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  • What is a psychologist? What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
    In B.C., registered psychologists usually have a doctoral degree in psychology (PhD) and psychiatrists have a degree in medicine. The amount of years spent in university is about the same. Both psychologists and psychiatrists are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders and conditions. One major difference between the professions is that psychiatrists can prescribe medication as part of their treatment plan and psychologists specialize in non-medicinal treatments. Registered psychologists are registered and licensed with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia (CPBC). The CPBC regulates the profession of psychology in the public interest, in accordance with the Health Professions Act. The CPBC oversees standards for competency, ethical practice, promotes excellence, and takes action when standards are not met. The CPBC also oversees the requirement that registered psychologists must take continuing education courses every year to ensure that their practice is up-to-date.
  • What is Evidence Based Practice?
    Treatments and assessment tools differ in how effective they are. Some work better than others. Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves using assessments tools and treatments programs that are known to work. In other words, they are used because a large amount scientific evidence has shown that they are effective in identifying problems and reducing symptoms or distress. Using evidenced-based assessments and treatments whenever possible is a requirement for registered psychologists in B.C, as outlined in our Code of Conduct. This means that when there are assessment methods or treatment programs that have been proven to be effective, psychologists need to use them as a first line method.
  • Do I need a referral to see Dr. Murray?
    You do not need a physician referral. You can contact the office directly if you are interested in working with Dr. Murray. If you have extended health insurance, your provider may require that you to get a referral from a physician for psychological services in order to be reimbursed. Please check with your insurance provider about this before your first appointment.
  • How long will I have to wait to see Dr. Murray?
    Dr. Murray usually has a lengthy wait time before new clients are seen. If you are placed on her wait list, you will be offered an appointment as soon as possible.
  • Can I do video or telephone sessions?
    For therapy with adults or parents, video or telephone appointments are available. Many adults find virtual or telephone appointments convenient and helpful as part of the treatment process. Video and telephone appointments can be more challenging with children and youth, who often have more difficulty focusing and engaging when therapy is done this way. For this reason, treatment sessions with children and teenagers are usually done in- person. Dr. Murray can help you decide whether telehealth appointments are suitable for your child or teenager. In terms of assessments, ADHD/ADD assessments can be done by video or telephone. Psycho-educational assessments are done only in-person.
  • What do I do if there is an emergency?
    Dr. Murray works in a private outpatient clinic and is not able to provide crisis or emergency services. If there is an emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.
  • What happens if I cancel or miss an appointment?
    Please make every effort to give 48 hours notice if you can’t attend a scheduled appointment. This will allow us to offer the time slot to clients who are waiting to be seen. If you miss an appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours notice, we will not have time to offer the appointment to another client and you will be charged the full rate for the appointment that was missed.
  • When is a psycho-educational assessment needed?
    A psycho-educational assessment is used to understand your child’s or teenager’s learning style, their strengths, and their areas of challenge. The results can be used to diagnose a learning disorder, an intellectual disability, or giftedness. This type of assessment may be needed if: - Your child is having a lot of trouble in the areas of reading, writing, or math. - Your child is getting grades that seem to be much lower than their potential. - Your child is becoming very emotional or acting out when they are doing school work or homework. - Your child needs a lot of supervision to get academic work done. - Your child dislikes school despite having friends. - Your child needs an updated assessment of their learning for their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or school accommodations.
  • What is the difference between an ADHD/ADD assessment and a psycho- educational assessment?
    A psycho-educational assessment is explained in one of our FAQs. The goal of a psycho-educational assessment is to understand how your child or teenager learns and whether they have a learning disorder, an intellectual disability, or are a gifted learner. Individual, one-to-one cognitive and academic testing with your child is an important part of the process. In some cases, ADHD can be accurately assessed and diagnosed in the process of a psycho-educational assessment. There is no cognitive or academic test that is valid for diagnosing ADHD and the diagnosis is usually made because of other tools (see below) were collected and reviewed. Evidence-based practice guidelines for an ADHD/ADD assessment include a comprehensive diagnostic interview, questionnaires and rating scales, and a review of past records (e.g., report cards, prior assessments). For child ADHD assessments, parents and teachers are involved in the process. For adult ADHD assessments, the person seeking the assessment and someone who knows them well is involved in the process. An ADHD/ADD assessment usually does not require psycho-educational testing.
  • When should I seek treatment?
    If a child, teenager, or adult is in emotional distress and is having difficulty doing regular daily activities like going to school or work, being with friends, following routines, you may need to seek help. Temporary struggles happen to all of us, but it's time to reach out for support if the distress is not getting better over time.
  • What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that works for many different problems. CBT is based on scientific studies which show that learning and practicing skills to change the way we act and the way we think improves the way we feel. Once you learn the skills, the improvements can last a very long time. Most CBT programs include parts of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness.
  • How long will treatment last?
    The frequency and number of sessions are based on your individual needs and the guidelines from evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for specific conditions. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety and depression usually involves weekly sessions for about 8 to 20 sessions. Treatment for childhood ADHD typically involves parenting interventions for 10 to 12 sessions. Treatment for adult ADHD ranges from 8 to 20 sessions. Extra booster sessions are often needed to practice skills and change them as circumstances change. After the initial intake, Dr. Murray will let you know the length of treatment expected for your needs.
  • Do parents come to therapy sessions?
    Parents need to be involved in the therapy process, but the amount of involvement depends on the child’s age and the type of problem. Overall, treatments are more effective when parents know the treatment goals, why a treatment approach is being used, and what skills are being learned in therapy. Practicing skills outside of the clinic setting makes therapy more effective and parents play a key role here by cuing their child to use the skills in different settings. For teenagers, the level of parental involvement is usually less due to issues around privacy. For some treatments, like behavioural parent training for managing ADHD, Dr. Murray will mostly be working with the parents. Dr. Murray will discuss parents’ expected level of involvement at the outset of therapy and how this may change (increase or decrease) as therapy progresses. Dr. Murray will also talk with parents about confidentiality and let parents know what can and cannot be shared about a child or teenager’s sessions.
  • Are the sessions covered by the Medical Services Plan?
    Psychological services in private practice are not covered by MSP. Please see the “rates” page for a break down of the fees. If you have extended health insurance (e.g., Pacific Blue Cross), you need to contact your provider and ask: Does my plan cover the services of a registered psychologist? How much is covered per family member per year? Is there a maximum daily limit? Do I need a physcian's referral to get reimbursed?
  • How does payment work? What forms of payment are accepted?
    You will receive an invoice after your session, sent to the email we have on file. You can pay for the session by sending an e-transfer or you can pay by credit card. If you'd like to pay for your session using a credit card, you can: Go into your Jane account and add your credit card information. Your payment will be processed after your session. Send us an email requesting payment by credit card and we will arrange it.
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