When face-to-face counselling is not an option or, does not appeal as an option, phone counselling can be a viable alternative.

When many people hear ‘phone counselling’, they think Skype, FaceTime or other similar teleconferencing options. In my practice, phone counselling means phone counselling – as in ‘old school’ telephone counselling. In order to guarantee privacy and confidentiality, I do not provide counselling via Skype. I also believe that phone counselling is more personal than teleconferencing: it’s a voice-to voice experience that is not competing for our attention with a screen.

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Who Benefits Most From Phone Counselling?

Phone counselling can work for a number of situations including:

Small Town Concerns

  • You live in a small or remote community with no or limited access to face-to-face counselling
  • You live in a small town where you know many people, including the local counsellor
  • You live in a small town and value your privacy
  • You do not have the money to travel to another community to receive counselling

Depression or Anxiety-Related Concerns

  • Face to face contact with a counsellor feels too emotionally intense
  • Leaving your home is currently overwhelming, or you worry that you will have a panic attack when you’re out
  • Commuting or being in an unfamiliar environment is very stressful
  • You feel a greater sense of control over the phone and opening up is easier
  • You find you can concentrate better over the phone
  • You have a heightened sense of shame or stigma about receiving counselling or the issues you are needing help with, and the thought of phone counselling, where there is no office visit, just feels easier
Phone Counselling: Emotional Barrier Buster?
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Mobility Concerns

  • You have a physical disability which prevents you from travelling to an appointment or attending a face-to-face appointment
  • You would not be physically comfortable in an office environment
  • You have physical needs that could only be met in your own home

Other Concerns

  • You have limited access to childcare and can only spare the time for a phone appointment
  • You are a caregiver with limited personal time
  • Phone counselling is more convenient for your particular schedule
  • Phone counselling may be available sooner than in in-person appointment
  • Your work situation will not allow the time it would take to have an appointment and commute to and from that appointment
  • You do not want to worry about traffic or parking
  • You are moving to the city or town your prospective phone counsellor is in and you would like to start with phone sessions until you have moved and can then participate in face-to-face counselling


At this time I am only able to provide phone counselling to residents of British Columbia, the Yukon and Nunavut. This is due to the fact that social work is a highly regulated profession, and social work legislation currently varies from province to province and is province-specific. My social work registration (04462) is for British Columbia, and while I am consistently practicing in BC, social work regulators govern according to the province that the client is in.

Counselling is available in English only from my office in Vancouver, within the pacific standard time (PST) zone. 

Rates for phone counselling are the same as my rates for in-person counselling and must be prepaid by PayPal or by an Interac e-transfer prior to your appointment time.  Clients now also have the option of storing a credit card on file that can be used for payment at the end of the session. You incur no long-distance charges as long as you provide me with a Canadian telephone number. I call out to Canadian phone numbers only.

In the event that we become disconnected, I will call you back immediately at the number you have provided. Please ensure that your ringer is on. If there is a phone malfunction on either end and I am not able to reach you, please check your email for further instructions.

To maximize your phone counselling experience, please ensure that you have access to a quiet, private space with no distractions. Being interrupted by others often interferes with people’s ability to open up in a session, is distracting, and compromises your confidentiality. Avoiding computer use and turning off any other devices also ensures you get the most out of telephone counselling. Please ensure that you have phone service with good reception as dropped calls will have a detrimental effect on your session.

It is important to note that phone counselling lacks the visual cues that are particular to in-person sessions, increasing the possibility that both you and I may miss some non-verbal cues and communication. If you feel that this has happened, please bring this up with me right away.

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for phone counselling. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, psychosis, mania, are actively self-harming or are engaging in other behaviour that compromises your safety, I am not able to provide phone counselling. I am more than willing, however, to assist in directing you to in-person counselling alternatives or crisis counselling services. 1-800-SUICIDE  is available to help all British Columbia residents, round the clock.

Getting Started

Currently, I provide phone counselling on rotating weekdays 3-4 times a month, between the hours of 9am and 3pm, PST. A first appointment for a phone session is typically available between 1-3 weeks unless I am out of the office.

If you would like to give phone counselling a try, I welcome you to fill out an interest form so we can discuss your situation and needs further.