Indigo Insight Counselling
Nadine Duckworth, Registered Psychologist
Welcome to Indigo Insight Counselling. This information sheet will answer some of the questions you might have about counselling. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Your therapist. Nadine Duckworth has earned the degree Master’s of Education in Counselling Psychology. She is a Registered Provisional Psychologist and been educated and trained in a variety of theories and techniques. Nadine follows the Code of Ethics of the College of Alberta Psychologists.
Therapy process. Therapy is a voluntary process in which the therapist and client work together to seek a new understanding of a problematic or stressful life situation and identify resources to deal with the situation. Some people seek counselling in order to identify areas for personal growth and greater fulfillment. Outcomes will vary for each individual and are not guaranteed. Counselling sessions are usually 1 hour or 1.5 hours in length. Your therapist will use assessment techniques to gain an understanding of your situation, however, you will be referred to an appropriate agency if formal assessments are needed for employment, legal, or medical purposes.
Client rights and responsibilities. Therapy is provided without discrimination, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or physical/mental ability. Clients are entitled to view their file and/or request to make a copy of it. Clients are responsible for making arrangements for childcare while attending counselling services. Clients are responsible for taking an active role in the therapy process.
Values. Nadine operates from a holistic framework that incorporates physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects into a balanced view of health and wellbeing. Often, value conflicts can be resolved through open and non-judgmental communication. However, if resolution of your value conflict is not possible, you may request a referral to a different therapist who is better able to provide you with the service you desire.
Dual relationships. Your therapist will avoid other relationships with you that could complicate the therapeutic relationship and potentially make working together less effective. These types of relationships include: business, romantic/sexual, student/teacher, and close social relationships.
Privacy and confidentiality. Your privacy is extremely important. All records and communication is kept secure and confidential, including files, phone calls, texts, and, emails. To maintain this confidentiality, your therapist has a policy of not discussing client issues outside of the therapy session. However, you may greet and/or initiate a conversation with her if you would like.
Limits of confidentiality. Your information will only be released with your approval. However, there are certain conditions in which your therapist is required by law to report to the appropriate authorities:
Release of information to third parties. Your written consent will be required if third parties request access to your file. Third parties may include lawyers, insurance companies, or government agencies. If this happens, details of the request will be explained to you by your counsellor, and you will be asked to sign a “Release/Obtain Information” form.
Access to your files. Only your therapist will have complete access to your file. Your file will be stored in a locked cabinet or in an electronic format on a password-protected laptop. Supervision, consultation, and education. Supervision and consultation are necessary, and enable your therapist to provide you with the highest level of responsible and ethical care. To the greatest extent possible, your identity will be kept anonymous and no identifying details will be shared.
Benefits, limitations, risks, and goals of therapy. Therapy often leads to better interpersonal relationships, a reduction in distress, better coping mechanisms, solutions to specific problems, and personal growth. However, it also involves discussing difficult aspects of your life, and doing so can bring relief but can also trigger unpleasant emotions such as sadness, guilt, anger, and fear. You may experience stress or disruption in your life as a result of facing your difficult issues. Successful outcomes largely depend on the relationship you have with your therapist, the degree of trust established, and your ability to work together. Setting specific goals will help you to get the most out of your counselling experience.
Alternatives to therapy. Some clients may benefit from alternatives to counselling, such as medical, naturopathic, massage, or other health practitioners. Nadine is willing to discuss these alternatives with you based on your needs.
Consequences of non-action and option to withdraw. You may choose to not provide your consent for treatment and you may refuse to begin therapy without consequence. You have the option to withdraw from therapy at any time without consequence. However, scientific evidence has indicated that therapy is effective, and by withdrawing from treatment, the issue that you are experiencing may or may not be resolved on its own.
Length of treatment and termination of services. The length of treatment will be agreed upon by both you and your therapist. You may terminate services at any time, but it is recommended that you discuss this process with her. Termination may be initiated by your therapist if it appears as though you are no longer benefiting from receiving counselling services.
Client satisfaction and grievance procedure. Your satisfaction is important to Nadine. If you are unsatisfied, please discuss your concerns with her. If you feel that your concerns have not been addressed, you may file a formal complaint with the College of Alberta Psychologists. In this event, information which is necessary for your case will be released from your file.
Cancelling or re-scheduling sessions. If you need to cancel your scheduled appointment please provide 24 hours notice, otherwise you will be charged a $50 fee for your missed appointment. Certain exceptions will be made in the event of an emergency. If your counsellor happens to cancel your session, you will not be charged and she will attempt to notify you as far in advance as possible.
Payment information. Payments are due at the end of each session. Direct billing can be done through Blue Cross, ASEBP, and Greenshield. For other health plans, you may save your receipts and submit them for reimbursement. Various health insurance providers, i.e., Manulife, Great West Life, etc. will reimburse varying amounts depending on your membership plan. Payments can be made by cash, e-transfer, or credit card. If you default on your payments, a bill collection agency will be notified and your contact information will be shared as necessary to collect payment. Certain clients will be eligible for free counselling through their EAP (Employee Assistance Provider) program at their place of employment. Inquire with you HR department to see if you are eligible.
Counselling is for everyday people with everyday problems. Seeing a counsellor does not mean you are "crazy"; rather, you are a person who understands the value of receiving educated guidance from a professional.
Here are some general characteristics of counselling (as opposed to psychology or psychotherapy):
• It is concerned with “normal” problems rather than mental health problems.
• It is concerned with role functioning, with choices to be made, and with actions to be taken.
• It is more concerned with present events than with past events.
• It is more concerned with conscious, rational thinking than with unconscious functioning.
A very important aspect of the counselling/therapy process is finding a good therapist. Each and every therapist will have something different to offer. A "good" therapist is someone who is a "good fit" for you. This means that you should feel comfortable with that person, feel heard and validated, and not feel pressured.
As you are looking for a good therapist, be sure to express your own beliefs and values to them. You should strive to be yourself in therapy, and be as honest and upfront as possible. Ideally, your therapist will share a similar worldview, or is willing to provide objective, unbiased information for you so that you may make your own informed opinions. At the same time, you should be ready to hear some things you don't necessarily want to hear, and be willing to consider the suggestions that are given.
Your first session with a therapist does not mean you must continue to see that person. You are free to discontinue therapy at any time without consequence - regardless of whether that is after the first, second, tenth, or any other session. Meet a variety of therapists and explore their different personalities and styles before deciding on who to continue therapy with. The therapeutic relationship is the most important factor that will influence the success of the counselling experience.