Frequently Asked Questions: 

Why see a counsellor?

  • Often, a partner, friend or family member can help us through a difficult time, but sometimes we need a third party who is not a part of the argument, won’t be affected by the decision, and in front of whom we can say anything, without fear or judgment or repercusion.  Someone who really knows how to keep our confidence and listen; no quick advice or easy answers.  This person will help you catch up with your own wisdom.  This person is a counsellor.
  • Many of us consult a counsellor about anxiety, depression, chronic illness, marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, lack of meaning in life, feeling behind in life, facing career change, retirement, family conflict, identity issues, and so on.  We feel stuck and don’t want to feel stuck anymore.  We want to flourish.

Why see a “clinical counsellor”?

  • In British Columbia, anyone can call themselves a counsellor, with or without any training.  A clinical counsellor is highly qualified, has extensive education and supervised training, and generally belongs to a professional association they are accountable to.  The most frequent credentials you will see in British Columbia are Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC).  Clinical counselling is covered by some extended health benefit plans, and Revenue Canada accepts RCC receipts for medical deductions on your taxes.  You are in good hands with a clinical counsellor.

Does it matter which approach to therapy a clinical counsellor uses?

  • There are many recognized approaches to clinical counselling: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Adlerian, Person-Centered (Rogerian), Narrative, Existential, Mindfulness-Based, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and so on.  I, like most therapists, draw on several of these approaches, depending on your needs. I align most with Adlerian and Person-Centered theories.  Whatever the approach, it is the client-therapist relationship that has the greatest impact on counselling effectiveness, followed by client readiness.

What is Adlerian Therapy?   

  • Adler emphasized the importance of belonging in, and contributing to your community.  Adlerians emphasize the courage to be imperfect, personal growth and client strengths.    A Certified Adlerian Counsellor (CAC) is expert in therapy, but you are the expert in your experience.  And no, the Adlerian therapist doesn’t believe that it all comes down to your mother or father.  It does come down to noticing your patterns and beliefs about the world,  and how some of these have outlived their usefulness.  As an Adlerian therapist, I will support you to choose new patterns and beliefs – a new story – now,  as best you can.

What does Adlerian therapy look like?

  • As an Adlerian counsellor, I start with building a strong client/counsellor relationship.  You and I will pay attention to how the body ‘speaks’, for example,  is your acid reflux showing that you “can’t stomach it any more”…stomach what?  Why?  Also we may discuss Early Recollectionsdreams, and/or favorite characters from novels or movies or childhood storybooks.  We may use art to bring thoughts/feelings to consciousness as well.  These techniques allow you to become  aware of  half-noticed beliefs and re-evaluate them. We use a strengths-based apporach.  Our work will be goal-oriented, sometimes specific and short term, sometimes focusing on more deep-rooted beliefs and experiences.

What are the benefits of therapy?

  • In successful therapy, you will feel heard, understood, cared for and accepted, more hopeful and more grounded in making difficult decisions.  You will gain greater insight into your experience.  You will feel empowered to take on challenges with courage and heart.  You will tap into your passion more, and feel lighter, better ‘in your own skin’.  You will feel more able to contribute to your own well-being, and that of your family and community.  Pretty good, eh?

Are there any risks of therapy?

  • Yes.  To make progress, you must be prepared to open up and reflect upon subjects that are often painful or highly triggering emotionally.  It can seem as though things get worse before they get better.  Also, your family and friend relationships will likely shift.  It is my job to keep you emotionally safe, even as you explore difficult subjects.

Can I talk to you about anything?

  • Anything. This is the one place where you can freely explore your concerns – all your concerns, in a judgment-free space.  This is your time, your space.

Could I bring in a family member, partner or friend to my counselling session?

  • Yes.  Considerations: Is the therapy for both/all of you, or just you – who is the time reserved for?  How would we handle confidentiality, secrets, goal-setting? When would we invite them?

Can we be “friends” on social media?

  • No.  My association, the BCACC, recommends that no counsellor have social media relationships with clients due to concerns around confidentiality and blurred roles.  It’s complicated…

Is everything we discuss confidential?

  • Yes, with three exceptions. I cannot discuss anything you say in session, or even tell anyone that you are receiving counselling without your explicit permission (in writing) to do so.  Permission can be revoked at any time, and would be granted for a specific period of time, usually six months.  You can ask me to consult your doctor or other professional who works with you, on all or some portion of our work together.

Exceptions to confidentiality?

