Is a doctor’s referral required to see a Registered Psychologist?
No, a doctor’s referral is not required and you may self-refer. There are some extended medical plans that require clients to get a physician’s referral in order to claim benefits, and clients are encouraged to check their extended medical plans to see if this applies to them. Although a physician referral is not necessary, referrals from physicians, schools, or other healthcare professionals are welcome.
What’s the difference between a clinical psychologist and a neuropsychologist?
Clinical neuropsychology is a specialization within the overall field of psychology that focuses primarily on brain function and how it impacts learning and behavior. A neuropsychologist is a registered clinical psychologist who has obtained additional necessary education and training in clinical neuropsychology to practice in this specialty area.
Neuropsychologists generally work with clients with neurological and / or medical conditions, with a particular focus on how brain functioning is impacting cognition. This type of assessment is most important when there is a medical history that can impact brain development and function. Because neuropsychologists have training in clinical psychology as well, they are also able to diagnose emotional problems such as depression or anxiety.
How long will I need to wait to be seen?
We do our best to see you quickly. However, please be aware that a wait period may be necessary depending on availability. Please contact us for current information about wait times.
What are the fees for service?
Fees are set in accordance with the BC Psychological Association (BCPA) guidelines. Costs for assessment vary depending on the referral question and complexity. Please contact us to obtain a more detailed estimate for the particular assessment your child needs.
Assessments are completed at an hourly rate where payment is due at the end of each session and can be paid via cash, cheque, e-transfer, or credit card. Once payment is received, you will receive a receipt for services that you can submit for reimbursement if you have extended medical benefits.
Benefits vary in the amount of coverage provided per year for Registered Psychologists so it is best to review your policy or contact your provider ahead of time. The Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not cover psychological services.
What happens if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?
We require a minimum of 72 hours notice to move or cancel an assessment appointment. This allows us sufficient time to schedule with another family who is waiting to access services.
If appointments are cancelled with less notice than required (or appointments are missed altogether), clients will be billed the full rate for the time missed. We recognize that emergencies sometimes happen and these will be reviewed on an individual basis.
What happens if my child/adolescent gets sick right before an appointment?
Please contact us if your child becomes sick as in most circumstances it is preferred to reschedule rather than have a sick child come to the office. If your child is sick they may not be feeling their best, which may affect results of the assessment. Additionally, given the nature of a busy clinic we do not want to pass illnesses around.
My child is on medication – should they still take it on the day of the assessment?
Yes, it is preferred that children continue to take their medications as usual when completing assessments. This helps to ensure that other factors (e.g., attention difficulties) do not significantly negatively impact their performance or cloud assessment results.
What is involved in the assessment process?
The assessment process is usually completed in 3 separate appointments:
1. A comprehensive intake appointment is completed with parents. During this appointment a full history is taken (including the child’s developmental, medical, psychiatric and educational histories as well as relevant family history) and goals for the assessment are reviewed.
Please make sure to bring COPIES (not originals as we will need to keep them) of any prior assessment reports, relevant physician consultations, and school report cards to your child/adolescent’s appointment.
Regarding report cards, the June summary report for each year that your child has attended school will be sufficient. If you do not have these handy, your child’s school should be able to gather copies for you. Please give the school plenty of time to collect and photocopy the report cards. These documents can also be faxed to the clinic prior to your child’s appointment: 604-565-6616.
2. A separate day during which testing is completed with your child. Testing appointments are usually scheduled for a full day, with a lunch break. Additional breaks are taken as needed.
The evaluation will assess a variety of cognitive domains including some or all of the following:
Academic skills (e.g., reading, writing, mathematics)
Attention / concentration
Executive functioning skills (e.g., planning, problem-solving, monitoring, cognitive flexibility)
Learning and memory (language based and visual memory)
Expressive and receptive language skills (i.e., speaking and listening skills)
Visual spatial, visuomotor, and motor skills
Consideration of your child / adolescent’s mood and behavior
3. A feedback session during which results of the assessment are reviewed in addition to discussing recommendations.
How can I prepare my child/adolescent for their assessment?
We encourage parents to tell their children about the types of tasks and activities that they will be doing. We don’t recommend using the term “tests” as this can contribute to anxiety ahead of time. You may choose to explain to your child that they will be meeting with a psychologist who will spend time doing activities and getting to know them. Activities may include hands on tasks such as building block designs and completing puzzles. They may also include memory games, academic tasks, and word problems. Children are asked to try their best and they are not expected to know answers to all of the questions.
Ideally, your child will complete the full assessment over the course of one day (similar to a school day). The total time needed will depend on a number of factors including the reason for assessment as well as your child’s age and tolerance for activities. Breaks will be given as needed, and your child is welcome to bring a drink and snack with them. They will also be provided with a lunch break.
It is very important that your child gets a good night sleep the night prior to their assessment. Also please ensure that they have eaten breakfast before arriving; they are also allowed to bring snacks for break times. Please note that it is a nut-free clinic.
If your child uses glasses, hearing aids, or other devices be sure to bring them on the day of the assessment.
What ages do you see?
Currently, assessments are completed for children and adolescents ages 6 and up (through to end of high school).
How is my personal information kept confidential?
Confidentiality is very important. We cannot disclose that you are a client and cannot release information about your or your child/adolescent without your written consent to do so. A secure electronic records system is in use at the clinic, and your information is only accessible to the psychologist with whom you are working. In all health care settings there are some limits to confidentiality that professionals have to follow, including when a specific individual is felt to be in imminent danger or when required by the courts. Specific details will be discussed together before beginning any services.
Psychologists are required to keep a record of their contact with clients and these records typically include information about a client’s current concerns/symptoms and history, psychological test data, and diagnoses (if applicable). In BC, these records must be stored securely for 7 years after the final date of contact. In the case of children and adolescents, these records must be stored for 7 years after they reach the age of majority (i.e., until age 26), after which the files are securely destroyed.
Please be aware that unencrypted email can be relatively easily accessed by unauthorized people, which can compromise the privacy and confidentiality of client information. As well, email cannot be guaranteed as an effective or timely means of communication.
At your first meeting, we will discuss the risks of communicating via email and you will decide together what limits will be placed on the use of this form of communication (e.g., only for administrative or scheduling purposes). To safeguard your private information, clinical information should not be shared through email. Email should also never be used for emergencies.
Are parents expected to stay for the duration of the assessment?
For younger children, parents are expected to remain in the clinic in order to be available to support their child during breaks and at lunch. For older children/adolescents this can be discussed. Lunchtime supervision is not provided.
Is there parking available?
There is paid parking available in the Hycroft Medical Building. Free street parking may also be available within a few blocks.