“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
– Mae West

Hopefully you’ll find the answer you’re looking for below, but if you’d like to ask a follow-up question or discuss something we missed, please don’t hesitate to book a free 15-minute consultation.  You can also send an email, or give us a call.

Questions About The Money

How much does it cost?

We offer a variety of pricing options.

All new clients are invited to take advantage of our free 15min consultation. This is a chance to meet the therapist of your choice and discuss your goals.

The fee for counselling is as follows:

Individual sessions are $150-160/hr

Couple counselling is $160-170/hr

Reduced-fee counselling is available through our student counsellors.  The posted fee is $80/hr.  If this price is still difficult to manage please let us know so we can work something out.

Clinical supervision is $150/hr for individual, $75/hr each for dyadic (total of $150/hr), and $75 for group supervision (2hr).

Payment is due at the beginning of the session.  Once payment has been processed, you will receive a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.

We are required to charge HST for psychotherapy.

What forms of payment do you accept?
E-transfers can be sent to pay@upstreamcounselling.com
We are also able to accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.
After payment has been received, you will be emailed a receipt.  If you misplace your receipt, please don’t hesitate to ask for another copy.

Is counselling covered by my insurance or employer benefits?
Yes, as long as Psychotherapy or Registered Psychotherapist is listed on your insurance policy coverage.  It may also fall under Counselling, or Mental Health, or even Marriage Counselling.

While most employers now provide coverage for psychotherapy, if your benefits don’t include this coverage, speaking to your HR person can make a difference, so be sure to ask about it.  To make it easier, feel free to use this template for an email or a letter.
Client to Employer letter

What if I miss a session?
Your appointment time is reserved just for you. A late cancellation or missed visit leaves a hole in your counsellor’s day that could have been filled by another client. As such, we request you notify us as soon as you realize you are unable to keep your appointment.  Clients who provide less than 24 hours notice will be asked to pay for the missed appointment.  (Reasonable consideration is given for sickness and other unavoidable circumstances.)

Questions About How It Works

What should I expect when I come to counselling?
​Most people wait too long to come to counselling, and understandably so.  Exploring painful subjects in therapy can be deeply challenging.  In fact, people commonly report feeling like things are actually getting harder during the first few sessions as they begin to face the pain head-on.  This is a normal and healthy part of the process.

What Happens in the First Appointment?
You know best what you need out of counselling, so we will use the time however you want.

First appointments typically focus on assessment.  That means we use the time to establish a mutual comfort level as you begin to explore what brings you to counselling and what you would like to accomplish through the process.  Sometimes people have an urgent matter to discuss immediately.  Either is fine as long as you feel the conversation is helpful to you.

You are not required to share anything you’d rather keep private, but we do encourage you to share everything you feel we need to know in order to be helpful.

Is it confidential?
The counselling relationship is confidential.  Your counsellor will not release any information regarding you or your counselling without your written consent except as required by ethical and/or legal obligation.  Specifically, your counsellor is required to contact the appropriate authorities with the necessary information in the following instances:

  • If your counsellor understands there to be a serious and imminent threat of harm to yourself or anyone else
  • If a child under 18 years of age or a vulnerable adult is in apparent need of protection from physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect
  • If your counsellor receives a court order to release information found in your file
  • If you reveal that you have been exploited by a professional in a position of power or authority (i.e. a physician, teacher, another counsellor, etc.)

What about confidentiality for minors?
This can be a delicate issue with substantial grey areas.  Within the limits set by the law, we will always work to strike the right balance between privacy and safety.

A capable young person has the right to determine who will be given access to their personal health information, including parents.

If the situation involves separation/divorce and there is shared custody, we need consent from BOTH parents to provide ongoing counselling.  Similarly, any child under the age of 12 must have parental consent for counselling after the initial session. For more information, or to discuss how we handle the grey areas of your particular situation, please contact us directly.

How many sessions will I need?
The answer to this question is entirely up to you.  Research shows that the average is in the range of 5-8 sessions; however, some people have what they need after a couple of sessions.  For others, it can be a long-term process.  You are welcome to continue counselling for as long as you feel it is helpful.

How often should I come?
Come to counselling as often or as little as you like.
Most people start off on a weekly basis, and then move to bi-weekly or monthly as they make progress and gain confidence.  If you are in crisis, once a week may not be enough.  If you feel you’re doing well, you may just want an occasional ‘maintenance’ session.

Do you offer in person sessions?
If you prefer an in-person session and are able to meet in Waterloo, Ontario, please let us know, so we can make arrangements.

Questions About Other Stuff

Do you have a waiting list?
We do not have a waiting list.  We can often accommodate requests for same day or next day appointments.

What platform do you use for video meetings?
Zoom is our platform of choice because it is secure and stable, but we’re always evaluating the ever increasing array of options.  If you prefer another platform, please feel free to discuss this with your counsellor.

What is your opinion on medication?
Pills and other pharmaceuticals are neither good nor bad.  They’re a tool to help you manage.  There are other tools.  Depending on the type and amount of pain you’re experiencing, you might need medication or you might not.  That’s a decision you make with your doctor.  But you know you need SOMETHING.

Whether it’s a pill, or an early alarm to go work out, or an uncomfortable conversation to repair a relationship, or a spiritual quest, counselling can help you implement a strategy to ease your pain.

What is your Code of Ethics?
You can check out the CRPO code here.
You can check out the CCPA code here.

What is the meaning of life?
Well, that’s a tough one!  We may not be able to know the ultimate meaning of life, but we can help you discover what gives meaning to YOUR life.  Research shows that the key to contentment is to build meaningful relationships and to invest yourself in a meaningful purpose.

We all need to feel connected to a community of people who give us an experience of something meaningful.  Counselling can help you build purpose and add meaning to your life.