Frequently asked questions

1 What can I expect from counselling?

During our sessions, you can expect the counselling process to be focused towards improving your quality of life. Generally this looks like providing you with greater self-awareness, ability to manage thoughts more effectively, confidence, and a much stronger ability to communicate.

To do this, we will start by figuring out who you are and what’s important to you. From here, you and I will create a plan together that we can follow through on throughout our sessions. Going forward, we will work together to achieve the unique outcome that you have identified.

Do not worry if you do not have a clear idea of what you want yet, you do not need a particular diagnosis or roadblock in life to begin counselling. Reach out for a free consultation and we can start identifying what’s important for you. For more information about the counselling process, I have a post titled What is Counselling.

2 What happens during our counselling session?

While counselling sessions vary from session to session, there is generally a format that fits within our 50 minute clinical hour.

At the beginning of a session, I’ll typically invites you to share what’s been going on in your life, what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, or whether there are any goals you’d like to focus on for the session.

You’ll be invited to speak openly. I’ll listen carefully and ask thoughtful questions. You won’t be criticized, interrupted or judged as you speak. Your conversation will be kept in the strictest confidentiality. This is a unique type of conversation in which you can say exactly what you feel without worrying that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, damage a relationship, or be penalized in any way. You are free to share completely honestly. Anything you want or need to say is OK.

At the end of the counselling session we will generally wrap up by going over something for you to reflect on or a tool that may help with what we have processed in the session. This way the work can continue through the week and not just be limited to the clinical hour.

3 What is the time frame for counselling?

Counselling is a unique conversation as it is somewhere where you will feel deeply heard. Together we will discuss and identify your goals (i.e. improve your mood, manage procrastination, reduce anxiety, etc..) and set a treatment plan on how I can best support you.

I offer two main types of counselling support: short and long-term therapy. Short term therapy is focused on the present and the future with the aim of reducing unwanted behaviours (i.e. anger or substance use), or promoting healthy behaviours (i.e. improving communication or building confidence). Long-term therapy generally includes exploring the past and learning the reasons for why the unwanted behaviours are happening or what is blocking the healthy behaviours from sticking.

Short Term Therapy

When working on a specific issue or barrier in life (such as anxiety or depression), I generally suggest 6-12 sessions with a therapeutic approach that is cognitive in nature (Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), ACT, or DBT). Psychometric screenings and assessments highlight most clients feeling relief and a greater sense of control with their presenting issue within 12 sessions.

The sessions feel like a structured conversation, you have an opportunity to share what is coming up for you, and I will walk you through techniques to better manage (i.e. skills to manage panic attacks, driving anxiety, prevent mind racing, etc…).

If the problem has been persisting for years and the nervous system has been in overdrive for a long time, more sessions may be needed to reinforce new ways of thinking or building skills to fill your psychological toolbox.

It is common for clients to find benefit within the 6-12 sessions, and then schedule additional sessions for check ups at a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly cadence to maintain progress.

Long Term Therapy

If you are looking for a professional to be in your professional support network and maintain a therapeutic alliance, long term therapy is an effective option.

Long term therapy does not have to be weekly or by-weekly to build skills, instead I am able to become a professional who will understand you and your unique history. This allows me to be a strong resource during difficult parts of your journey.

I have noticed that clients often experience a lot of personal growth in this dynamic as the structured meetings help keep them accountable to their goals, and meaningful conversations can be had around barriers or challenges.

For more information about the counselling process, I have a post titled “What is Counselling

4 What are the fees?

The fees are based on the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors fee guidelines:

Individual therapy (in person or online per 50 minute session) – $150

Mental Health Presentation or Workshop – please inquire.

Payment is collected at the end of each session. I accept cash, visa, Mastercard or e-transfer. A receipt will be provided at the end of each session for insurance purposes.

Unfortunately due to counselling not being regulated in British Columbia counselling is not a service that can be direct billed to most extended health plans.

5 Are your counselling sessions covered under my extended health plan?

My fees are not covered by Medical Services Plan (MSP), but as a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC # 17610) with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology my services are covered by most extended health benefits. Each plan is different, so it is important to check with your employer’s extended health benefits to verify if they cover a Registered Clinical Counsellor.

At the moment, I am only able to provide direct billing for three insurance companies in BC, which are:

  • ​​The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)
  • First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)
  • Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP).

How can I check if I can use my benefit plan?

