It takes courage to book an appointment.
We seek to be upfront with our process for booking counseling appointments. Below you will find answers to common questions about our counselling services. If you have a question for which you can't find an answer, please call or email us. We'd like you to feel comfortable with having enough knowledge about how it works.
- What are the rates for your services?
- Can I fill the intake form before I come to the appointment?
- Do I book via phone or email?
- Do you have evening and weekend appointments?
- Does my insurance coverage pay for appointments?
- How long are the appointments?
- I can't afford your regular fee. Do you have any options? Is a reduced rate or sliding scale available?
- I don't have childcare. Can I bring my child to my appointment?
- Is it possible to pay online for sessions?
- What if I change my mind about the appointment I made, or I find I can't make it?
- What if I'm not sure you can help me with my problem?
- What is Feedback Enhanced Therapy?
- What will I need to know when I book an appointment?
- Do you do video therapy?
Q. What are the rates for your services?
|$90.00||60 minute session for day time sessions during the week, beginning before 5:00 pm|
|$100.00||60 minute session for evening sessions starting at 5:00 or later, and sessions on the weekends|
|$120.00||60 minute session with Carolyn Klassen, available during the weekday hours only|
All rates above include applicable GST. Payment is accepted at the end of each session via cash, cheque, debit, MasterCard or Visa.
We do have reduced rate options with an intern...see below.
The anger management program for individuals is $365.00 for the individual program. (there is a $10.00 surcharge for each hour which begins at 5:00 or later, and on weekends). TDC, our group anger management program is $250.00 ($225.00 for the early bird fee).
Our premarital and remarital package is $420.00 (there is a $10.00 surcharge for each hour which begins at 5:00 or later, and on weekends).
There is a $20.00 administrative fee for NSF (not sufficient funds) cheques.
We recognize that therapy is a significant financial investment, and we don't take the substantial expense lightly. We honor that you are investing your valuable resources in improving your relationships. Therapy is a valuable investment.
Q. Can I fill the intake form before I come to the appointment?
Yes, you can print off the Client Intake Form and the informed Consent form to complete prior to the session. Please bring it with you to the first appointment. If a couple or family is coming, please have each person complete a form. Alternatively, you can come about 10-15 minutes ahead of the session time to complete forms which will be available on a clipboard in the office.
Q. Do I book via phone or email?
Either is fine. The process of booking via email can take a little more time as we endeavor to find a time that is mutually suitable. Melanie is our receptionist 4 days per week, and Del is around on the other day (usually Wednesdays) and they are available during business hours 8:30-4:00 Monday-Friday. They are available to discuss any questions you might have, and provide you with immediate information regarding openings.
Q. Do you have evening and weekend appointments?
Yes, we do. In addition to daytime appointments during regular business hours at both the downtown and Pembina locations, we have therapists working in the evenings on Sunday through Friday at the Pembina office. We have two therapists available to work with you on Saturday during the day, and Sunday afternoons at the Pembina office. Evening sessions during the week are also available at the Smith St. location.
Q. Does my insurance coverage pay for appointments?
Many ask if we accept their insurance. That question is well intended. However, the real question is, "Will your insurance accept our services?"
To be straight and to the point...statistically, it's not likely to be covered by your supplemental health plans.
You will need to check your insurance plan with your employer or the insurance company itself.
Many plans cover only "licensed psychology" and we are NOT licensed psychologists.
Plans that cover "counselling" in more general terms may cover our services. We encourage you to check your specific plan if you are hoping to have the services covered by insurance prior to making an appointment. It is quite possible that you will not be able to use a supplemental health plan to cover our services. We have a letter of request for permission/appeal that we can provide to you on request that explains our services in a manner that may help the insurance company understand the quality of our services.
The tides of the insurance business are turning slowly, as they (you know, the royal "they", whoever "they" are! 😉 ) recognize that Master's trained therapists who use Feedback Enhanced Therapy provide the same level of service with better outcomes more economically. We hope to have more insurance plans cover our services over time...it's starting to happen slowly.
