Frequently asked questions
what is the cost?
Our session fees are determined by the recommended fee schedule set forth by the Psychologists' Association of Alberta. The current recommended rate is $200 per hour plus GST. You can find the fee schedule here.
what if I can’t afford the fees?
Cultivate strives to reduce barriers to accessing mental health services including financial barriers. If you feel you are unable to afford the fees for services, please ask us for help. We can offer payment plans and reduced rates on a sliding scale.
are your services covered by insurance?
The short answer is, check with your insurance provider to be sure. Most extended health benefits cover services by Registered Psychologists, Registered Provisional Psychologists, and Registered Clinical Counsellors to a varying degree. Some insurance plans will also cover licensed counsellors. When speaking with your insurance provider regarding your coverage, you may wish to ask some of the following questions:
Does my plan cover psychological/counselling services?
What is my annual maximum?
Is that separated into per session maximums? (Example: $500/year, maximum of $100/session)
What are the licensing requirements for coverage? (Example: Registered Psychologist, Registered Provisional Psychologist, Registered Social Worker, Certified Canadian Counsellor, etc.)
Does the clinician need to be in the same province as me? (Example: Can I reside in Alberta and do online counselling with someone in BC?)
Cultivate has limited ability to direct bill insurance providers. If you would like to see if your plan supports direct billing please contact us directly and ask for a predetermination. We always provide PDF receipts via email for quick and easy reimbursement through your insurance plan and for tax purposes.
is what I talk about in session confidential?
Yes. The content of your session is always confidential between you and your counsellor. That being said, there are several exceptions to confidentiality. These are:
If you express that you may harm yourself or someone else
If the records are subpoenaed in court
If you express that a child is being abused or neglected
If you give explicit written permission for your files to be shared with a third party of your designation
Client records are kept for a minimum of ten years and are stored securely regardless of whether they are physical or digital record.
what is the difference between all the titles and designations?
There are several different titles and designations given to mental health professionals and it can be hard to know what each one means. Below is a list of the most common designations and a short description of who they are and what they do.
Registered Psychologist: holds a minimum of a masters degree in psychology, has successfully completed at least 1600 hours of supervised counselling sessions with clients, has passed a rigorous written exam and an oral exam, proving competency and ethical practice.
Registered Provisional Psychologist: holds a minimum of a masters degree and is in the process of completing 1600 hours of supervised counselling sessions with clients. They may have completed their exams or may be in the process of doing so. All Registered Provisional Psychologists are supervised by a Registered Psychologists with a minimum of 5 years of registration.
Registered Clinical Counsellor: holds a minimum of a masters degree in a field related to mental health and has completed the required supervised counselling hours.
MSW RSW/Master of Social Work/Registered Social Worker: holds a minimum of a masters degree in social work and has completed additional training and evaluation as well as ongoing professional development in order to hold the protected title of Registered Social Worker with the College of Alberta Social Workers.
Counsellor: holds a masters degree or is in the process of completing a masters degree. All counsellors at Cultivate are supervised by our Clinical Director, Joel Roos.
Psychiatrist: holds a medical degree and is able to prescribe medications but may not offer counselling services. Cultivate does not have psychiatrists on our team.
All team members at Cultivate have clear criminal background checks and youth intervention checks and hold professional liability insurance. Cultivate encourages all their team members to regularly participate in continuing education to ensure that they are at the cutting edge of knowledge and skills for their field.
why go to counselling?
There are a variety of reasons to see a counsellor. Perhaps you are facing a difficult time at work or in your relationship. Perhaps you are going through a time of transition in your life and would like some support. Many people see a counsellor as a form of personal growth, to learn new skills and stretch themselves. Others prefer to address specific issues as they come up. A counsellor is uniquely equipped to help you problem solve and move forward from wherever you find yourself.
how many sessions will I need?
It is difficult to predict how many sessions you may need in order to reach your goals or resolve your issues. The number of sessions is dependent on the things you are addressing, the type of service you are accessing (assessment, counselling, educational consulting, etc.), and the methods that you use when working with your counsellor.
i’ve never been to counselling before, what can I expect?
Your first session with your counsellor begins with some basic paperwork to record your contact and demographic information and to review confidentiality, benefits, and risks of counselling. After that, you and your counsellor will discuss what you are there for and start to make a plan which will be carried out from there.
can I see a counsellor when I’m not in a crisis?
Yes! Seeing a counsellor when in crisis is good, but choosing to see a counsellor for check-ins, personal growth, assessment, and other non-urgent reasons is also an excellent option. Many people choose to use a counsellor for regular maintenance like you would take your car to help avoid potential crises in the future.
how can I book an appointment?
There are several ways you can book an appointment. If you aren't sure whom you would like to see, you can email or call us and ask for help or use our handy booking tool. If you know whom you would like to see, you can click on the booking link under their profile.
how do I know who the right counsellor is for me?
If you are unsure of how to pick the right counsellor for you, you can start by looking at our clinician profiles to see if anyone clicks with you. Look at each person's special skills and areas of interest to see if any of them interest you or align with what you are looking to address. If you are still not sure whom you should see, try contacting our office for a recommendation.