For insurance companies other than ICBC, CVAP, FNHA, please follow the steps below to check if you can use your benefit plan to pay for your services:

  1. Please check if your insurance plan covers counselling services provided by a Registered Clinical Counsellor or or a psychologist.
  2. Please check how much coverage is covered by the plan for the service provided by your counsellor.
  3. To claim your payment, please take the invoice which will sent to your email as soon as you pay and directly claim it from your insurance company.

More information on Direct Billing:

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) will cover counselling support after a car accident. In this case, 12 sessions will be covered for your first 90 days after your accident. If it has been longer than 12 weeks, a doctor’s note may be sent to your counsellor recommending you pursue counselling.

More sessions may be approved by ICBC, which is dependent on the severity of your psychological injuries. The aim is to help you get back to the condition you were prior to the accident.

Please provide the following information if you would like me to direct bill ICBC:

  • Claim number
  • Date of birth
  • Date of accident
  • Personal Health Number
  • Your adjuster’s name, email, and phone number

The Crime Victim Assistance Program(CVAP). CVAP assists victims, immediate family members and some witnesses in coping with the effects of violent crime. It provides financial benefits to help offset financial losses and assist in recovery.

Please have the following information ready if you would like me to directly bill CVAP:

  • A valid claim number

6 How can I learn more? Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes, I offer a free 20 minute phone or video consultation.

This consultation will provide you with the opportunity to get to know me better before beginning counselling. You can ask me questions you might have and get a sense of the work that we will do to meet your counselling goals. The consultation is not a necessity but is offered to give you the opportunity to ask any questions prior to scheduling an appointment.

Please fill out a contact form at the bottom of the page or send me an email to schedule a free consultation.

7 Is virtual teletherapy just as good as in-person?

In the last few years, virtual counselling has been a necessity that has turned into an effective alternative for in person sessions.

The American Psychological Association released an article comparing research on virtual sessions. In a study that included 98,602 participants, it showed that virtual sessions were equally as effective as in person sessions as well as increasing the access to care. It was also found to be particularly effective for clients with depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders and had higher retention rates than traditional therapy. There has been less research on phone calls or audio only counselling, but one study found it to be effective in reducing depression for clients who were geographically isolated, and another discovered that therapeutic alliance was not impacted when sessions changed from in person to over the phone. Importantly, patients who have completed virtual therapy show high levels of satisfaction with the remote care.

From these studies it is shown that virtual counselling has been show to be equally effective as in person sessions, has higher rates of retention, can support clients who are geographically isolated, has no marked difference on therapeutic alliance and clients show high levels of satisfaction with remote care.

The limits to virtual counselling include the reality that not all clients have a secure and confidential space to work on themselves, technical difficulties that can occur, and a preference for in-person work. Because of these, I have availability at my Abbotsford office two days a week to support clients who want in person sessions.

8 You are a Registered Clinical Counsellor, what does that mean?

A Registered Clinical Counsellor or RCC is a professional who has completed an applicable masters-level counselling education, and has achieved registration with an association called the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). There are several necessary requirements that the counsellor needs to meet to become an RCC post-education such as a 6 month practicum with over 100 hours of direct supervision with a clinical supervisor.

What is BCACC?

It is one of the most well-recognized designations in BC, and it is an association that regulates counselling practices to maintain a high level of ethical care. It is also a counsellor community that allows counsellors to connect with one another that creates a province-wide client referral system.

What does it mean?

Seeing a counsellor who is a RCC with the BCACC means that the counsellor’s abilities have been thoroughly vetted. The differences between seeing a counsellor from BCACC and a counsellor from other associations are that BCACC requires a high standard of education, clear ethics training and a more in-depth education than any other association in BC. Clients can also be referred between counsellors if the fit is not correct or a specialty is needed.

In BC counselling is not currently regulated, so the titles of counsellor or therapist are not protected terms. Working with a RCC helps to ensure you are working with a professional who is well vetted and practices at a high standard.

9 Do you offer reduced fees or a sliding scale, or do you have a free resources list?

I have limited counselling opportunities available for a reduced fee for those facing financial hardship or are in school.

During our free consultation, we can discuss if this would be appropriate for you. For my sliding scale to be ethical it is set at fixed rates based on your income, and re-assessed at a 3 month cadence.

If you are in need of free counselling, it is best accessed through students completing their practicums or through community agencies. A few are listed below:

Archway Community Resources (Formerly Abbotsford Community Resources)

Community agency with 90 programs ranging from babies to senior with psychological servies from individual counselling, group work, or workshops.

