Frequently Asked Questions / Roma Palmer

What You Need to Know When Choosing a Counsellor
The right counsellor for you will be someone you feel has the experience and expertise to help you with your current situation. That counsellor will be a professional you feel comfortable sharing personal information with.

What questions can you ask to help you decide if a counsellor is the right fit?
Below are questions you can ask without hesitation that any professional counsellor would be willing to answer. I have included my responses for your information.

Where did you receive your training? What diploma/degree do you have?
I have a Master of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in Counselling Psychology. I did my practicum with Addiction Services and I have been in private practice for almost 10 years.

Do you belong to a professional association? Which one?
I am a member of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) with the designation Registered Clinical Counsellor. The BCACC requires their members to meet strict academic guidelines as well as adhere to their Code of Ethical Conduct and Standards of Clinical Practice. For more information, please see http://bc-counsellors.org

Do I need a referral to see you?
You do not need a referral from your doctor or anyone else to come and see me. You can contact me directly at 604-908-3665 or email me at roma@romapalmer.ca

How does confidentiality work?
In our sessions everything is confidential unless there is a concern of imminent harm to you or another, if your file has been subpoenaed for a court case or if current child-abuse has been revealed.

Do you have a specific orientation in therapy? Can you explain it to me?
I use a number of different techniques in my work, all under-pinned by a client-centered orientation. This means that you are in charge – of what you do and do not want to talk about, how quickly or slowly we uncover and work with issues in your life, and how often you would like to meet. I will guide you through the process and make recommendations based on my experience, but, ultimately, you are in control. Within that framework I may use solution-focused techniques, cognitive behavioral therapeutic interventions, mindfulness, family systems approaches or others depending on your situation and what seems like the best fit for you.

How long do you think I will need for therapy?
This is a question that depends on the issue or issues you bring to Counselling. Often by the time you get in touch with me difficulties have been going on for awhile. Often life has become unbearable. It takes time to get into a situation and it takes time to get out. Having said that, I find even coming for one session can be immensely helpful for someone who has been holding it together or keeping secrets for a long time.

What can I expect at the first session?
The first session is often an information gathering session. You may be asked for your family history, what you have done to address the issue in the past and what you hope to achieve through counselling. You will be asked what your goals are for the counselling process and what your hopes are for your future. The first session sets the stage for future sessions. That is not to say that there is no therapy in the first session. Clients often describe a great sense of relief at sharing their story and having a direction to help them move forward.

How much does a session cost? How and when do I pay? Are your services covered by insurance?My hourly rate for Counselling is $120. Payment is due at the end of each session. I accept cash, cheques and I now accept Visa and MasterCard. Counselling services may be covered under your extended health benefit plan through work. Refer to your plan information or call the insurer to confirm. If you are covered for services you will still be required to pay after each session and then be reimbursed by your insurance company.

I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Please give 24 hours notice if you need to reschedule an appointment to avoid being charged.