a trained and caring mental health professional does not imply something is wrong with you. In fact, there is strength in being ready to tell your story. There is resilience in knowing you are capable of doing the work to move through your struggles. There is courage in taking steps forward, and there is wisdom in doing so with support. The discussions we have throughout counselling are constructive, healing, and focused.

It can be difficult to open up to friends or family about your struggles. As mental health professionals, Vanessa and Valerie are objective, active listeners with mental health expertise. It can help to talk to someone neutral and unbiased. Counselling takes place in a safe space, free of judgement, where the focus is on what you want and need, while providing you with practical strategies and constructive feedback that you can incorporate into your daily life and relationships. Counselling can be a very positive and powerful tool in taking care of yourself. It may be reassuring to know that approximately 1 in 5 people engage in counselling at one point or another during their lifetime.

What can I expect during our first session?

Some clients may feel nervous before starting counselling, not knowing what to say, or do. During our first session, we will discuss what brings you to counselling, and get to know one another better, so that you can feel comfortable sharing your personal experiences. Our initial session is where we may discuss your expectations of counselling, and any goals you may have (in terms of how you might like to feel, or what you might like to address or accomplish by the end of our sessions together). Prior to your first appointment, we will send you an intake questionnaire and consent forms through a program we use called Jane. Your therapist will review your responses to your intake questionnaire and may ask for more information so that I can gain a clear understanding of where you are at present, so that we can collaborate a plan to get you where you want to be. We take time to get to know our clients – their preferences, strengths, and difficulties, so that our plan for therapy, and any recommendations are tailored to you and effective for you.

While engaging in counselling involves some vulnerability in sharing personal information about your inner experiences and your life, we will help you manage and strive to grow from feelings of discomfort. The more open and honest you can be during time together, the more you will likely benefit from the experience. Moreover, we always welcome client feedback at any stage of the counselling process so that you can get the most out of your service.

Will my spouse, employer, doctor, etc. know that I’m in counselling?

Everything about your service, including the fact that you may be a client is kept strictly private and confidential. We are bound by law and ethical obligation to protect your privacy. Your therapist will only only ever share specific, and time-limited information about your care with another person if you have provided your written consent. Note, however, that there are specific and rare limitations to confidentiality where we may need to disclose information, such as if you are at imminent risk of harm, or if there is abuse or neglect of a child. When we begin counselling, we will discuss the limitations of confidentiality.

I really need to see a counsellor, but I can’t afford the full fee, what can I do?

We reserve a specific number of spaces in our calendar for clients who are experiencing financial hardship. Depending on our availability, we may be able to provide a set number of sessions at a lower fee. We can also provide you with recommendations of community resources that do not charge for service.

Are your services covered by insurance?

Psychotherapy, and services provided by Registered Psychotherapists and Qualifying Psychotherapists are covered by most extended benefits plans. If you are covered for Social Work, you may opt to receive services from Valerie. We encourage clients to check their benefit coverage. Many clients are able to submit their receipts for reimbursement of the session fee. Clients who are not reimbursed or are partially reimbursed for sessions through their benefits can claim psychotherapy or social work receipts at tax time.

I don’t live in Timmins, but I’d like to work with you, is this possible?

Yes! We offer video sessions by phone or secure video platform.

Can we extend our session length to meet for longer than 50 minutes?

You are welcome to book more time for your session. We offer 1.5 hour appointments on client request. During your regular appointments, it is important to conclude our session within the 50 minutes allotted (or 80 minutes for extended sessions) for scheduling purposes. Booking longer appointments may be suitable for • dealing with complex issues • to take a relaxed pace during session • for a new or immediate (but non-emergency) situation you are dealing with • for couples and family counselling • when you invite a partner or support person to your session.

Other important information:

Scheduling or cancelling appointments requires 24 hours notice.

Your appointment time is time that is reserved for your benefit, your therapist has prioritized and planned for this time spent with you. 50% of the session fee is charged for missing, cancelling, or re-scheduling an appointment with less than 24 hours notice prior to the appointment.

Upon booking your first session, you will receive intake and consent forms to be completed 24 hours before your appointment, so that we are both prepared for your first session. If you would like to book a session outside of our regular availability, feel free to email vanessa@claritycounsellingservices or vlabellesavard@hotmail.com.

Would you like to discuss how you can benefit from counselling?
We offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.
You may book an appointment easily online at: claritycounsellingservices.janeapp.com