Frequently Asked Questions: Counselling & Psychotherapy

If your question is not answered, ask Joseph!

Who is this type of psychotherapy suitable for?

Intuition-Enhanced Psychotherapy is ideal for adult individuals from their mid-twenties through later years. Intuition-Enhanced Psychotherapy is very effective for people who are living with emotional and/or psychological challenges, but it is also helpful for people looking for personal growth and increased self-awareness.

With the help of Intuition-Enhanced Psychotherapy, many people dealing with depression, anxiety, relationship, addiction, anger, self-esteem and other issues have found relief from the burden they’ve been carrying, and increased life satisfaction.

How long does therapy take?

The length of therapy varies depending on the individual’s needs. Intuition-Enhanced Psychotherapy is not a quick fix, but that doesn’t mean that benefits cannot be seen early in the process.

It takes time to truly understand the nature of a problem or situation and work on changing it for the better, but when you have two people working on it – one of them being a trained professional, the results are often quicker and more profound than if you were working alone. 

Do you see couples?

Couples’ counselling is not my area of expertise, and I typically refer couples to my colleagues who specialize in couples’ counselling.

I found that couples benefit from seeing a couples’ counsellor together at the same time as they are seeing their own counsellors individually.

I offer to see either party of the couple individually while they are pursuing couples’ counselling with someone else.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

No. Although I receive referrals from Vancouver physicians quite often, it is not necessary. You are welcome to contact me directly to discuss how I may be able to help you.

What if I am seeing a psychiatrist?

It’s not uncommon for people to see both a psychiatrist and a counsellor at the same time. Research has shown that people under the care of both a psychiatrist and a therapist simultaneously do better than if they were seeing a psychiatrist only.

That being said, being under the care of a psychiatrist is certainly not a prerequisite nor is it a deterrent to come for or to benefit from therapy.  

What if I am seeing another counsellor or psychotherapist?

It depends on your situation. If you’re seeing one counsellor as part of couples’ therapy (as described above), then seeing another therapist separately can help you progress faster in achieving your goals.

However, if you’re seeing a counsellor individually and would like to see me at the same time, it might run contrary to the goals you are trying to achieve for yourself and will not be advisable.

If you feel you would like to work with a different therapist, whether it is myself or someone else, you are entitled to finding someone who you feel is more suitable for you.

Is your service covered by MSP?

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, only Psychiatrists in the Province of British Columbia are covered by the provincial health care plan. Other mental health care practitioners are not.

Is your service covered by my extended health plan?

It is quite likely that my services are covered under your extended health plan, but you would need to consult with your plan administrator to be sure.

You are definitely covered under your plan if you receive coverage through the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan. This plan covers me for up to twelve sessions per calendar year at no cost to you.  

In recent past, several insurance providers (Manulife, Blue Cross, etc.) have stated that their policy will cover any therapist so long as the practitioner is in good standing with an association – which I am.

However, some policies only cover therapists with certain designations. For example, some will only cover psychologists and/or social workers.

If your policy does not cover counselling or only covers you for visits to a psychologist, you’d be welcome to ask your physician to write a note to your insurance provider stating that you would prefer to see me as your therapist instead. Insurance companies tend to accept notes from physicians quite readily.  

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor and psychotherapist?

Good question!

All these professionals will work toward improving your mental health if you choose to see them, depending on your needs.

Mental health is a broad term that includes physical, emotional and social well-being and an optimal ability to use one’s thinking faculties, regulate emotions, feel, interact well with others and form meaningful connections.

A psychiatrist is a physician who has spent several additional years studying the nature of mental illness.  He or she has the ability to diagnose and prescribe medications for people with psychiatric illnesses. Some psychiatrists also offer therapy, but this practice is much less common than it was even 30 years ago.

A psychologist is typically someone who has a Doctorate Degree in some field of psychology. That is why they often have “Dr.” as part of their title although they are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medication in BC. Psychologists are trained to use tests to assess and diagnose mental, emotional and behavioural problems and to help people overcome those problems using a variety of treatments or psychotherapies.

Counsellors’ educational level can vary from a college diploma to a doctorate degree. Typically, counsellors pursue further professional development through a variety of courses and choose to specialize in one technique (Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Art Therapy, IMAGO therapy, etc.), work with a specific population (couples and family, children, teens, adults only, etc.) or address a specific problem (anxiety, trauma, marital issues, etc.).

Psychotherapists and counsellors are often grouped together and the terms are used interchangeably, but there are some distinctions. Although the terms counsellor and psychotherapist are not regulated in BC, it is understood that all psychotherapists are counsellors, but only some counsellors, like me, are psychotherapists.

The term psychotherapist is ascribed to an individual with special training who meets with others with the intention of establishing a therapeutic outcome. The emphasis is on the training.

As a counsellor, I chose to specialize in Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice (also referred to as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy). That is why I refer to myself as both a psychotherapist and a counsellor. There are few counsellors that are extensively trained in this powerful therapeutic modality in Vancouver, BC, and even fewer who are trained/training with the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society. I am proud to be one of them.

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept Cash, Cheques and all major credit cards.