Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any other questions or wish to set up an appointment.
What is the cancellation policy?
Due to the high volume of appointment requests, Calming Tree kindly asks that clients provide 24-hours notice to cancel or reschedule appointments. With adequate notice, Calming Tree will be able to accommodate your desired change in appointment time. It will also allow another client to use the time that had been previously reserved for you. We understand that emergencies come up, and ask to have as much notice as possible when you find yourself unable to keep an appointment. Missed appointments will be billed at a rate of 50% of the original fee. Multiple missed appointments may result in the prepayment of sessions prior to receiving service. Extended health coverage does not cover the fee for missed appointments.
What are the limits to Confidentiality in therapy?
Information shared in therapy is confidential and will not be disclosed without your written permission. Ontario law and professional ethics require information discussed in therapy to be shared with the associated authorities under these exceptions:
1. If you are at imminent risk to harm yourself or another person
2. If you disclose information pertaining to child or elder abuse
3. If you disclose information pertaining to assault or abuse by a health professional
4. If your counsellor receives a court order for your clinical records or to testify
Counsellor Supervision and Professional Consultation
When appropriate, your counsellor will consult with other mental health professionals and engage in clinical supervision in order to provide you with the best possible service. When discussing aspects of your case with a member of Calming Tree Counselling or an equally qualified expert, every effort will be made to exclude information that could identify you in order to protect your privacy.
Can you provide a diagnosis or medication?
In Ontario, only doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists can make a mental health diagnosis. Of these professionals, doctors and psychiatrists are covered by OHIP and are can prescribe medication. If you have questions about receiving a diagnosis or starting medication we recommend asking your family doctor as a first step. If you don't have a family doctor, there are doctors at walk-in clinics around Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge that can also help.
How much does counselling cost?
At Calming Tree Counselling, all sessions are 50 minutes in length and cost $140. Shorter and extended sessions are available upon request. Please see our page for our Junior Counsellor and Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) for their current rates.
What are your payment options?
Calming Tree Counselling accepts cash, debit, Visa, Mastercard and email transfer payments.
Do you have reduced fees?
Calming Tree Counselling may offer services at a reduced rate, at individual counsellor’s discretion; however we do not currently employ a sliding scale fee schedule. Please call or email Calming Tree for more information.
Is Counselling Covered by OHIP?
Generally speaking, doctors are usually covered by OHIP, while other practitioners in private practice are not covered. Private insurance or employer benefits may or may not cover your counselling sessions. It is important to confirm with your insurance or benefit provider what credentials they require in a counselling practitioner prior to your first session. Calming Tree Counselling is unable to process third party billing, you will need to pay for your session at the time of service and remit your receipt to your benefit provider for reimbursement.
Differentiating between different counsellors?
At Calming Tree Counselling our counsellors are registered counsellors with their Ontario governing body. We recognize that the word counsellor may be confusing or need clarification when submitting receipts to insurance providers. While counsellors can have diverse educational and training backgrounds, it is important to remember that at Calming Tree Counselling our counsellors are either Registered Social Workers (RSW) or Registered Psychotherapists (RP), or Registered Psychotherapists (Qualifying).
- Registered Psychotherapist
A Registered Psychotherapist (RP) has a Masters or Doctorate level degree in a relevant counselling discipline and is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). A Registered Psychotherapist who is qualifying is nearing completion of their psychotherapy training and is identified as RP (Qualifying). In Ontario, a psychotherapist does not have the ability to make a clinical mental health diagnosis or prescribe medication. At this time, services provided by a psychotherapist are not covered by OHIP. Many employee benefit plans cover the services of a registered psychotherapist; please make sure to check your insurance plan to see if counselling with a registered psychotherapist is covered.
- Registered Social Worker, Master of Social Work
A Social Worker may have a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree in Social Work. Most counselling services provided in Ontario are with a Registered Social Worker. In Ontario, a social worker does not have the ability to prescribe medication or make a clinical mental health diagnosis. At this time counselling services provided by a social worker are not covered by OHIP. Many employee benefit plans cover the services of social workers; please make sure to check your insurance plan to see if MSW or RSW counselling is covered.
While Calming Tree Counselling does not have a psychiatrist or psychologist on staff, we work closely with our client`s mental health professionals to ensure their overall wellbeing and mental health needs are met. We have added a description of these health professional's scope of practice to further clarify the varying roles in today's mental health team.
In Ontario, a Psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology. Psychologists may work in private practice and provide counselling services. Psychologists are able to complete psychological (including Psych-Ed), diagnostic testing and assessments, in addition to having the capability to diagnosis psychiatric conditions. A Psychologist cannot prescribe psychiatric medication. You do not need a family doctor`s referral to access Psychologist services (unless required by an insurance provider) and Psychologist services are not covered by OHIP.
A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental health. In Ontario you require a referral from your family doctor in order to access the services of a Psychiatrist. A Psychiatrist can prescribe medication and will oversee the ongoing management of a client’s mental health, often in collaboration with a counsellor and/or psychologist. Psychiatrist services are covered by OHIP in Ontario.
Are counselling services covered by my employment benefits?
Most commonly, employer benefits provide coverage for counselling services that are administered by ‘Registered Psychologists’, ‘Clinical Psychologists’ and/or counselling provided by Registered Social Workers (‘MSW’ or ‘RSW’).
However, it is possible that employer benefits will only cover a portion of your counselling fees so it is best to be clear on the details of your particular coverage.
For the most part, you will be expected to pay for the fee in full at the time of the session for later reimbursement, and coverage often only extends to a portion of the fee to a predetermined yearly maximum.