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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What services are offered at the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic?
2. What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

3. How can I make an appointment?
4. Can I make an appointment for another person?
5. Is there a long wait list for therapy?
6. What if I/my child need to be seen immediately? Does NSSAC accept urgent referrals or handle emergencies?
7. What types of referrals are suitable for NSSAC? What types of referrals are not suitable?
8. Are services at NSSAC covered by the provincial Medical Services Plan (MSP)?
9. What is the fee for treatment, and what forms of payment do you accept? Will my psychologist bill my insurance provider directly?
10. Are there appointments later in the day or on weekends?
11. Are there alternatives to in-person appointments?
12. I live in B.C., but I don’t live in the Lower Mainland – can I still be seen by an NSSAC clinician?
13. How can I reschedule an appointment?
14. Are the issues discussed during my appointment discussed with anyone else?
15. How long are sessions and how many will I need?

1. What services are offered at the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic?
At the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic, we offer assessment, consultation, and therapy services to a wide range of clients. Our professionals work with individuals across the lifespan from very young children (and their parents) to older adults. We have expertise in providing assistance for a wide variety of difficulties, including problems with stress, anxiety, mood, behaviour, learning, and attention. Some of our clients are dealing with fairly short-term life struggles and transitions while others are coping with diagnosable disorders. Back to top

2. What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is widely considered to be the most effective treatment for a range of problems, including anxiety and depression. This approach helps you make positive and lasting changes in your life. You will learn skills to reduce distress, improve your coping, and enhance your overall quality of life.
CBT is a practical skills-based treatment where you learn how to make changes to your behaviours and thoughts to feel better and be more effective in your life.  You learn new tools and techniques for managing difficult situations or troubling emotions. It is a collaborative process where you work as a team with your psychologist to set and work towards goals. Back to top

3. How can I make an appointment?
Call our office at 604.985.3939 or email nssac.reception@gmail.com. A referral from your family physician is not necessary to make an appointment with one of our psychologists. However, some extended health benefits programs require a referral from your physician before they will help to cover the costs of your visits. Please contact your extended health provider before your first appointment to find out if they require a physician referral. Back to top

4. Can I make an appointment for another person?
Parents and guardians are welcome to place their child or teen on our waitlist. If the potential client is an adult, we do require that the adult who will receive services contact our receptionist to provide some background information and to confirm that they wish to be placed on our wait list. Back to top

5. Is there a long wait list for therapy?
We try to arrange your first appointment as soon as possible.  However, at this time please be aware that there is a waitlist for adults, youth and children.  At NSSAC, we strive to match potential clients to a clinician who has the right match of knowledge and experience. The “fit” between you as a client and your clinician is extremely important. As clients who are already being seen complete their course of treatment, regular appointment times become available and clinicians are matched to new clients from the waitlist. For this reason, it can be difficult to predict exactly when you will be seen. If you call or email the Clinic, we can generally provide an estimate of minimum wait time to be seen.
Please keep in mind that there is considerable demand for certain appointment times. If you need to schedule your appointments at the very beginning or end of the workday, or you are only available on specific days, this may result in a longer wait to be seen by our clinicians. Similarly, after-school appointment times are in extremely high demand and may lead to a longer wait. Back to top

6. What if I/my child need to be seen immediately? Does NSSAC accept urgent referrals or handle emergencies?
As a private outpatient clinic, we are unable to provide crisis or emergency services. If you or your child require urgent care, please contact your family physician, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911. The Crisis Line (1-800-784-2433) provides confidential, free emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Online chat is available during limited periods in B.C., (usually noon to 1am) at crisiscentrechat.ca. Additional resources can be found at crisisservicescanada.ca. Back to top

