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COVID19 NOTICE

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID19

VIRTUAL TELE-HEALTH COUNSELLING IS AVAILABLE

UPDATE - SUMMER - 2022

ACCEPTING NEW REFERRALS - JANUARY 2022 - (However, I am NOT accepting WCB, legal or MVA or insurance referrals/claims as my practice is part-time)

Since mid-March of 2020, I, like so many others, pivoted to working exclusively from home doing counselling via TeleHealth. Though there are those of you who want to work in-person only, 90% of you have successfully segued into an online format without 'missing a beat'. There is research support that TeleHealth has the same efficacy for most therapies and I have observed this since the pandemic began.  

IMPORTANT UPDATES:

April 4th, 2022, I am returning to in-office Monday only - that is, 8am to 4pm.  Tuesday will be reserved for virtual TeleHealth Counselling.  I will have my 13 year old, senior dog, 'Salina' at the office.  She is a wonderful emotional support 'therapy dog' as she is loving, gentle and sensitive to humans who need a supportive 'fur hug', She is hypo-allergenic being a Shitzu and Maltese cross and small at 12 pounds.  She will either be lying beside me on a chair sleeping the entire time, or if you desire, could lie next to you.  

Protocol for 'in-office' sessions:

As some of you are aware, I am in what is considered a 'high-risk' group given some health issues in the past, but also I am primary care giver to an elderly parent with Alzheimer's disease, who recently moved to a care facility where they were on outbreak for 9 weeks.   I have to do my best, as all of you, to ensure that I stay well and lower the risks that I may be exposed to or pass on to others.  You should know that I adhere to medical and science recommendations, not those suggested by government bodies.

If you have met me previously in my office, you know that we could easily maintain at least 6 feet apart, if not double that. Additionally, my colleague has purchased plexiglas barriers between yourself and the therapist's chair. I would still ask however, that we both would be in masks and practicing all the other recommended protocol for safety, regardless of what the current government mandates may  or may not be,  including temperature check and answering screening questions.  If you have been vaccinated with two doses plus a booster, we can choose to not be masked.  The real issue is that there is poor circulation in the office space - as there is no window to allow fresh air in, nor any circulation of fresh air as the door remains closed for hours and there is no cold air return.  So air simply doesn't move in nor out.  The office no longer has a 'waiting room', but rather clients contact their therapist from their car, and then they are let in on an individual basis. 

If your preference is to do virtual counselling, I will continue to offer "TeleHealth Counselling" over the internet platform called Doxy.Me.  It has high standards for security, encryption, confidentiality (nothing is stored) and is HIPAA approved. My professional association does not encourage Skype or FaceTime given the lack of online security both of these lack. You will need to review and sign a virtual consent form prior to your session. As mentioned, research shows that 'virtual counselling' can be as effective as face to face in office sessions. Payment is still due after each session and can be sent directly by e-transfer to: [email protected] My fee remains $250 for an assessment and $200/hour so if you would like to book an additional 30 minutes, there is an extra cost for this.  You will receive a receipt from me to submit directly to your independent insurance company for reimbursement.

Navigating through this global pandemic has been unknown territory for all of us, and it's possible given the new variants that protocol will change as needed.  If you choose in-person, a screening questionnaire will be sent for you to review and sign.  I am aware that people have different views on the vaccine and you have a right to your position.  However, know that I will be asking in advance so that I know the level of protection that I need to safety meet with you in person given my own health risks and that of an elderly parent in care.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Deborah

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