You Ask - I Answer
DO I NEED A REFERRAL?
No, you do not need a referral. Please visit the Contact section for more information about E-mail enquiries and scheduling an appointment.
WILL MY INSURANCE PROVIDER COVER THE COST OF THE SERVICE PROVIDED?
It really depends on the form of insurance coverage. Many insurance providers provide coverage for counselling services. The amount that is covered is dependent on your individual insurance coverage. For coverage for psycho-educational testing and assessment services, it is best to contact your insurance provider and ask specifically if there is coverage for these types of services as these services differ from counseling and therapeutic intervention.
WHAT IS COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is an evidenced-based psychological treatment approach that focuses on the way people think ("cognitive") and act ("behavioral). CBT proposes that our thoughts influence the way we feel which in turn influences the things we do. If we can change the way that we think we can therefore produce change in the way we feel and also behave. CBT has been found useful for depression, anxiety, chronic pain, disordered eating, low self-esteem, anger problems and addiction.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN COMING FOR COUNSELLING?
The psychologist will meet with you to discuss your reasons for seeking counselling. This is a time for you to get to know one another, to share expectations, discuss goals and plans for future sessions.
WHAT IS PLAY-BASED THERAPY?
Play is a child’s natural form of communication just as talking is an adult’s natural way of communication. Play allows us to engage, interact and dialogue in a deep and meaningful way unhindered by verbal ability. It can often be difficult to find the words to express the things we think and feel. Play provides a medium for a natural flow of conscious and unconscious thought. Even individuals who are quite talkative express themselves more fully through their play. For children, emotions are often difficult to understand and even more difficult to express. Play provides a non-threatening way for children to express themselves and "try on" new ways of thinking and acting.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM PLAY-BASED THERAPY? WHAT AGE IS MOST APPROPRIATE?
Play-Based Therapy is typically used with children. However, play-based approaches have also been found useful with adolescents and adults. Play-based therapy helps the individual by providing another avenue to process emotions that they may not be able to express in other ways, helps to develop independence and creative thinking and can be strong contributor to creating stronger relationships between family members. While play-based therapy has been found to benefit individuals of all ages it is especially appropriate for children age 3 to 12 years of age.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I WANT MY CHILD TO COME FOR THERAPY?
If you believe your child could benefit from counselling services, the psychologist will need to first obtain informed consent from the parents/guardians of the child before beginning to see the child in therapy. Informed consent must be obtained from a legal guardian. In the event of joint custody, both parents/guardians will be asked to provide informed consent before the child may be seen in therapy. Before meeting with the child, the psychologist will meet with the parents/guardians to complete the informed consent conversation and conduct an intake interview. The intake interview will help provide information about the area and history of the concern. This consent/intake session is considered an individual counselling session for the parent/guardian and will be billed as such therefore working to ensure that any available insurance coverage for the child is not impacted by the consent/intake session.
HOW DO I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR A PLAY-BASED THERAPY SESSION?
You may tell your child that they will be spending time with a therapist in a special playroom where there are toys to play with. If your child wants to know why they are going to meet with a therapist to play, you may say something like, “when things are hard for you at home (or at school), sometimes it helps to have a special place to play”. It is important for the child to feel safe in play-based therapy.
As mandated by the College of Alberta Psychologists, the therapist will maintain “confidentiality”, which means that what children specifically say and do in play-based therapy will be kept private. Confidentiality allows children to feel secure enough to fully express themselves without being inhibited by concerns over their parents’ reactions or feelings. The therapist will involve the parents by sharing general themes, helpful responses and progress in therapy.
The play therapist may meet with the parents on a regular basis and may also facilitate family therapy in which all or some family members participate to work toward therapeutic success for the child.
DO BOTH PARENTS NEED TO ATTEND THE ASSESSMENT/COUNSELLING WITH THE CHILD?
No, it is not necessary for both parents to attend. However, if receiving assessment services it is ideal if both parents are available for the debriefing once the assessment report has been completed. A telephone consultation can also take place for those that are unable to attend the debriefing of the formal assessment.
WHEN IS THE PAYMENT DUE?
Payment for counselling services is due on the date of the counselling session. Payment for assessment services are due on the date of the formal evaluation or testing session.
WHAT KINDS OF ASSESSMENTS DO YOU PROVIDE?
We specialize in psycho-educational assessments and consultation with school-aged children and adolescents. We also complete assessments with young adults to facilitate transitioning to adulthood.
WHAT IS A PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT?
A psycho-educational assessment may be considered when concerns arise regarding learning, thinking and behavior. For example, there may be questions about attention, impulsivity, ADHD, Learning Disability, emotional or behavioral problems. A psycho-educational assessment may consist of intelligence, memory, academic and behavioral components. This assessment can give more information about learning style and is useful in identifying strategies that build on strengths and compensate for difficulties. Accommodations can be made in the classroom, on tests and school work when assessment results support a need for assistance. This testing is not necessary for everyone, however, if teachers, doctors, or parents have noted concerns about school or work performance, assessments can be a source of finding more help.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS?
The psychologist will spend time with the parent(s) or caregiver(s) to discuss the nature of the evaluation, obtain further information about the areas of concern and obtain informed consent. Next, the individual receiving the assessment participates with the psychologist one on one to complete the evaluation. Testing time varies depending on the types of tools used during the evaluation and can generally take between three and four hours. Once the testing is completed, the psychologist will summarize testing results and prepare a written report that is later shared with parents/caregivers. The debrief appointment is an opportunity for the psychologist, individual and/or family to discuss the results of testing, ask questions and talk about recommended interventions and follow-up.
HOW LONG WILL THE ASSESSMENT TAKE?
For a typical psycho-educational assessment, you should plan to be available for approximately three to four hours for the testing session. A written report will be prepared and debriefed with you at a later date. A typical debrief session usually takes approximately one hour to complete.
HOW SHOULD I EXPLAIN THE ASSESSMENT
"TESTING" TO MY CHILD?
It is best to avoid using terms such as “testing” and “assessment”. It often works well to tell your child that he or she will be completing some learning activities to identify their strengths as well as any challenges. The activities involved in the assessment typically include looking at pictures, answering questions, and using blocks.
WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I BRING WITH ME TO THE ASSESSMENT?
It is very helpful if copies of previous psycho-educational assessments are provided to the psychologist. Furthermore, if your child has had any neurodevelopmental assessments, speech and language, or occupational therapy assessments, those documents are very helpful. Any formal documentation pertaining to your child’s learning, behavior, physical, and mental health such as report cards, Individual Program Plans (IPPs or PLPs) will be especially helpful.
WILL I RECEIVE A REPORT AFTER THE PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT IS COMPLETE?
Yes, a formal written report will be shared with you shortly after the completion of the testing session. The report will contain the test results, formal conclusions including applicable diagnoses, as well as recommendations to address any learning, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges. It is often beneficial to share a copy of this report with any other professionals involved in your child’s care including school staff and pediatricians/physicians.
WHAT KIND OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
We accept Credit and Debit. We also accept cash payment.