7. What types of referrals are suitable for NSSAC? What types of referrals are not suitable?
We accept referrals for individuals across the lifespan from very young children (and their parents) to older adults. We have expertise in providing assistance for a wide variety of difficulties, including problems with stress, anxiety, mood, behaviour, learning, and attention. Some of our clients are dealing with fairly short-term life struggles and transitions while others are coping with diagnosable disorders.   Please see our Services pages for more specific information.
We do not currently accept referrals for clients who require treatment for psychotic disorders, personality disorders, primary substance problems, primary eating disorders, and severe bipolar disorder. Back to top

8. Are services at NSSAC covered by the provincial Medical Services Plan (MSP)?
Psychologists’ services are not covered by MSP. Individuals with extended health benefit plans (e.g., Pacific Blue Cross, Great West Life) may have some or all of their sessions with psychologists covered. Clients are encouraged to contact their extended health provider for more information. Psychiatrists' services are generally covered by MSP with a physician referral. Back to top

9. What is the fee for treatment, and what forms of payment do you accept? Will my psychologist bill my insurance provider directly?
Fees are $200 per 50-minute session for visits with registered psychologists. Most payments are made through credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or e-transfer. In some cases, particular psychologists will accept other forms of payment such as cheque or cash. With a few exceptions, clinicians do not bill insurance providers directly. Your clinician will provide you with a receipt for payment received and this receipt can be submitted by you to your insurance provider for any available reimbursement.  Back to top

10. Are there appointments later in the day or on weekends?
The hours of the clinic are typically 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, but some psychologists book earlier morning appointments and some book later afternoon and early evening appointments. The clinic receptionist is available from 9am to 5pm (except for 12-1pm) Monday through Friday. Please keep in mind that there is considerable demand for certain appointment times. If you need to schedule your appointments at the very beginning or end of the workday, or you are only available on specific days, this may result in a longer wait to be seen by our clinicians. Similarly, after-school appointment times are in extremely high demand and may lead to a longer wait. Currently we do not offer services on weekends. Back to top

11. Are there alternatives to in-person appointments?
Yes. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with the provincial health guidelines most of our clinicians were working remotely, providing services via telephone and secure videoconferencing (i.e., telehealth). Some of our clinicians are providing limited in-person appointments, following appropriate safety guidelines. Our receptionist will ask you to specify your preference for in-person versus telehealth services. Back to top

12. I live in B.C., but I don’t live in the Lower Mainland – can I still be seen by an NSSAC clinician?
At this time, many of our clinicians are providing service over telephone or secure videoconferencing, so in many cases it is possible to provide services to clients living outside of easy commuting distance. However, there are certain situations in which telehealth services may not be appropriate. Please let our receptionist know if you are living outside of the Lower Mainland and would like to receive services over telehealth.  Back to top

13. How can I reschedule an appointment?
We are happy to reschedule your appointment to a more convenient time. Please call 604-985-3939, email nssac.reception@gmail.com, or contact your clinician directly to cancel or change your appointment time. Please be aware that a minimum of 48 hours notice is required for cancelling or moving an appointment. Late cancellations and/or missed appointments may be charged at the regular rate.  Back to top

14. Are the issues discussed during my appointment discussed with anyone else?
Information discussed with your psychologist is strictly confidential.  In some specific cases (e.g., safety issues, mistreatment of a minor), there are limits to confidentiality; these limits will be discussed at the beginning of your first session. With your consent or at your request, we may contact your extended health provider or family physician as appropriate. Back to top

15. How long are sessions and how many will I need?
Treatment sessions are typically 50 minutes long, and many people are able to obtain significant benefits within 8 to 20 sessions. However, the frequency and length of your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs.  Some clients require more long-term intervention while others only attend for a handful of sessions to get more information and learn some key coping skills. Most clients come every one to two weeks.  Clients traveling a great distance may have longer appointments (e.g. two hours at a time or two appointment days in a row before returning home until the next set of appointments).
Psychoeducational assessments and medical-legal assessments follow a different format and typically involve longer appointments.  Please contact the clinic for more information. Back to top