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Psychologist FAQ

What happens in therapy?

During the first session we will explore what you would like to get out of being in therapy and talk about how it works (hopefully calm fears or stereotypes about therapy- phew!). We will chat about any risks and benefits of being in therapy and any questions or concerns that you may have. Collaboratively after the first session, we will work to achieve your goals. Clinical best practice recommendations may be provided as needed and requested. Please feel free to call for a free phone consultation to decide if I am a good fit for you and/or for any specialized questions about the type of therapy you prefer e.g. trauma work, EMDR, working with children and parents, couples therapy. Sessions typically are an hour long. Some sessions such as EMDR, Couples sessions, or persons from out of town may be 1.5hrs.

Children & Therapy

Children 6yrs+ may attend therapy. In therapy children and parents work on the child’s issues such as anxiety, emotion regulation, aggression, social skills development, grief and loss, coping with separation, school behaviour, home behaviour, parent-child relationship/attachment, and communication and expression of emotion and needs. Some clinical issues may be accepted for therapy such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, please call to consult prior to booking to ensure I am able to meet your needs.

Therapy with children requires consent by all parents with consent for the child (even if is one parent is only part-time or has visitation of child). Therapy with children includes consent by parents to talk with other persons involved in child’s daily activity such as teachers, grandparents if needed. Parents are required to attend parent sessions (alone at times) in conjunction with child’s therapy, and sometimes may require family sessions. Parent’s may be in the room with children, depending on child’s comfort level. Sessions with parents outside of room may be videotaped at parent’s request for later viewing. Child therapy includes doing activities with children that may involve markers, glue, paints, and sparkles please note this for children’s attire (e.g. clothes could get glue on them). Please note children under 12yrs old must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the session, parents will be asked to wait in waiting room or outside of therapy room depending on age and comfort of child.

image002Liana Lowenstein’s creative interventions for child therapy is often used for child therapy. Other modalities such as children’s therapy books, drawing, puppets, play figurines, and other craft activities may also be used.

Emotion Coaching is the primary therapeutic approach used when working with children. Parents are encouraged to read “raising an emotionally intelligent child” by John Gottman or exploring emotion coaching ( as part of working with their child in therapy. On some occasions EMDR may be used with children for working with effects of trauma. This will be done in consultation with parents.

Youth & Therapy

Youth 14yrs and older are usually considered mature minors and may not require parent consent. However, parent consent may be required to access insurance benefits or EAP’s to be covered financially for services. Please note that consent for financial administration is not the same as consent for what happens in therapy. For youth deemed to be a mature minor sharing information with parents will normally only occur with the youth client’s consent.

Cost – How do I pay for Therapy/Psychological Services?

Most clients with insurance and/or government or other employment benefits are covered for some or most of the costs of Psychological services examples are: Sunlife, Manulife, Blue Cross, Health Canada, Veterans Affairs (Military), and Residential School Health Benefit. There will be a limit to the amount per year available, you may check with your benefit plan to inquire how much is covered per session and per year. Some Employee Assistance Plans (EAP) may also be accepted. For questions about coverage for services not listed, please feel free to call GAIA and inquire. Private practice rates are $175/hr. Feel free to call for a free consultation.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and Counsellor?

In the NWT, the Psychologist Act and (soon to be) Health Professions Act governs professionals that practice psychology in the NWT. Professionals that practice psychology in the NWT are registered with the GNWT Registrar of Health and Social Services. This requires having an applicable Masters Degree and completing 1600 hours of supervised practice working with clients in the NWT. In the NWT, there is no territorial legislation for the Counselling Profession – which “technically” means anyone may call themselves a Counsellor. Most Master’s level Counsellors in the NWT register with national associations such as the (CCPA) Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association. This requires 500 hours of supervised practice as part of the certification process. Other national associations also exist in Canada. It is recommended to check professional registrations in places that do not have provincial/territorial legislation for certain professional designations.

Professional Ethics and Registration

The NWT Psychologist’s Association follows the (CPA) Canadian Psychological Association. For review of CPA Code of Ethics please see

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