Langley Community Services Society

Since 1971 Langley Community Services Society has been helping families, and currently they provide free counselling services for families and individuals who need substance use support.

Langley Youth and Family Services

Langley Youth and Family Services (LYFS) is a contracted service with the City and Township of Langley with a mandate to work with the police and the community toward minimizing child and youth entry into the criminal justice system. They provide counselling for youth as well as their families.

Encompass Support Services Society

Encompass Support Services Society (ESS) is a grassroots, non-profit agency that provides a wide range of enriching and essential programs and support services in Langley and Aldergrove. Free counselling support for children and youth up to age 19 who have experienced sexual abuse, as well as a trauma counselling program.

Trinity Western Fraser River Counselling

TWU Counselling Psychology students provide a broad range of counselling services to the community. While under the supervision of professional counsellors and faculty, students see clients from all walks of life.

Moving Forward Family Services

Moving Forward offers free short-term and affordable long-term counselling options to underserved communities across Canada via in-person, telephone, and online platforms

Fraser House

Fraser House Society seeks to promote a healthy community by supporting, developing and implementing effective prevention and counselling strategies for the residents of Mission when it comes to substance use, misuse, and addiction.

Fraser Valley Child Development Centre

Psychological and behavioral support programs for families and children

Chilliwack Community Services

Chilliwack Community Services (CCS) is a non-profit accredited multi service agency providing support focused programming to people of all ages

Ann Davis

Chilliwack based agency that provides counselling for women, men, children, and family at a sliding scale or free rate.

SARA for Women

Non-profit society providing safe refuge and community-based resources for women in the Fraser Valley. We promote and support women’s efforts to achieve domestic, political, and social equality.

If you know of any others please email me so that I can add them to this list!

10 What happens if I need to cancel an appointment?

I understand that life is unpredictable, and as long as you cancel with at least 24 hours notice there is no charge for cancelled sessions.

If you do not attend a scheduled session or cancel without reasonable notice you may be charged. This is an industry standard and in place to not for punitive measures, but to ensure that the clinical time in my schedule can be utilized for client work. If a session is cancelled a few hours before the scheduled time, it does not give the space for another client to use that time.

11 Do you have immediate availability for a crisis?

Evan does not provide a crisis service or promise same day bookings. If his schedule allows he may be able to fit a session into his schedule in a short time frame.

If you believe your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger, call 911 or utilize the crisis lines and services listed below:

Crisis Lines:
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC – 1-800-784-2433
BC Mental Health Support Line – 310-6789 (no area code)
KUU-US Crisis Line Support – 24/7 Crisis support for Indigenous Elders, adults, youth, and children – 1-800-588-8717

Vancouver Island Crisis Society – 1-888-494-3888

BC 211 – Resources and confidential support in BC – Dial 211
HealthLinkBC – Free non-emergency information for physical + mental health – Dial 811 or 711 for deaf or hard of hearing. Translation services available.
VictimLinkBC – Information + referrals services for victims of all crime (assault, violence, abuse, etc.) – 1-800-563-0808
Alcohol & Drug Information Referral Service – Free + confidential information and referral services in BC for any substance use concern – 1-800-663-1441

12 How confidential are counselling sessions?

Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of counselling sessions. Anything that is said before, during, and after session will not be communicated to anyone without first communicating with you and receiving your written consent. Any written identifying information or data will be encrypted and stored behind two locks when unattended. All online sessions are encrypted and password coded.

That being said, there are three limits to confidentiality where we are bound to disclose information:

Duty to Warn: If there is an imminent threat of harmful action against another human being, or yourself, it is my duty to warn the appropriate channels. Additionally, if I assess any actual or suspected acts of child, elder, or dependent adult abuse, I will need to report to the appropriate agencies. If I deem there is a duty to warn, I will let you know and my reporting will not be done in secret or behind your back.

Court Subpoenas: If a lawyer believes that a client’s counsellor may have valuable information for their case, they will subpoena that counsellor’s records. Because of this, if you are in legal trouble and it is possible that my records for you may be subpoenaed, it is important you tell me.

Consultation: Because I am in private practice, consultation is not a practice I generally engage in. If I feel it would be beneficial for you, I may seek another professional’s opinion on alternative perspectives and potential options. Your identity will not be revealed in any potential consultation.