FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a treatment approach based on talk therapy to address psychological problems and mental disorders. I generally practice a combination of Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness oriented therapy which tend to complement each other. CBT focuses on thoughts and beliefs and research has shown it to be one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy. Mindfulness incorporates our thoughts, emotions and physical selves as a working whole promoting a more holistic approach to tapping into our emotional, physical and intellectual resources.

The length of therapy depends on the type of problem to be addressed and the situational and individual factors at the time. Some people benefit from two or three sessions whereas some require more long term therapy depending on their treatment goals.

Are my sessions confidential?

Yes. Nothing you tell me can be released to anyone without your written permission. However, there are several legal exceptions to confidentiality, which will be explained at the beginning of the first session. These exceptions are:

  1. Information is sought with a court subpoena.

  2. When an individual is in immediate danger, steps must be taken to warn or to protect the individual. This occurs when there is a direct threat made against an individual or when you, the client, are seen to be in immediate danger of suicide.

  3. There is a child in need of protection.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist?

Psychiatrists are physicians with special training in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. They can prescribe medication and, though many do psychotherapy, they more often take a medical approach to the treatment of mental disorders. Their services are covered under the Medical Services Plan, but there are usually long waiting lists to see a psychiatrist.

Psychologists have a PhD in either clinical or counselling psychology. They are particularly trained in assessment, diagnosis and psychotherapy. Their approach to mental disorders is to provide psychotherapy aimed at helping the client solve their own problems. Psychologists are highly trained in research and their practice tends to be informed by research into the psychological treatment of mental disorders. Psychologists, along with physicians and psychiatrists, are the only mental health professional able to provide official/legal diagnosis of a mental disorder. Psychologists' fees are not covered under the MSP, but are covered by many extended health plans.

What about fees and payment?

My fees are based on the recommended rates of the British Columbia Psychological Association. The current rate is $175.00 for a one hour session. I accept cash and cheques but I am not able to accept credit cards. Payment is requested at the end of each session. Psychological treatment is not covered by MSP. However, many employee plans and extended health care benefit packages offer all or partial coverage for registered psychologists. As these plans vary, you will need to check with your plan to ascertain your level of coverage.

As a courtesy to myself and other clients, I request 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your session. This allows me some time to try to rebook that session. Without notice, you will be asked to pay for that session.

For further information please contact me at 604.473.6465 or at katystrachan@shaw.ca .