Please don't assume that our services are covered. We will ask for payment for services rendered, and would hate for you to be caught by surprise when you are not reimbursed as you would have hoped.
Q. How long are the appointments?
Our therapy appointments are a full 60 minutes in duration. We believe an hour session should last an hour.
On occasion, when a client drives several hours to come see a therapist, or if a certain point in therapy indicates it as appropriate, we will provide sessions of 90-120 minutes. If you are interested in sessions longer than one hour, please ask so we can discuss it with you.
Q. I can't afford your regular fee. Do you have any options? Is a reduced rate or sliding scale available?
In brief, not at this time.
Many years, we generally have an "reduced fee" option during September-April when counselling interns work together with us as part of their practicum placements. The reduced rate for sessions with interns is $50.00 for each 60 minute session (including GST). However, for the 2018-19 school year, we will not have an intern. We apologize that we do not have this option.
Our office is 100% privately funded...we have no external funding source which limits our ability to offer reduced rate sessions. While we recognize that many people cannot afford our regular rates, and while we firmly believe it is our professional and moral obligation to offer some clients reduced rates, that section of the caseload is currently full...and generally fills up with existing clients who have had some financial shifts.
We apologize that we are not able to offer you a reduced rate as a new client with our therapists.
Occasionally, a relative or friend or supporting group such as a church or employer will provide funding for the counselling sessions. In these situations, we work to clarify with both the client and the funder how many sessions are covered, how late cancellations/missed sessions will be handled, and we ensure that we have permission from the client to discuss payment with the funder. This can be a few extra calls to make sure we have everything worked out, and there is a clear understanding of all the important issues with all parties. However, the clear understanding to remove surprises and misunderstandings is worth it to us, as it clears the path to good work in therapy
Q. I don't have childcare. Can I bring my child to my appointment?
We do not have childcare available or a separate area where children can play.
When family therapy is involved, the therapist will want you to bring the children. When the child are young, we generally ask only the parents to attend the first session to allow the grownups to speak frankly without frightening the child/ren.
When the focus is on the marriage or the adult individual, we ask that you not bring your children. Please make arrangements for them so that you are able to focus on the important issues and are in a position to speak candidly, and do not expose your children to a situation where they are able to hear to conversation that is not intended for them, and may be discussion that as children, it is inappropriate that they be exposed.
Even if pre-verbal children are set up to play with a toy in the corner, they can pick up on the mood in the room and be upset. That's not good for the children. Parents, knowing the child may be upset, without even realizing it, keep the conversation such that no one gets too upset. That's not good for the parents who have come in to do some serious work.
Q. Is it possible to pay online for sessions?
Payment for sessions can be made via PayPal on the Session Payment page.
Occasionally, a client may be in a situation where they do not have the financial resources to pay for therapy, and a relative or a friend is willing to help pay for some sessions. While we encourage clients to take responsibility for their own lives by paying for therapy, there are circumstances where it makes sense for someone else to assist with funding therapy. When others pay for sessions, the therapist will generally have a conversation with the client about the potential implications of having counselling covered by a third party. It is important that the client be able to use the sessions in the way most productive for him/herself, without a presupposed agenda.
There may be other occasions where a client prefers to pay online, or pay for a missed session prior to the next session.
Please note that there is a 20% processing fee for funds that need to be returned to the purchaser.
Q. What if I change my mind about the appointment I made, or I find I can't make it?
Your therapist has set the appointment time aside to see you. That appointment time is not available for other clients or purposes when it is booked for a client and we ask that you attend appointments as scheduled.
There are times when illness occurs or an urgent matter arises. In those cases, we ask that you cancel with greater than one full business day's notice:
- For sessions occurring during the daytime, this means that we require 24 hours notice.
- For appointments in the evenings, you would need to notify us by 4:30 the day prior to the appointment.
- To cancel an appointment scheduled for Saturday, Sunday or Monday before 4:30 (or Tuesday after a long weekend) you would need to notify us by Friday at noon. This allows us some time to attempt to fill that spot.
- If your session were scheduled for Monday evening (or Tuesday evening after a long weekend) you would need to notify us by 4:30 on Friday.
