Counselling is expensive, but there are many options available

The questions about how to engage in therapy when money is in short supply are likely questions fielded by all counsellors and all counselling offices. There are a number of answers to this question and I will briefly outline the standard options for this community and more fully explain a recently available option.

At Pacific Therapy & Consulting Inc, some of the most frequent questions we are asked are, “Do you have a sliding scale for fees?” and “What can I do if I don’t have enough money for counselling?”

Although this question didn’t come to us via askpacific@shaw.ca, I think it is as important as it is frequent, and will address it here.

Counselling is expensive. The BC Association for Clinical Counsellors (BCACC), the registering body for Registered Clinical Counsellors, recommends rates of $110 to $150 plus HST per 50-minute session. Currently, fees for counselling services in the Comox Valley run between $80 and $150 plus HST per session.

The questions about how to engage in therapy when money is in short supply are likely questions fielded by all counsellors and all counselling offices.

There are a number of answers to this question and I will briefly outline the standard options for this community and more fully explain a recently available option.

Many people have access to counselling services through their work benefits plan. Check to see if your plan includes EAP (Employee Assistance Plan) or EFAP (Employee and Family Assistance Plan). If so, call the plan number to access a local counsellor. Depending on the plan, you may or may not be able to choose your counsellor.

There are free counselling services available through community agencies such as Comox Valley Transition Society, Comox Valley Family Services, Child and Youth Family Services, Ministry for Child and Family Development, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Military Family Resource Centre, and Courtenay Mental Health and Addictions.

These are first-rate services and are available to people based on specific criteria or issues. If you are not able to receive therapeutic assistance from these programs, there are still a few options.

If you are seeking therapy for coping in the aftermath of a crime, a motor vehicle accident, or a workplace accident, you may be eligible for funding from one of the following sources: Crime Victim Assistance Program, ICBC, or WorkSafe BC.

For many people, none of these options are available and private counselling is not affordable. Recently, the Learning Program began providing low-cost counselling.

The Learning Program was developed in recognition of the community need for low cost counselling and also the need to assist in the training of new counsellors. In this program, students working on a Master’s degree in counselling see clients under the supervision of one of the Registered Clinical Counsellors in practice at Pacific Therapy & Consulting Inc.

Counselling through The Learning Program is available to anyone who does not have access to an alternate source of funding and for whom paying regular counselling rates would make counselling impossible.

Student counsellors are able to deal with a wide range of issues with the following exceptions: substance use, family violence, and adult offenders. Couples’ counselling and family counselling may not be available.

The fee for therapy through the Learning Program is $30 (including HST) and is payable at the time of booking. In some circumstances, fees may be refunded to you following your session.

Like all therapy at Pacific Therapy & Consulting Inc, service provided in this program is performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the BCACC.

Confidentiality is an essential part of counselling and student practitioners adhere to the same limits of confidentiality as do Registered Clinical Counsellors.

Student counsellors are required to review their work with their immediate supervisor, however, clients’ identifying information is altered for supervision so that confidentiality is maintained.

Please call Pacific Therapy & Consulting Inc for more information.

If you would like to ask a question of the counsellors, for a response in future columns, e-mail them at askpacific@shaw.ca. Consult a Counsellor is provided by the registered clinical counsellors at Pacific Therapy & Consulting: Nancy Bock, Diane Davies, Leslie Wells, Andrew Lochhead and Karen Turner. It appears every second Friday.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island marmot is an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
VIDEO: ‘Frisky’ Vancouver Island marmots caught on camera

Marmots are catching the eye of researchers when caught on security cameras getting ‘quite frisky’

Karilyn, right, with her older sister, Sabrina. Both siblings are members of the YANA family, after being helped by the community organization on separate occasions. Photo supplied
Siblings both members of the YANA family

Comox Valley non-profit helped Geiger family on separate occasions

A second-floor balcony continues to smoulder after a fire extinguisher was used to get a small balcony fire under control at the Washington Inn Apartments. Brian Hayward, who lives on the third floor, was alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke wafting into his apartment. Photo by Brian Hayward.
Courtenay firefighters respond to balcony fire at Washington Inn Apartments

Firefighters were called out to the Washington Inn Apartments Sunday, April 17,… Continue reading

RCMP forensics investigators scour the site north of Highland School in Comox, where multiple people were stabbed during a party Saturday night, April 16. Photo by Terry Farrell
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Comox bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault near Highland Secondary

Cumberland is surrounded by trees — and logging. Its council is supporting a call to stop old-growth logging in vulnerable areas of the province such as Fairy Creek. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland backs request to save B.C.’s old-growth forests

The Comox Youth Climate Council is asking local governments to take stand

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Most Read