Apologies, I am currently phasing out evening sessions which are currently only offered to existing evening clients so that they may complete their therapy. I no longer work on weekends.
Possibly. Approximately 50% of employee benefit plans cover social workers (my designation). Check with your HR department or extended health carrier to be sure; it’s also good to know what your yearly maximum is, so that you can plan accordingly. The process around extended health claims is that clients pay me directly and I issue an official receipt that they submit to their insurance, either by mail or online. As this time, unfortunately direct billing is not an option available to social work practitioners.
Unfortunately, no. Counselling is not covered under MSP.
I have a 24-hour cancellation policy. Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice are charged a percentage of the cost of the session. Missed appointments are charged the full session fee. Read my full cancellation policy.
Yes. This covers your identity, what you share with me and your attendance and status as a client. There are some exceptions to confidentiality that I must act on legally if they arise:
I am a Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW) #04462 with the BC College of Social Workers and I have a Master of Social Work Degree (MSW). Previous to going to social work school, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Family Studies.
That depends, and is usually a balance between your current level of distress and what you can afford. I use an Outcome Rating Scale to help determine where you think you’re at and we plan accordingly. Generally, for higher levels of distress, clients come in every one to two weeks. I trust what you have to say about your needs and we continue to discuss this as we go along. Average amount of sessions are usually 6-8, although some folks need less, some more.
I’m with you on this. Meeting a counsellor for the first time can be nerve-wracking. It’s actually not necessary to decide right away. I recommend the free 15-minute consultation first, to help you decide whether you feel at ease with me and in my office. This can also be done over the phone if an office visit feels too intense. I have a 360 degree view of my office if you would like to look around virtually first!
For centuries, the willow tree has been recognized for its healing properties, particularly pain relief. The willow is also characterized by its supple branches, an analogy for flexibility amidst the ever-changing conditions of life.
The first step is to sign up for a 15-minute consultation (phone or in-person) to see if we are a good therapeutic fit. If so, I will add you to my list and also ask you for your availability, should you also want the option of getting started if a last-minute opening comes up. I receive approximately 0-3 of these a week. These appointment openings are in the daytime.
Please note that should you choose to go on my waiting list, I keep you on the list for up to 6 months, before which time, I need to hear from you again, should you wish to remain on my list. I understand that not all people are ready to start when their name comes up on my list. At this time, wait times for a first appointment do not exceed 6 months.
This keeps the waiting list current and relevant, maximizing the chance of me knowing who would like to still start counselling. This is particularly important if you wish to work with me in the future but are not ready when your name comes up. Hearing from you ultimately streamlines the startup process and improves the chances of me being able to meet with you sooner, since I am not blocking off time for extra administrative tasks related to the management of the list.
My vision for Willow Tree Counselling is that it remain an independent, individually-run counselling practice for clients who are interested with me, Megan Sutherland. I am honoured that many people who contact me say they do so because they feel drawn to working with me personally.
As you can imagine, because I do not have staff or associates, I am the only person seeing clients and I have a maximum number of sessions I can provide in a week.
A good fit between client and counsellor is just go important! We want to ensure that we’re on the right track sooner rather than later and help you find alternative counselling options if we’re not.
Typically 4-6 months for in-person sessions and 2-4 months for virtual sessions although this can vary greatly as people complete their counselling at different speeds. This wait time can vary from time to time throughout the year. Please check the Request an Appointment page for my most up-to-date estimate.
There is usually no waiting list for daytime phone or video sessions, however due to COVID-19, all counselling sessions have moved to video and phone sessions and a waiting/cancellation list exists for clients interested in a phone or video session.
Not at all! I believe in the least amount of bureaucracy as possible.
I recognize that crises occur and this is often a common time to contact a counsellor. I am happy to refer you to another therapist or to do my best to assist you to find alternative services in your community. Unfortunately, because I am so tightly scheduled, I can rarely offer crisis counselling appointments.
Many people who are already waiting to meet with me are experiencing significant distress but have chose to wait to work with me, despite this. If we have had a 15-minute consultation and I perceive you need immediate counselling, I will refer you elsewhere or help you to develop a plan for interim counselling with another counselling service until such time that we can meet. If you feel you are experiencing a crisis or urgent situation that cannot wait, please consider finding a counsellor with sooner availability.
Some, but not all situations may be appropriate for phone or video counselling. Contact me and we can discuss.
If you are a Vancouver resident experiencing an urgent, non-life threatening mental health or addictions issue and need immediate support, contact the Vancouver Access and Assessment Centre (AAC), available 7 days a week.
Not at all, although it’s useful but not mandatory if you let me know if you would like to be removed from the list. There is never any pressure or expectation that you commit to counselling with me when you sign up for the waiting list.
If you have been on my wait list for a little while and you haven’t been contacted, feel free to check in to enquire. Emailing me will generally ensure a faster reply. Please also ensure that you contact me before 6 months to communicate with me that you’re still interested in working with me.
Don’t panic! Please contact me to discuss your situation. Also, your name can be re-added at any time.
I contact you to ensure you’re still interested in counselling and I offer you a choice of appointment times over the span of a month. If you are still interested but can’t start within the next six weeks, you can request that your name be added to the bottom of the waiting list again.
Most certainly and for some people it’s a process: they’re more ready when they put themselves on the waiting list for a second (or third) time. There are no hard feelings and I understand that situations change frequently.
Easy. Just contact me and I will remove your name, no questions asked.
Often, yes. Contact me to briefly describe your situation so that I can best direct you to counsellors who work in that area, if applicable. With any referrals I make, I highly recommend that you contact each counsellor individually and interview them by phone or in-person. Each counselling consumer has unique needs and the right counsellor for one person may not be right for the next person. If you email me your referral request, I can email you back relevant links.
It is fine to contact me with questions – particularly if your child feels too shy to ask me directly. If he or she decides that they would like to pursue counselling with me, I ask that they sign up for my wait list themselves. This can often be an important psychological step in the counselling process. I do not provide counselling for clients under the age of 19.
Please have the person you’re concerned about waitlist themselves, or contact me, directly. Most people are very startled when they are contacted by a counsellor when they have not requested counselling. The counsellor is typically startled too! Typically counselling does not proceed in such situations as people understandably feel that their privacy has been violated.