Is Online Counselling Ethical?

As a Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) and Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC), I follow the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice as set forth by the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT) and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). This ensures that I provide the same level of care that I would when meeting with clients in person, and that I follow additional ethical guidelines regarding confidentiality, informed consent, and security while providing online counselling services.

Please find links to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice below:

Who is Online Counselling Suitable for?

Please note that online therapy is suitable for those with mild to moderate mental health concerns. If you have more severe symptoms, please consider meeting with a counselling therapist in person. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please visit your nearest emergency room, or, if you are in Canada, you may contact Crisis Services Canada toll-free at 1-833-456-4566.

Are Sessions Covered by my Insurance Provider or Employer?

Online counselling therapy sessions are covered by a number of private insurance companies. If you think you are eligible to receive therapy through your provider, be sure to check whether your insurance plan covers services provided by Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCC) through the CCPA, or Registered Counselling Therapists (RCT) through the NSCCT. Be aware that some providers will not cover virtual services provided by registered therapists outside of your province or territory of residence. Please be sure to verify that your plan includes interprovincial services.

How will I Pay for my Sessions?

Payment for your sessions must be made prior to meeting with your counsellor, via e-transfer or PayPal (with the latter recommended for clients located outside of Canada). An invoice will be emailed to you a day or two prior to your appointment, and a receipt will be emailed to you once your payment has been processed following your session. If you have insurance coverage, receipts can be submitted to your provider for reimbursement.

How are Online Counselling Sessions Delivered?

Online video counselling services are provided through Jane App, a Canadian-based PIPEDA & HIPAA-compliant platform built for tele-healthcare. This program does not require a download, and it is free to use with a Jane account on any computer or laptop, Android, or iOS device.

30 minutes prior to each online counselling appointment, you will receive a link via email inviting you to join our call. Once you click to join, you will enter an online “waiting room” until your therapist is ready to meet with you.

How will my Confidentiality and Safety be Maximized Online?

As your virtual counselling therapist, I will meet with you from a quiet and private home office space as well as use a headset at all times. I also use background white noise in order to maximize the confidentiality of our sessions.

If your family or roommates are home at the time of your appointment, I suggest that you meet in a private room with the door closed, use a headset, and turn on soft music or another form of white noise. Some of my clients choose to meet from their car parked in their driveway, or from a quiet office in their workplace.

Is it Possible to Meet In Person as well as Online?

Yes, for clients located in and around Halifax, Nova Scotia, you can attend therapy sessions in person in my office in the Via Rail Building, at 1161 Hollis St., 2nd Floor Suite #6. Sometimes clients don’t have access to a private space at home or simply prefer meeting in person. As long as you’re a local client, you have the option of meeting online at times or in person at other times. This is up to you!

What Should I do if I have a Concern about my Therapist’s Standard of Practice?

I care about the wellbeing and safety of my clients, and take professionalism in my counselling practice very seriously. I make efforts to ensure my clients feel supported by their interactions with me at all times. If you are a client or another member of the community and you feel uncomfortable with my counselling approach, I invite you to contact me about this so I can come up with a plan to enhance my professionalism and my clients’ sense of safety moving forward.

I also encourage you to connect with the NSCCT to understand your rights and to learn more about filing a complaint against a Registered Counselling Therapist.

For more information, please follow the links below:

File a Complaint with the NSCCT