Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does counselling cost?

    Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) / Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) (HST Required)

    50 Minute Session with RCC/CCC $110.00 (plus GST)
    75 Minute Couples or Family Session with RCC/CCC $150.00 (plus GST)
    Phone calls, emails, reports, consultation $110.00/hr. (plus GST) based on 15 minute increments


    Registered Social Worker (RSW) (No HST Required)

    50 Minute Session with Registered Social Worker $110.00
    75 Minute Couples or Family Session with Registered Social Worker $150.00
    Phone calls, emails, reports, consultation $110.00 based on 15 minute increments

    Somatic Experiencing (with Melanie Maure B.A.)

    50-75 Minute Session $96.00 (plus GST)

    Occupational Therapy (MOT) (No HST Required) 

    Assessments $110.00/ hour
    Reports $110.00/hour
    Phone calls, emails, reports, consultation $110.00 based on 15 minute increments

    *Please check with your extended health provider if any of these registrations are covered under your plan.
    Registered with Crime Victim’s Assistance Program and Autism Funding
    Payment options: Cash, Cheque, VISA, MasterCard, Debit

  • Will my benefits pay for counselling?

    That depends on your benefit carrier and benefit plan. Please check with your plan administrator to see what qualifications and credentials are covered.  We have therapists that are Registered Clinical Counsellors and Registered Social Workers.  If you have any additional questions please contact Eric our office manager at 250-763-7414.

  • Are there funding sources that will pay for my child's counselling?

    If you or your child has been the victim of a crime, you may be eligible to receive funding for counselling through the Crime Victim Assistance Program. For more information, explore this website: or call VictimLINK 1-800-563-0808. They will direct you to local organizations that will help you with the application process.

    If your child has been diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, there is funding available through the BC government. Please explore this website for further information:

  • What is EMDR?

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR™ )1  is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach. It contains elements of many effective psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects.  These include psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body-centered therapies2.

    EMDR™ psychotherapy is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.

    During treatment various procedures and protocols are used to address the entire clinical picture. One of the procedural elements is "dual stimulation" using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases the client attends momentarily to past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimulus. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new associations. The clinician assists the client to focus on appropriate material before initiation of each subsequent set.

  • What is Somatic Experiencing?

    What is Somatic Experiencing®?
    Somatic Experiencing is a body-centered approach to emotional healing and the resolution of trauma. Developed by Dr. Peter Levine over the past 40 years, Somatic Experiencing offers a safe, gradual way to help trauma survivors develop their own natural ability to eliminate the excess energy caused by overwhelming events.

    • How does it works?
    Somatic Experiencing is a naturalistic way to assist in the healing of trauma. SE is based on 40 years of research and experience by Dr. Peter Levine and the understanding that animals in the wild, though constantly threatened by predators, are rarely traumatized. These animals, he noted, had built-in mechanisms that allowed them to release high amounts of energy after they were chased, injured or nearly killed and then to return to normal. Dr. Levine concluded thatthe same regulatory process exists within human animals. SE is a system of techniques that support people to access this process that aids in recovery from traumatic events.

    Although humans have virtually the same instinctive self-regulating mechanisms as animals, we often inhibit these processes out of embarrassment or shame, decreasing our own capacity to heal.  When we fail to discharge the high levels of arousal associated with survival these massive energies stay trapped in our neuromuscular and central nervous system and wreak havoc on our bodies and our minds.  It is this trapped energy that develops into a whole constellation of post-traumatic symptoms including pain, anxiety, anger, depression, intrusive thoughts and imagery, and cognitive impairments.  Somatic Experiencing provides the steps needed to reconnect individuals with the innate wisdom of their bodies.  This approach uses education about and awareness of your body sensations as a primary tool.

    • What does a session look like?
    -The setting for a Somatic session would look very much like traditional talk therapy… seated in comfy chairs or on a couch perhaps with a tea, however, that is where the similarity ends. During your SE session the conversation will be around encouraging you to engage in focused awareness of your bodily sensations to discover innate self-regulation and healing. At times; if appropriate and agreed upon by you and your practitioner; touch may be used to guide, support and contain your experience of your body.

    • Who would benefit from Somatic Experiencing®?
    SE can benefit anyone who has experienced something overwhelming.
    This can include but is not limited to:
    • adults with a history of childhood abuse
    • assault
    • long periods of immobility due to injury or casting
    • motor vehicle accidents
    • injury due to many causes
    • major overwhelming life changes
    • preparation for surgical procedures
    • recovery from surgical procedures
    • dental procedures
    • military experience and exposure to natural disasters.

    In general, SE is a powerful antidote to those dealing with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

    SE would probably not benefit those with severe psychotic disorders.

    If you are currently seeing another therapist to address other concerns and wish to incorporate SE into your healing process, discuss this need with your therapist. SE therapy for trauma issues can be used with other approaches.

    What are the benefits of Somatic Experiencing?
    Eliminate or significantly reduce the symptoms of trauma:
    • Improve sleep, digestion and concentration
Decrease frequency and intensity of nightmares and flashbacks
    • Decrease anxiety, angry outbursts and depression
    • Ease physical discomforts associated with the traumatic event
    • Decrease need to feel on-guard
    • Decrease muscle tension
 Increase of energy
    …All of the above will then increase physical health and wellness

    Improve sense of connection to others:
    • Decrease isolation or detachment from others
    • Improve sense of belonging
    • Increase sense of feeling alive and “real”
    • Increase capacity to feel confident and capable
Deepen sense of connection to the spiritual world

  • How long will my child need counselling?

    Each child and situation is unique.  Depending on the presenting concerns or issues your therapist will be able to give you a sense of the counselling process and duration.  Some children require short-term skill enhancement work whereas other situations such as trauma/abuse/loss may require long-term therapy.  Our goal is to work collaboratively with parents and other support persons to provide comprehensive child focused therapy.

  • What do I tell my child about counselling?

    Depending on the age of your child you will be provided a brief explanation regarding the first session. Part of the therapists role is to build rapport and trust with your child and family. Your child will be encouraged to ask questions about counselling and/or their therapist.  Please discuss questions and concerns during your intake session regarding what is best for your child's preparatory needs.

  • What is a Custody & Access Evaluation?

    Custody and Access Evaluations are used in family court proceedings when parties cannot agree on issues pertaining to the children. The result of the Evaluation is a Custody & Access Report ("Section 15 Report"), which provides recommendations to the court focused on the best interests of the children.

    Stepping Stones Counselling Group provides a level of specialization and expertise that is highly respected in the Okanagan. Our Custody & Access Evaluator, Olivia Sullivan, holds a Master of Social Work degree and is a Registered Social Worker. Olivia has specialized training and experience in compiling C&A Reports and working therapeutically with children and families.

    A Custody & Access Evaluation is recommended if:

    •You and your ex-spouse cannot agree on where the child(ren) should live;
    •You and your ex-spouse cannot agree on how much time your child(ren) should spend with each of you;
    •You or your ex-spouse wish to relocate with the children;
    •Your child(ren) have special needs that should be considered;
    •You are being denied access to your children;
    •You wish to restrict or deny access to another party;
    •You would like a specialist to make child-focused recommendations about decisions regarding custody and access of your child(ren).

    The Custody & Access Evaluation is a complex process. Please contact Olivia if you would like more information: 250-763-7414 or by email: olivia.steppingstones [@]