Please note that we adhere closely to our cancellation policy--with less than one full business day's notice, 50% of the fee is charged.
While it might seem harsh for a counselling service to charge for a late cancellation...let's face it, sickness and unexpected emergencies arise from time to time, and we get that...please know that our therapists serve you as their means of livelihood, and your fees are their income.
If you do not call to cancel the appointment, and the therapist is waiting for the hour for you to arrive, the full fee is charged. The receptionist asks for a credit card number to confirm your appointment.
Please know that it is common to have some misgivings about therapy appointments and many wonder about canceling shortly before an appointment. Suddenly, the project that you've been putting off for weeks becomes urgent, or the dry cleaning simply must be picked up...fear of what will be discussed in the session can make other things become more appealing/pressing. That often means that it is even more important to attend that week. To help you find your courage to attend your counselling appointment, you might want to read this little book on your phone/iPad. There is also a copy of it in the waiting room to peruse before your appointment:
Our therapists are highly trained, qualified individuals whose time is important and in high demand...our policies reflect the balance between respecting a client's need to change/cancel appointments on occasion with ensuring that our therapists' time is respected.
Fair is fair. We recognize that clients rearrange work schedules, arrange child care, and plan ahead about what they will talk about and we want to be respectful of clients. Please note that if we cancel an appointment with you with less than one business day's notice, the next session is charged at 50% of the usual fee. If for some reason, you come for an appointment as scheduled and the therapist is not there, the next appointment is at no charge as an expression of our regret. This occurs extremely rarely, and only in the case of sudden illness by the therapist.
Q. What if I'm not sure you can help me with my problem?
Please email or call if you have any questions about the services offered at Bergen and Associates Counselling & Consulting. All email is received in a confidential email that is seen only by Melanie Thiessen. You will usually get a response within one to two business days. When calling, Melanie is generally able to answer most questions. If you would like to speak with a therapist, Carolyn Klassen is willing to speak briefly with you to answer any questions you might have about our services.
Q. What is Feedback Enhanced Therapy?
Feedback Enhanced Therapy is a program we use that allows us to provide better therapy for you. The most significant feature is that you will complete a very short inventory at the beginning of each session and another at the end of the session. In each case, it will take less than a minute to complete, though the discussion around the results may vary in length. This will allow the therapist to develop and adjust the counselling session to uniquely fit your style and needs.
The system we is called My Outcomes, a well established and respected tool in the mental health field.
Feedback Enhanced Therapy is part of the deliberate process we engage in with clients to ensure that therapy is working uniquely effectively for each person. Repeated research says this extra step substantially improves outcomes and speed of therapy compared to a more informal "checking in" at the end of the session.
Q. What will I need to know when I book an appointment?
It is helpful to know a few things about the appointment. When booking an appointment by phone, the client care manager, Melanie Thiessen (or Del on Wednesdays) will ask you a few basic questions about contact information, and the reason for why your are coming. The receptionist is likely to review the following with you:
- You will be asked to complete an "intake sheet". You will be asked to come about 10 minutes early to your first appointment to fill it in. Alternatively, you can print it off...it is available on this page in pdf form.
- The receptionist will also review the location and other details about the first appointment, as well as answer any questions you might have.
- The receptionist will let you know about our cancellation and attendance policy, and ask for a credit card number to reserve your appointment. This credit card is not used for regular payment, but will be used, if, at some point there is money owing on the account and other arrangements for payment aren't made by the client.
- If you prefer to not use a credit card, we ask for a deposit of one session's value to be held on account while you are in therapy. You are welcome to use this as payment for your last session, or it will be mailed to you on completion of therapy, if you prefer.
Q. Do you do video therapy?
No. We used to...but found that in places where it is most needed--up north and in remote areas, signal often wasn't sufficient quality to allow for effective use. It is very disruptive to have a screen freeze or the signal lost in the middle of an intense session. Skype and other online services that are easily available do not have sufficient privacy to allow us to offer our highly confidential services. The small print on these services makes it a lot less private than is a good idea for therapy!