There are quite a few counsellors here in Vernon. Here are some of my recommendations for finding your best counsellor.
Best Listings of Counsellors in Vernon Vernon
Psychology Today, Vernon - The largest listing of verified counsellors in Vernon is the Psychology Today website. The "verified by psychology today" badge indicates that a counsellor's credentials have been checked, and they belong to a professional counselling association in Canada. You can easily search based on issues, insurance, gender, price and more. Most counsellors on this site are accepting new clients.
Theravive Vernon - This listing contains some verified Psychologists and Registered Clinical Counsellors in Vernon.
Google Business Listings - This will be the largest list of counselling businesses in Vernon with a handy map to show you where everyone is. Google does not verify their qualifications, but you can look at their websites to see what credentials they have.
What is the Difference Between Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Counsellor Titles?
Psychiatrists are part of the medical system. They make a more thorough diagnosis than a doctor and are very knowledgeable about medications for mental health disorders. While doctors can prescribe medication for mental illnesses, psychiatrists are better able to find exactly the right medication for specific disorders. They are trained to work with the most severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia. You will need a doctor's referral to see a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists seem to be in very limited supply with long waiting lists.
Psychologists also work in the medical system and in private practice. You may be able to get a doctor's referral and have the cost covered by BC Medical or you may find a psychologist in private practice and pay them directly. They have graduate degrees and are certified by the College of Psychologists of BC. They can diagnose disorders and help with talking therapy but not medication. There are only a few psychologists in Vernon.
Counsellors offer therapy for anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, relationships, impulse control, life coaching and many other issues. You will notice there are a few different classifications of counsellors:
• Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) hold a master's degree in counselling and are covered by all insurance programs, ICBC, Crime Victim Assistance Program and other public funding.
• Registered Social Workers (RSW) are certified to provide counselling in BC and are covered by most of the same benefit programs as RCCs.
• Registered Therapeutic/Professional Counsellors (RTC and RPC) hold a degree or diploma in counselling and are covered by many insurance programs but not all. Canada Life does not cover them as far as I know.
• Unregistered persons with no professional association may also use the title "counsellor" for their business. The title of Counsellor is not regulated in BC so anyone may use the title if they choose.
What Is Most Important About a Counsellor?
A huge amount of research has tried to find out what kind of counselling really works best. The answer is surprisingly simple. First, a counsellor who genuinely understands and relates well to you personally is the one who can help the most. You will be able to recognize this as you speak with them. Second, a good counsellor will be an ally for your goals so you can work together as a team. This means your counsellor understands your goals and brings tools that you can actually use. Also, your best counsellor will usually have some kind of specialty in the topics and therapy methods that apply to your situation. Most counsellors are educated in standard methods such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy or Emotion Focused Therapy or some other well-known approach. If you have a preliminary conversation with a counsellor, ask about their methods of counselling and pay attention to your own level of comfort talking with them.
How Much Does Counselling Cost?
Individual Counselling in Vernon can cost as little as $90 per hour, to over $200 per hour depending on who you choose. Couples counselling rates are usually higher than the individual rate. If your counselling is covered by insurance, there may be a limit on the dollar amount. Many insurance companies have a limit of $500 per year. More information about insurance coverage here.
For very low-cost counselling, the Vernon Family Resource Center offers rates based on your ability to pay. Often there is a waiting list for new clients.
As for myself, I am a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with a psychology degree, counselling diploma and conflict resolution training. That's important, but clients don't sign on for education alone. Sometimes clients just choose me because my life experience or age seems right for them. Some clients like that I focus on practical coping skills for daily living. On the other hand, some potential clients meet me but decide to keep looking for someone else. That is ok too. I offer a free consultation to help clients decide.
It is worthwhile taking time to find the right counsellor. Counsellors have many individual approaches and styles, and some of them will be just right for you.
Dixon Zalit is a counsellor in Vernon BC, offering counselling for stress and anxiety, relationships, and other self-management topics.