At Jericho Counselling Clinic, we offer all of our new clients a complimentary consultation. This meeting, which lasts approximately 20 minutes, gives our clients an opportunity to come in, meet a counsellor, find out more about their approach to counselling, and ensure a good fit between clients and counsellor. This complimentary consultation is not formal counselling. The complimentary consultation is best described as an opportunity to decide if the therapist you have met is the person you wish to begin your counselling with. It is very difficult to choose a counsellor based on a photo online or a quick chat on the phone. We try to give people a chance to make a more informed decision.
Once you decide on a day, a time, and a counsellor to meet, you will be confirmed for this appointment either by email or phone. Please allow approximately 30 minutes for the overall appointment, although the actual time with the counsellor will be closer to about 20 minutes. You are most likely to receive assistance from our team of Intake Coordinators over phone or email to assist with booking this initial appointment.
Finding a counsellor is all about ‘fit.’ If you don’t feel really comfortable with the person you meet, no matter how experienced, educated, or ‘successful’ they have been with others, the chances of you finding help are greatly diminished. We all meet people about whom we think, “I am quite sure there is nothing really ‘wrong’ with you, and yet, I don’t feel as though I ever need to go out of my way to speak with you again.” Conversely, we also meet people and immediately know that “I like you and would love the chance to meet and talk again!” This is the goal of the complimentary consultation at Jericho Counselling; to determine if you would like to return to our offices and talk with this person again.
We also invite you to consider the variables of location and schedule availability when choosing a counsellor. Much like choosing a gym or fitness class, if the location of your counsellor is not convenient to get to and with a schedule that fits your life, the likelihood of success is less than it could be. At Jericho Counselling, we make sure that our offices are located conveniently across the Lower Mainland, are close to transit with easy access for bikes and vehicles, and with appointments available seven (7) days a week. These are all aspects that make it easier to fit counselling into your life in a way that actually helps instead of simply adding in another measure of stress to an already overburdened life.
Upon arriving for your complimentary consultation, you will be welcomed into one of our three, permanent office locations to meet your therapist. An offer of hot tea, coffee, or a glass of water will begin your experience of feeling welcomed to Jericho Counselling. We know that most of us feel anxious or uncertain about these first meetings and you will find that everyone associated with Jericho Counselling is focused on reducing the discomfort of this first meeting to ensure a positive experience for everyone.
Once you are shown to the counselling space, you will notice the beautiful surroundings of these offices. From all of our offices, you will be treated to a view of the beauty of the Lower Mainland, whether it is the mountains of the North Shore and the twinkling lights of Downtown Vancouver, the water of Coal Harbour, or the view of the North Shore and out to the Fraser Valley that is offered from our Metrotown location. At Jericho Counselling, we acknowledge that clients coming to our offices are taking a great risk to have challenging conversations and we want our people to do this work in clean, comfortable, offices. From the fresh cut flowers, to the original artwork, and the attention to decorating detail, Jericho Counselling wants to make sure that you feel comfortable.
It may also be important to know that you will return to the same office each time you meet your therapist. At Jericho Counselling, we do not rent our spaces by the hour, and we only share our offices among our team of Jericho Counselling therapists. All of our counselling spaces are in private, Jericho Counselling only, suites. This setting allows us the greatest opportunity to control the confidentiality of our clients, as well as the overall experience of as many details as possible, within a business environment. This means that unless you choose to meet your counsellor at one of our different locations (West Broadway, Vancouver or Coal Harbour / Downtown Vancouver, or Burnaby / Metrotown), you will always have your meetings in the same offices.
As the complimentary consultation begins, you will be grateful that your therapist takes charge of the direction of the conversation. You don’t have to know what to say, we are going to help you. Your counsellor will take a few minutes to describe who they are, how they approach counselling, and what you can expect should you decide to start working together. They will also discuss confidentiality, so you can be rest assured that what you are about to share will be taken seriously and kept confidential. All of this happens before you are required to tell us anything about why you have decided to come and see us.
Next, you will learn about our fees, including the options for making payments for each session, as well as any necessary discussion about our sliding fee scale. At Jericho Counselling, we want to make counselling as accessible as possible for all of our clients. If you require a lower fee to see your therapist at a frequency that makes the most of your time and money, we are ready and willing to have this discussion. Not all of our therapists have a sliding fee scale, but if you need it, we will find you a therapist that is able to offer a lower fee. It is important to know that we do take advance payment for the first full counselling session. This often happens at the conclusion of the complimentary consultation. Of course these advance payments are fully refundable, based upon our 24 hour cancellation policy, which will be fully explained to you.
At Jericho Counselling, we believe that the stories of our clients’ lives are precious and should only be shared with a counsellor once you have a pretty good sense that this is the place where you will begin your counselling work. This is why we don’t ask you to tell us what you want to work on until we have had a chance for you to get to know us first. By the time we have talked with you about the above details and given you a chance to ask us any questions you may have, you will have a pretty good sense about whether you want to come back for another appointment. Only at that time, will you be asked to tell your therapist a bit about what brought you in for counselling and how you hope we can help. This means that you only need to tell your story one time to one person. No one likes to tell their private, often troubling story over and over. At Jericho Counselling we make sure that if you aren’t sure about us, we want you to keep your story private until you find the right counsellor!
Once you have had a chance to share your story with your therapist, we will be able to confirm for you that we have the necessary training and experience to be helpful to you and whatever problem you may be having. If we do not have the competency to help, we will immediately tell you and recommend a better place for you to seek help. We are bound by the ethical and professional obligations of our Regulatory Counselling Body (either the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors or the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association) to only practice with clients and issues with whom we have adequate training and experience. If we don’t believe we can help, we are obligated to help you find someone else who can.
At this point, you will begin to discuss with your therapist whether you are feeling positive about booking a full counselling session to begin your work together. If you feel very comfortable with what your therapist has shared with you, feel confident that he / she will be able to help, and are looking forward to getting started with counselling, you will likely book an appointment, and make arrangements to deal with advance payment to hold that reserved spot. If you are not quite sure of the fit, you will be invited to walk away to either give more thought to the interaction or to meet another person until you find the right match.
Should you choose to book a counselling appointment with your therapist, you will be asked to pay for this session at the time of booking. If you have any concern about paying for this session in advance, please speak directly with your counsellor. There are specific reasons why this is practiced throughout our profession but if you are uncomfortable with it, please just talk with us and we will find a way to increase your confidence in the process. Much like booking a seat on an airline flight, this session time and date are reserved just for you, and we require the equivalent of one paid session to hold the spot.
If you decide not to book a counselling session after your complimentary consultation, there is absolutely NO charge and we will make it easy for you to walk away, or help you find another counsellor to meet.
In all cases, your complimentary consultation should be a positive experience. Even if you decide that the counsellor you have met is not quite the right fit for you, the experience should leave you feeling more informed and more confident about what you are looking for in a therapist. Much recent research into what works in counselling has shown that the relationship between the client and the therapist is the most important predictor of counselling success. Our complimentary consultation gives you the best chance to make a great choice for yourself as you begin your counselling journey.
Please click here to take you to our contact form to ask more questions or to get assistance in booking a Complimentary Consultation with Jericho Counselling.