Appointment & Intake Process

Intake Process

Ready to make your make your initial appointment? Give us a call and our Client Services staff will work with you to match you with a therapist who is best suited for your needs.

Still have questions? Here are some answers to prepare for the intake process:

What is difference between a Psychologist and a Counsellor?
According to BC Psychological Association and BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, here are the following definitions:

"Psychologists have completed a bachelor's degree and then continued in graduate training in psychology (the study of human development, learning and behavior), and may have specialized in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness, emotional disorders, and behavioral problems. Although they may have training in the uses of medication to treat mental illness, they do not prescribe medication.  Psychologists work to help people understand the nature of difficulties they may be dealing with, develop insight and skills to minimize and manage the impact of problems, and may coordinate with other health service providers, including physicians. Psychologists are also only professionals specifically trained and qualified in the development, research and aministration of specialized psychological tests used to assess elements of intelligence or achievement, personality characteristics, mental and emotional disorders, and/or the effects of brain injury." (BC Psychological Association)

"Counsellors may have a range of backgrounds, and may have master's or doctoral level degrees from counseling programs. However, inidividuals may otherwise refer to themselves as a "therapist" or "counselor", but may or may not have training in the assessment or treatment of mental health issues." (BC Psychological Association) Pertaining to the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, the therapists are trained as "human relationships practicioner" or a "more in-depth practioner to assist with thinking and feeling...Professional practioners in these categories will either be Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC), voluntarily registered with BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC), or hold voluntary Canadian Counsellor Certification (CCC) with the Canadian Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).  Both registration groups offer a wide range of assessment and therapy services, to alleviate the major stresses of daily life and promote wellness and positive adjustment." (BC Association of Clinical Counsellors)

You may visit the following pages for a more detailed explanation:

BC Psychological Association

What information do you need for the intake process?

When you call to make your initial appointment, our Client Services staff will ask you a few questions in order to match you with a therapist best suited to help you.  You will be asked for your basic contact information, a very brief statement of the issue(s) you would like to work with a therapist on, and your availability for counselling appointments.

If you want to use any Extended Health coverage you may have, please tell us what the stipulations of your plan are so that we can place you with a credentialed therapist that your plans covers.  (See Extended Benefits Coverage)

*Please note that additional information is needed for our Distance Counselling Services - click here to find out more.

What do you consider when you are matching us with a therapist?

There are a few basic categories which would help us match you with the right therapist:

1) Areas of Specialization

Each of our therapist has specific areas of specialization and therefore it's an important criteria to consider while matching you with a therapist. (See Therapist Bio)

2) Schedule and Hours

Our therapists all have varying hours. While most of our therapists work on weekdays, others work during the evenings or weekends. Therefore we will always try our best to accommodate your scheduling requests.

3) 3rd Party Coverage or Financial Concerns

Depending on your Extended Benefits or other 3rd party Coverage, your contract may only recognize a specific type of therapist. For example, only a couple of our therapists are eligible to see clients from Crime Victim Assistance Program. In addition, a client's financial concerns may be factored in as part of the intake process as we have three main fee scale categories. If a client is undergoing financial difficulties, we may arrange the client with our ACTS Intern student counsellor for affordable sessions.

Someone had referred me to a specific therapist. Are we allowed to choose our own therapist?
We can always try to accommodate your request if your areas of concern fall under the therapist's specializations. However based on client load and availibility, you might be face a long waiting period in order to meet with the specific therapist. In that case, we would generally recommend alternative options.

What is a sliding scale fee structure & how do I apply for subsidy?
Over the years, our organization have been blessed by donors and supporters who had contributed to our subsidy program. Because we understand that individuals and families come from diverse backgrounds, Burnaby Counselling Group offers anincome-based subsidy program (also known as sliding scale fee structure).

However, we are sorry to let you know that we are unable to offer any free counselling sessions. If you are interested in learning about the subsidy application process, please click here.

I have Extended Benefits Coverage for Counselling Services. How does this get processed?
If you have Extended Benefits Coverage, you may want to check the following prior to contacting us:

What credentials does your plan require your therapist to have in order for you to receive coverage? (ie: Registered Psychologist, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Social Worker)
What is the extent of your plan's coverage? (ie: a dollar amount per year, a dollar amount per session, a session-fee percentage, etc.)
Having this information prior to calling to book your first appointment will provide you with the choice of therapists that meet the requirements for your extended benefit coverage, and will make the process as timely as possible.

Also, please note that Burnaby Counselling Group is not eligible to bill your insurance company directly. Therefore the client is responsible to pay for their session. Burnaby Counselling Group will then issue a receipt including the therapist name, creditials and registration number for insurance purposes.

My counselling fees are covered by other parties. How does this get arranged and processed?
If your counselling fees are covered by parties other than your extended health benefits such as WorksafeBC, ICBC, Healthcare Benefit Trust, your work, or other supporting organizations, Burnaby Counselling Group must receive a contract from your provider prior to scheduling your first appointment.

Your contract should include the following information:

* Client name (first and last)
* Organization name (billable to)
* Contact name and number (person responsible for contract)
* Billing amount and number of sessions (eg. $140/hr for 4 sessions)
* Name of therapist and type of therapist & credentials

My therapist may not have been a good match. What should we do ?
No worries! At Burnaby Counselling Group, therapists understand that there are multiple factors to consider before making a good match. If you are not fully comfortable with the therapist that we have chosen for you, you are more than welcome to either let your therapist know, or inquire about various options at front desk.

*To discuss your counselling-related needs, please call us as we are better able to assist you over the phone rather than through email.


To set up an appointment, please contact us at 604.430.1303. For further information such as our address and hours of operations, please visit our Contact Us page.