Is Online Counselling Ethical?

As a Canadian Certified Counsellor, I follow the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice as set forth by 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 video counselling is suitable for those with mild to moderate mental health concerns only. If you are experiencing an 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.

Is it Possible to Meet for Sessions In-Person as well as Online?

I am open to meeting with clients in person given the client’s proximity. If located within the same city, some clients prefer to meet face-to-face for a 15-min consultation before meeting online for the first time. There may also be opportunities to meet within an office setting or for walk-and-talk sessions to supplement your online appointments.

Are Online Sessions Covered by My Insurance Provider?

Online video sessions provided by a Canadian Certified Counsellor (C.C.C.) are not always covered by private insurance companies. However, in some cases they are. Companies that may cover services include Pacific Blue Cross, Equitable Life, Greenshield and SunLife, however, this will depend on your individual plan. Sessions are currently covered for employees of GatherContent Ltd., and Acadia Drywall Ltd.

How Will I Pay for My Sessions?

Payment for your initial consultation must be made prior to your appointment. Subsequently, counselling sessions are billed and to be paid on the same day that your session takes place. Payments are made via e-transfer (for clients within Canada) and via PayPal (for clients located outside of Canada).

What Will Happen Prior to My First Appointment?

Prior to our initial appointment, I will send you an invitation to download the HIPAA-compliant video software, VSee. This program requires a simple download and installation on your computer and is free to use. I ask that clients make sure the program is up-and-running prior to our initial appointment by checking audio and video settings. Clients will complete a standard intake and online counselling consent form, which will be returned through the VSee messaging feature before our first appointment. On the day of our session, I will message you a few minutes before our meeting time to ensure that you’re ready to go, and at the time of our appointment, I’ll give you a call!

How Will My Confidentiality and Safety be Maximized?

As your online counsellor, I will meet with you from a quiet and private office space as well as use a headset at all times. In order to maximize the confidentiality of our sessions, I ask that you do the same. I also ask that clients who are located in another district to identify a local in-person counsellor, hotline, or hospital that they can access in the case of an emergency.