New to counselling?

If you've never been to counselling before, the ins-and-outs can be confusing. Here's a quick rundown on what you need to know, and how to get started.

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Understanding credentials

In BC are there two main types of counsellors: Social Workers (RSWs), and Clinical Counsellors (RCCs and CCCs). There is little difference between the two, because both professions learn and practice the same approaches (more on that below).

At Cedarwood, all of our Registered Counsellors are overseen by professional oversight bodies. Our Apprentice Counsellors are completing their training under the supervision of a Registered Counsellor.

Understanding fees

Counselling isn’t covered by BC’s Medical Services Plan, but it is covered under most extended care plans. If your plan doesn’t recognize a particular credential, or only offers reimbursement for a couple of sessions, don’t fret: contact us to get a letter you can submit to your insurance company requesting coverage.

If you don’t have insurance , our Apprentice Counsellors provide high quality counselling at a rate that is more accessible for many people.

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Choosing the right counsellor

It comes as a surprise to many people, but the relationship you share with your counsellor has been found to be the most important factor determining whether counselling achieves what you want it to.

Take some time to think what you want in a counsellor: Would you like them to share the same values as you, or have experienced the same problems? Make a list of what you’re looking for, as well as questions you would like to a counsellor when deciding if they’re right for you.

Choosing the right approach

With dozens of different therapies in use today, it can be overwhelming deciding which is right for what you’re experiencing. Rather than trying to sort through all the options, try thinking about the ways in which you’re wanting to feel better.

When you have a clear idea of how, when, and in what ways you want to feel better, your counsellor can suggest an approach tailored to your particular needs, preferences, and circumstances.

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Booking a consult

A consultation is a short conversation, usually done over the phone, which gives you an opportunity to talk to a counsellor and decide whether they’re a good fit for you.

During the consult you’ll have the opportunity to share what it is you’re experiencing, and what it is you’re hoping to achieve through counselling. The counsellor will listen carefully and let you know how they think they can help. During this time you can feel free to ask questions and share anything that you think would be helpful in creating a comfortable and trusting relationship.

Your first session

If you’d like to work with the counsellor following your consult, they’ll set up an account for you. When you’re ready, use our booking app to schedule an appointment with your counsellor.

You don’t need to bring anything to your first session, but many people bring their notebook or journal with them. Feel free to write down thoughts, feelings, situations and goals that you might want to discuss in your first session.

Finally, feel free to bring a coffee or tea to sip on, as you settle into a good conversation.

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Arrange a free consult

Share an unhurried conversation with one of our counsellors