What are the main differences between a counsellor, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
The main distinction among these three professional groups is the years and area of university training that they have received. A professional counsellor has usually obtained a Master’s degree in psychology or a related field, while a psychologist has received a PhD in psychology. A psychiatrist has completed a medical degree, with a specialization in psychiatry. Psychologists and counsellors are not covered by Manitoba Health, but psychiatrists are. Registered psychologists are covered by most extended health insurance plans.
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is the therapeutic interaction between a trained mental health professional and a client or patient. The term psychotherapy is often used interchangeably with counseling or just therapy, as all interactions address problems that are psychological in nature. Psychotherapy is typically provided by practitioners with training and education in such areas as psychiatry, psychology, clinical social work, counselling, marriage and family therapy, and occupational therapy.
All of the professionals who offer psychotherapy at Birch Wellness Center have obtained advanced university degrees and have received extensive supervised clinical experience in their chosen fields. Many of us have been working for decades in our chosen fields of practice.
Do I need a referral from my physician in order to receive the services offered at Birch Wellness Center?
You do not need a referral from a physician in order to see one of our specialists unless they have specifically asked for it. However, a referral may be required by your insurance provider. Check with your insurance provider before booking an appointment in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in reimbursement.
What are the fees for the various services provided at Birch Wellness Center?
Fees range according to each specialist, from $50 – $170 per hour or half hour. Many of us provide a sliding scale or a payment plan for those who have limited financial resources. Some services are also subject to GST. Please ask your specialist about their fee and billing policies.
Does my insurance plan cover the cost of your services?
Most insurance plans will cover clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, dietitians, and physiotherapists. Some plans will cover naturopathic doctors, clinical social workers and counsellors. It is best to check with your insurance provider to determine exactly what coverage you have.
How do I pay for the services offered at Birch Wellness Center?
Payment can be made by cash, cheque, VISA, Mastercard, or Debit. Unless direct billing to an insurance company has been arranged with your specialist, we request that all fees be paid at the time of service and a receipt will be issued which can be submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement. Please ask your specialist about their fees and payment policy.
What are your office hours?
Our office hours are flexible as each specialist sets their own appointment times. Our office hours during the weekdays are from 9am to 4:30pm.
How do I book an appointment?
There are two ways to book an appointment with one of our specialists. You can call our office at 204-505-0325 and speak to our Office Manager, Stefanie Keam. She will forward any requests for appointments directly to the specialist requested. If you are a new client looking for services, you will be directed to Louise Blanchard for a brief intake interview in order to determine who would best meet your specific needs. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and leave a confidential message. You will usually hear back from us within 24 hours on a weekday or within 24 hours after a weekend or holiday.
Do you offer evening and weekend appointments?
Many of us provide opportunities for booking evening appointments and some offer Saturday appointments. Please ask your specialist when you are booking appointment times.
What is your cancellation policy?
For most of us, there is no charge for a cancellation made at least 24 hours before the time of an appointment. Sessions cancelled the day of the appointment are usually billed at half the agreed fee, except in the case of emergencies. Please discuss the cancellation policy with your specialist.
Where can I park?
Given our downtown location, we are often asked about parking availability. There is usually parking on Carlton Street, or on the adjacent streets (Assiniboine, Edmonton, or Broadway). There is a public parking lot on the corner of Edmonton and Broadway, about half a block from our building. All parking in the area is pay parking by kiosk. The kiosks take coins as well as credit card payments.