What is a registered clinical counselor? What is a certified Canadian counselor?
Registered Clinical Counsellor is the designation of the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors. As criteria for membership, counsellors must meet rigorous academic training (Masters-level equivalency), clinical experience and supervision requirements. The BCACC permits members to identify themselves as "Registered Clinical Counsellors" and holds them accountable to the Association and to the public.
Certified Canadian Counsellor is the designation of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, the national body of counselors in Canada. In order to be certified by this national body, counselors must have Masters level training, clinical experience, and have fulfilled supervised requirements.
Both organizations have strict ethical guidelines, and have ongoing continuing education requirements.
What is the difference between a registered clinical counselor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
Registered clinical counsellors and psychologists both do all of their training in how to assess and do therapy with adults and children who present with a variety of emotional and psychological problems. Registered clinical counselors have a Masters degree, while psychologists have a Doctoral degree (more years of training). In contrast, psychiatrists first train in medicine and then specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems. Most psychiatrists offer consultation regarding diagnosis and treatment, and as physicians are the only ones authorized to prescribe medications. Very few psychiatrists do ongoing therapy.
Who pays for counseling?
The fees of counsellors are not paid by the government’s medical service plan. The services of counsellors in private practice are generally paid by clients directly; however, some people have extended health insurance benefits that will reimburse for a portion of the cost. Fees of a registered clinical counselor are sometimes paid by third parties such as the Workers Compensation Board, ICBC, or employee assistance plans.
How much does therapy cost?
Fees are based on guidelines set by the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors recommended fee schedule. Most registered clinical counsellors charge approximately the same rates. Payment is made by cash, cheque, or credit card at the time of the appointment and a receipt is provided.
Fran's current rates are $100 per hour, including GST. Sessions for individuals are generally one hour in length. Couple sessions are generally one-and-a-half hours. For those with low income, please ask about her sliding scale according to family income.
How do I make an appointment?
Call Fran Ferguson directly to make an appointment. She responds to all calls personally. If you get her confidential voicemail, leave a message. Typically, calls are returned within 24 hours. Fran will chat briefly with you to ensure that she is an appropriate resource for you and if so, will arrange an appointment time.
Do I need a referral from my physician?
No, you may call directly yourself to arrange an appointment.
How long does it take to get an appointment?
An initial consultation can usually be scheduled within one to two weeks, and sometimes within a day or two. The extent of your availability may affect how soon an appointment can be arranged. For example, if you require an appointment outside regular work hours, there may be a longer wait.
What are your office hours?
Fran's current office hours are:
Courtenay office: Tuesday through Friday 9am to 5pm.
Campbell River office: Saturday and Monday 9am to 5pm, and evenings by appointment.
New clients are welcome. Fran will do her best to accommodate the ferry schedules, for people coming from Powell River, or from Denman or Hornby Islands.
How many sessions are needed?
Some problems may require brief consultation (one or two sessions), or short-term treatment (anywhere from 6 to 12 sessions). Some issues require longer-term treatment. Fran will discuss your particular needs at your first visit, and make recommendations for treatment. Progress is discussed and evaluated with clients as sessions proceed.
How confidential is counseling?
Confidentiality is taken very seriously by registered clinical counselors. All information is considered confidential unless you give Fran Ferguson your written consent to release information. Exceptions occur in situations in which the client may pose a threat to themselves or to another person, or when information is subpoenaed by a court of law.