Please see my fees page.
Yes, I meet with clients on Tuesdays at my downtown Vancouver office.
I respectfully ask that you wear a mask for in-person sessions. I will be wearing a K-N95 mask for your appointment. While there is just enough room to physically distance, I am unable to open the windows in my office.
Apologies, I no longer work on weekends or during the evening. All appointments are held between 8am and 3pm, Tuesdays through Fridays.
Possibly. Approximately 60% 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. Clients pay me directly and I issue an official receipt that they submit to their extended health insurer. Unfortunately direct billing is not currently 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 am a Registered Social Worker #836337 with the Ontario College of Social Workers, approved for electronic practice. 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. Generally, for higher levels of distress, clients come in once every one 1-2 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.
Sorry, I work exclusively with adults 19+. I am not trained or experienced in providing counselling for children.
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. We start with the free 15-minute consultation first, to help you decide whether you feel at ease with me. This can also be done over the phone or via a secure video call. For those that are seeking in-person appointments, 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.
Yes. I am diligent about moving through my waiting list as soon as I have space and will post any changes to my availability status once I have an update.
When my waiting list is closed, consultations are not available; consultations are the first step to going on my waiting list. When I am accepting consultation appointments, my website will reflect this.
The first step is to sign up for a 15-minute consultation, if available, to see if we are a good therapeutic fit. If so, and if you are interested in working with me, I will add you to my list and will contact you when your name comes up. Consultations are only available when the waiting list is open.
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.
I am currently trialing a new model of keeping a shorter waiting list, and in order to keep waiting times shorter, my waiting list will be closed when I have hit the maximum amount of clients I feel is practical. Wait times are tricky to estimate with precision because clients vary in the time it takes for them to complete their counselling. Please check the Request an Appointment page to see if my waiting list is open.
Yes! I will contact you just as soon as your name comes up or you can contact me for an update. From time to time I have to close my waiting list to prevent it from becoming too long.
Not at all! I believe in the least amount of bureaucracy as possible. That being said, I am always honoured when past or present clients refer people to me. If you’re being referred, please let me know.
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 chosen 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.
If you are a Vancouver resident experiencing an urgent, non-life threatening mental health or addictions issue and need immediate support, please see my list of crisis services. You may also contact the national service, Wellness Together Canada for 24/7 phone counselling.
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 are concerned about your status on the list, feel free to check in to enquire. Emailing me will generally ensure a faster reply.
I contact you to ensure you’re still interested in counselling and I offer you a choice of appointment times over the span of 4-6 weeks. 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: sometimes we’re more ready when we 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 client 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 your adult child decides that they would like to pursue counselling with me, I ask that they sign up for my wait list themselves, if my waiting list is open. 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.