  • I am required to reach out to a mental health practitioner or the police, as appropriate, if I have reason to believe that (1) you are at imminent risk to harm yourself or other(s); (2) you tell me of abuse of a vulnerable member of society (any dependent person, notably minors, the elderly, and people with disabilities). (3) Note: Information from my written notes can be subpoenaed by a court of law.

Can I book evening/weekend counselling therapy sessions?

  • Yes.  To facilitate clients’ work schedules, my counselling session times are primarily Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday late afternoons and early evenings, though exceptionally I can accommodate Saturday appointments.  Note: I offer 60 minute sessions at my home office in South Vancouver, but 50 minute sessions at the West Side (shared) office, to ensure your privacy and comfort.

How frequent would our sessions be?  How long are the sessions?

  • Generally I find weekly sessions to be the most fruitful.  At my South Vancouver home office, I offer 60 minute sessions; at the West Side (shared) office, sessions are 50 minutes, to ensure your privacy and comfort.

How long will I have to wait for us to begin counselling? Is there a waitlist? 

  • I will return your first contact call or email usually within 24 hours.  Assuming we are a good fit, often we can begin our counselling work together within a few weeks.  If needed, I will provide you with names of other available counselling resources.

How many sessions will this take? It depends.

  • If the client’s issue were ‘that easy’, they would have sorted it out without counselling.
  • You could expect to resolve simple, definable issues in six to ten sessions, though I’ve seen wonderful progress in 1-3 sessions, and enduring shifts over a period of months.
  • ‘You know when you know’ that the work has been done: You feel relief and peace.

How do I get to your South Vancouver office?

  • Victoria and SE Marine Drive is easily accessed by public transitfrom New Westminster and Burnaby via Skytrain and the #100 bus; from Richmond via the Knight Street Bridge or the Canada Line; from Downtown or Commercial Drive on the #20; from Downtown via the Canada Line and #100 bus; from UBC via 57th Avenue/Cambie/E. Kent driving, or the #480 bus, transferring to the #100.
  • From the intersection of Victoria Drive and S.E.Marine Drive, you are .3km away.  Head South down Victoria Drive to the bottom of the road, past the railway tracks; turn left (i.e. South) onto East Kent Avenue South and go to the end of that long block; my office is in the last building before the road crosses back over the railway tracks, at 2138 East Kent Avenue South.  There is plenty of street parking, as well as 6 visitors’ spots at the entrance to the underground parking lot.  Enter the complex by going through the blue metal gates (unlocked), over the water feature, and you will find the elevator on your left.  Phone my cell phone (778-834-1867), step into the elevator, and I’ll bring you and the elevator up (an odd, antiquated system!) and bring you to my office.

Your West Side Vancouver office?

  •  The West Broadway office, located between Cypress and Burrard Streets, is easily accessed by public transit, including the Broadway bus, the Arbutus Street bus, the 99 B-line (walking several blocks), and any of the buses that go down the Granville corridor (walking several blocks).  I am located at 1892 West Broadway (Suite 200) almost one block west of Burrard Street, on the South side of the street.  For evening appointments, ring the doorbell and I will accompany you up.  Note: appointments at the West Broadway office are 50 minutes, as this is a shared office and my colleague may have a client starting right after we finish.

How is parking at your offices?

  • In South Vancouver, parking is free and there’s lots of roadside and visitor space.  On Broadway, there is metered street parking on Broadway outside of rush hour.  One block south on Cypress, there is often free roadside parking.

How about wheelchair accessibility and parking?

  • Only my South Vancouver (home) office has wheelchair accessible parking, entranceway and counselling space.  Unfortunately, the washroom is not wheelchair accessible.

Êtes-vous à l’aise en français?

  • Oui. Je suis anglophone, mais je travaille en français depuis 30 ans.

What does clinical counselling with you cost, and is it covered by the BC Health system?

  • Individual counselling with Ros Best Counselling is $130 per 50 or 60 minute hour (50 min. at the Broadway office, 60 min. at the South Vancouver home office); couples or family counselling is $150/hr, and is only available at the E. Kent office.  Clients of RCC’s may have extended health coverage – inquire with your Employee Assistance Plan.

What methods of payment are acceptable?

  • E-transfer, cheque or cash please.

What is your cancellation policy?

  • Please be sure to let me know at least 24 hours in advance if you must cancel.  A $60 cancellation fee will be applied for no-shows and late cancellations.  Arriving late may result in a shorter counselling session.

I am struggling with a substance addiction; can I still come to counselling?

  • No, not if you are currently under the influence. It would be unethical for me to have a counselling session with you if you are under the influence of drugs.  If you are unable to abstain before session, consider treatment first from an addictions counsellor in preparation for the sort of work we could then do in counselling.