How do I book an appointment?
The easiest and quickest way is to phone me @ 780-416-0224 and leave a message on my confidential voice mail. I check my phone messages regularly throughout the day. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will check my email and respond at least once per day. Please be aware that I cannot guarantee confidentiality via email as it is not a secure method of communicating.
Will it be you answering the phone when I call?
When you call 780-416-0224, either I will answer directly or it will be my confidential voice mail--I am the only one who checks the messages. I can be hard to reach directly sometimes as I am usually either in sessions or at home with my family. However, my confidential voicemail is updated regularly and it will usually let you know when I will be checking my messages next. I almost always return my calls within the same day, however on rare occasion I have to race out of my office and cannot do so. I always return them within 24 hours so if you haven't heard from me within 24 hours please call again as my machine may have acted up and made it difficult to hear your return number (has happened a few times!). When you use the Talk Now or Live Help features it will connect you with an answering service.
What happens at the first session?
Please arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete some brief paperwork....look for the clipboard with a note on it to you. It will be on the sideboard table that has the tea and coffee on it. By the way, help yourself to tea, coffee or hot chocolate. As for how the session goes, no need to worry, I will start the first session off. Usually I begin with a review of the paperwork and some of my policies. Then, I will ask a few more questions about you and your situation. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask them at any time. Some of the questions I might ask to get us going include, "Have you been in counselling before? If so, what did you like or not like about it?" and "What brings you to counselling at this time?". During this initial session, my goal is to get a sense of your concern, what you have already tried in order to resolve the problem, and what other factors might be influencing your issue. As well, I want you to get a sense of who I am, how I work with people, and what I can offer you in terms of treatment and interventions. I look forward to meeting you soon.
How long is a session?
Sessions last for 50 minutes. Generally appointments are booked at either 10 minutes past the hour and run to the top of the hour (e.g., 8:10 to 9:00) or at 40 minutes past the hour and run until half past the hour (e.g., 11:40 to 12:30). Double sessions (100 mins) are used for EMDR and can be arranged for other situations as needed (double fees apply). Please arrive about 10 minutes early for your first session as there will be a couple of forms in the waiting room for you to complete.
How often will I need to come?
This is a very individual decision and depends on each person's unique situation as well as on practical issues such as availability. In general, if people are in crisis at the time of beginning counselling I prefer to set appointments weekly at first and then switch to every second week as things become more stable. Most people begin counselling with appointments either weekly or every second week.
How many sessions will I need?
It is impossible to answer that question without meeting you and discussing your concerns. By the end of the first or second session you should have a clear idea about what I can offer you and how I would work. At this time, estimates can be given as to how long it may take. These estimates are only guidelines however since other issues sometimes arise and shift the focus of counselling.