1. What can I expect in the first session?
When you arrive, please let Emma or Rachel know that you have arrived and have a seat in our waiting room. Feel free to ask for your therapist by their first name - we're not all that formal around here. We have coffee, tea and water available for you when you arrive. On weekends and evenings, the elevators are locked and the security guard will send you up to see us.
At your appointment time, your therapist will greet you and invite you into a confidential consulting room. We have deliberately opened our office in a shared office setting to enhance your confidentiality - nobody will know if you're there to see a therapist, accountant or a lawyer!
In this first assessment session, your therapist will invite you to share your story and will want to learn more about your hopes for therapy, any symptoms you are currently experiencing as well as wanting to know more about your personal strengths and any stresses in your life. If you feel comfortable with your therapist and would like to proceed with more sessions, you and your therapist will then decide how often you will meet and what you will work on together. When you leave, you can let your therapist know if you would be more comfortable leaving through the side entrance so you do not have to walk through the waiting room on your way out.
2. Do you have weekend and evening appointments available?
Yes we do. Check our online appointment scheduler for times that work best for you.
3. What do you charge for therapy?
Our team of highly trained, and experienced psychologists has been carefully chosen to help you. And we will be direct here – if you want low-cost counselling, we are not your option. Our rates run between $200 and $240 for each 50-minute session depending on which therapist you choose. If you have questions about the fees or our therapists, please feel free to contact our clinic director at 604-259-0627. If you have an extended health plan through your work, please check to see if you can be reimbursed for part of the cost of your therapy sessions. Depending on the plan from that your employer has purchased from Blue Cross or Manulife (or similar insurers), you may receive $500-1000 towards the cost of your therapy. You may also claim your remaining session fees as a medical expense on your tax return.
4. I've tried therapy before and it wasn't helpful? Can you guarantee that it will work this time?
If you have tried therapy before, your therapist at Vancouver Anxiety and Stress Centre will look at what you will be able to do differently this time to increase your chances of success. Many therapists say that they do cognitive therapy - but do not follow the guidelines for treatment. A cognitive therapist should review your progress each week, teach you skills such as challenging your thoughts, assign practice exercises to be reviewed at the next session and ask you for feedback at the end of each session about whether the work you did together was helpful. Research has shown that structuring the session in this way ensures that you are most likely to benefit from the skills you will learn in session. While we can never guarantee success, if you work hard in between sessions, give your therapist feedback about what is and is not working, you will increase your chances of having a positive experience this time.
5. Do you treat children and teens?
Yes, we can accommodate a limited number of child & teen patients, but please phone us at 604-259-0627 to ensure that we match you with the right therapist. As a rule we recommend that you contact Dunbar Psychological Services where they have a comprehensive clinic offering both psychiatric and psychological services designed to meet the needs of pediatric patients.
6. Do you do medical-legal assessments?
No. As a rule we do not accept patients with ongoing ICBC or legal claims. The lengthy reports and needing to be available for court keeps us from what we really love doing - helping people overcome their anxiety. We don't like cancelling appointments to go to court or having to create a long waitlist because the medical legal paperwork is piling up. It's important work but not our thing. The good news is that this is Dr. Theo DeGagne's area of expertise and he would be happy to help you if you have a court date in your future.
7. How do I get started?
Please phone us at 604-259-0627 or click here to schedule an appointment today.