What is counselling?

Counselling is a voluntary process where a client enters into a professional, therapeutic relationship with a qualified mental health therapist with the overall goal of working towards living a more satisfying and balanced life. Counselling relationships vary depending on the client’s needs and the particular style of the therapist, but generally, counsellors aim to help their clients resolve, manage, or accept the challenges that they are facing. These issues may be related to making decisions, managing emotional distress, healing from trauma, developing personal insights and self-awareness, addressing and resolving specific problems, coping with crises, improving their relationships, and any other issues people may face.

Counselling is about promoting a client’s growth and success and is not about advice-giving or coercion. You and your therapist will form a partnership in setting goals, planning treatment, and determining the scope and length of the therapy process.

How do I choose a counsellor? There are so many out there!

Choosing a counsellor can be an overwhelming process – there are many counsellors in the field, each with different qualifications, backgrounds, and specialities. 

The research shows that the fit you have with your counsellor – how comfortable you are, how supported you feel, and how the connection grows – is a driving factor in positive therapy outcomes. 

At Sage Mental Health, we are very aware that people don’t always “click” with everyone they meet. If you feel that your therapist at Sage Mental Health is not the best person for you and your needs, we are pleased to help you connect with a different professional who may be a better fit.

Some helpful tips for finding the right therapist: 

  • Ask around for word-of-mouth recommendations;
  • Read about the counsellor’s background and qualifications online;
  • Ideally, seek out a qualified professional with the appropriate training to suit your needs;
  • Take advantage of a free consultation if that would be helpful for you.


How many sessions will it take until I feel better or reach my goals?

Counseling is a very personal, unique process for each client. Some people seek shorter-term therapy to help solve a problem or navigate a crisis. In contrast, others seek longer-term support in managing their mental health or coping with ongoing concerns. The frequency and number of appointments will be determined through a collaborative conversation with your therapist and depends on your specific situation, goals, needs, and resources.

Are sessions offered online, over the phone, or in-person?

We do it all! Online sessions are offered by all of Sage’s counsellors through a secure video platform (Jane), and telephone sessions are offered at your request, with daytime, evening, and weekend appointments available. In addition, the following in-person appointments are available:

– in Hope, BC, with Lynne Marvell

– in Vancouver, BC, with Emily Baum

– in Chilliwack, BC, with Jennifer Baker

What can I expect in a counselling session?

At Sage Mental Health, we believe that our clients are the experts in their own lives. As such, we take a client-centered approach and tailor our counselling sessions to you, your preferences, and your goals. A session may involve a looser flow of conversation where you are given the time and space to explore what is going on for you, or it may be more structured, with your counsellor sharing information, strategies, or tools that may be of support to you. Whatever you’re looking for in counselling, you and your therapist will work together to find the best path forward.

How long are counselling sessions?

Sage Mental Health offers standard, 50-minute sessions as well as extended, 80-minute counselling sessions.

How much are counselling sessions?

Standard 50-minute sessions for individuals (12+) $145 + 5% GST.

Standard 50-minute couples and family therapy sessions are $175 + 5% GST.

Extended 80-minute sessions for individuals are $232 + 5% GST.

Extended 80-minute sessions for couples and family therapy are $280 + 5% GST.

What forms of payment are accepted?

Payment can be arranged immediately prior to or following your session. Credit card and e-transfer are both accepted. Payment is due within 24 hours of your session.

Is counselling covered by my extended health plan?

Clients should reach out to their extended medical plan provider for specific details on their coverage. Many extended health plans cover counselling therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) services with Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCCs), Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCCs), and Registered Social Workers (RSWs).

Can you direct bill to my insurance company?

Currently, Sage Mental Health does not offer direct billing. A receipt complete with your therapist’s licensure information will be provided, which you can then use to claim with extended benefits.

What is the cancellation policy?

Your appointment time is reserved specifically for you. If you are not able to keep your appointment, we require 24-hours’ notice. If this is not possible, you may be charged the regular session fee. Sickness and emergencies are exempted at our discretion. 

How does confidentiality work?

We will discuss this during our first session, and questions are always welcome! Basically, it works like this: In accordance with healthcare privacy laws, all of your private information, including the content of your sessions, your clinical record, and any communication between sessions, are kept private and confidential. This means that none of your information is being shared with anyone without your written consent. Legally, your therapist is required to release information or breach confidentiality in the event of imminent harm to yourself or another person; in instances of harm, neglect, or abuse to a minor, elder person, or a person with a disability; or in response to a legal subpoena from a court of law.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out by email, by phone, or by using the contact page.

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