How Michael White Psychology can Help
Frequently Asked Questions
The first appointment is about you and your counsellor getting to know each other so that you feel comfortable working with them. We will go over the information you provided during our intake phone call, or questionnaire, and you will have a chance to ask any questions you may have. In the first session we will talk about your goals for counselling and/or assessment. Usually, by the end of the appointment we will agree on a plan as to what our future work together will look like.
Fees and Insurance
Fees are made by arrangement and are based on the service provided and the time required. I charge $160 for a typical counselling session. Assessments are billed at a flat fee depending on the question to be answered.
In many cases, private insurance companies will reimburse the costs of psychological services, depending your individual plan. You may require a physician referral before service begins. I do not direct bill insurance companies. Payment is due at the time of service and I accept cash, personal cheque, Interac debit, major credit cards, and e-transfers. Detailed receipts are provided upon receipt of payment. Services through Indigenous Services Canada are billed directly to the federal government.
Sessions typically last around 45 to 55 minutes.
There is no set time for how long counselling continues. Much depends on what your goal is. Most people will see a counsellor a few times a month over several months. Sometimes people choose to see a counsellor weekly for a couple of months. Many people only need to see a counsellor a few times of year to help clarify their thinking, brush up on skills, or set new goals for their future. You are in control about how long and how often you wish to see a counsellor.
What you can expect depends mostly on the goals you have set and the plan you have come up with your counsellor. You are always in control based on how you see your needs. Counselling usually involves lots of talking but can also include times for relaxation and guided meditations. If you have chosen to follow a more formal cognitive-behavioural approach you can expect some “homework” where you will be asked to keep track of your thoughts and how you respond in certain situations. Or, you may be asked to read information before the next session.
Generally, my work with younger children and pre-teens is limited to learning and behavioural assessments. Exceptions may be made in certain cases where there are fewer professionals working with the challenge in question, such as gender and sexual identity.
I am not trained in couples, marriage, and family counselling.
That depends on the nature of the assessment question. Assessments for learning disability involves one-on-one testing of mental processes related to learning as well as academic skills such as reading, writing, and math. Testing is often done over several appointments. I will want to see samples of student work, including math and writing. Communication with the school (except for post-secondary students) is usually needed. Assessments for ADHD in children usually includes an assessment for learning problems as the two often go together. Adult (beyond post-secondary) assessments for ADHD sometimes do not require a learning assessment.
Assessment always involves time with parents (in the case of child assessments) and the individual needing the assessment. There will be an extensive interview of how you see the challenges and repeat appointments are needed. Multiple checklists are often included in the assessment for completion by parents, teachers, family members, and the client. Depending on the complexity of case, how quickly information can be gathered, and scheduling appointments, a comprehensive assessment can take four to six weeks from the initial appointment.
An assessment should be considered when your child is experiencing a lot of difficult keeping up with classmates. These difficulties are often apparent by Grade 2 after the school has provided direct intervention specific for your child. For children in French immersion programs difficulties with learning in English become more apparent in Grades 4 or 5.
Assessment for difficulties with attention and/or hyperactivity should be considered when these challenges become a problem in the classroom, at home, or in community activities such as sports or cultural events. If interventions at home or school aren’t showing improvements by age 7 it is worthwhile to have an assessment.
Records are kept for a minimum of seven years after the day of last contact. The records for children are kept until they turn 25.
With written permission your full record can be shared with another psychologist. There may be some limits on what gets shared with other professionals depending on their qualifications. Specific testing records can only be legally shared with qualified psychologists. If you want to see your records we can arrange an appointment to review your file and discuss what information you need.