Are psychologists’ fees covered by Alberta Health Care?

Fees for counselling provided by a psychologist are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Partial coverage may be provided by Blue Cross Insurance and by most extended health benefit plans. It is advisable to check with your employer to see if you have such coverage.

 

Cornerstone Counselling Centre has arrangements for Employee Family Assistance Plans (EAP) with the following organizations:

 

  • Alberta Newsprint
  • Alberta Pacific Forest Industries (ALPAC)
  • Child and Family Services Edmonton Region 6
  • Child and Family Services North Central Alberta Region 7
  • Covenant Design Ltd.
  • First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
  • CMR Canada for provincial employees
  • Ensign Drilling Partnership
  • Herr Windows and Doors
  • Hope Mission
  • Longpre
  • Scott, Barros, and Associates
  • The Mustard Seed
  • Salvation Army
  • Several churches in the Edmonton area
  • Spruceland Millworks
  • RCMP
  • Vanderwater for Kichencraft
  • Veteran’s Affairs
  • Worker’s Compensation Board (Edmonton Area)

How is a counsellor assigned to each client?

Counsellors are assigned to clients based on their areas of expertise, availability for appointments, and other factors identified as important by the client (age, gender, etc).

What if I don’t “click” with the counsellor I am assigned to?

At Cornerstone we recognize it is important to feel comfortable with your counsellor. If you do not feel that an appropriate counsellor has been assigned to you, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with the counsellor or our one of our intake workers. We will do all we can to ensure that an appropriate match is made.

How often should I come for counselling?

This is something that your counsellor will discuss with you during your first counselling session. However, while there may be exceptions, it is generally advisable to plan on scheduling sessions weekly or every second week. Duration of treatment is dependent on a number of factors, including the severity of the concern for which help is being sought.

Is everything confidential?

Conversations with the counsellor are kept in strict confidence. This includes the handling of files that contain case notes, records, and psychological test results. If there is a need or desire to disclose information from files with another professional such as a medical doctor, lawyer, pastor, or third party billing source, the client will be consulted first and asked to sign a release of information document.

 

Legal Limitations to Confidentiality:

  • Counsellors are required by law to report to the appropriate authorities if there is physical or sexual abuse of a child under the age of 18 or if there is reason to believe a person’s life is in jeopardy.
  • If a judge subpoenas a counsellor to testify in court or to release the contents of a file, the counsellor is required to do so.

How long is each appointment?

Appointments are generally 50 minutes long, allowing your counsellor 10 minutes between appointments to attend to the file.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have a specialization in psychiatry. They are able to prescribe medication, which is generally an integral part of their treatment regimen. A referral from your family physician is needed in order to see a psychiatrist.

 

Psychologists receive training in counselling and psychology through a variety of programs. In Alberta, psychologists must meet the educational and clinical requirements of the College of Alberta Psychologists. Psychologists are not qualified to prescribe medication. If the psychologist suspects that medication would be helpful in treatment, a referral is generally made to the client’s family physician or psychiatrist. Appointments with psychologists can be made directly by the individual seeking assistance and do not require a medical referral.

Is there free parking on location?

There is free parking along the street in front of the building and down the street.  Unfortunately, the lot behind the building is no longer free.  The cost to park in this lot is $3 for 2 hours – payable by credit card over the phone.

Do you need to have a Christian or religious background to come to Cornerstone?

Cornerstone welcomes and accepts individuals, families, couples, and children from all backgrounds regardless of their faith affiliation or religious status. While Cornerstone does offer pastoral counselling and  courses with Christian content for those of the Christian faith, our trained counsellors also offer sound secular counselling for those who are of other faiths or do not have any faith affiliation.  Clients are always given the choice of incorporating faith into their counselling and clients who do not chose faith-based counselling are not discriminated against in any way.