Services and Fees
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Description of Services
Child and Youth Mental Health
At ICC, our multidisciplinary team works with children, youth, parents and carers to create a safe and supportive space for children and youth to express thoughts and feelings while accessing healing, health, and resources for coping. Children and youth may be candidates for therapy for many reasons, such as Selective Mutism, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety, Social Phobia, Trauma, Mood, changes in the family system, being bullied, adjusting to transitions, peer conflict, school avoidance, and family issues to name a few. We incorporate many approaches to expression including art, play, and activity-based experiences. Service plans and therapeutic approaches are adapted and matched to each individual and family who comes through the door.
According to Virginia Axline: “play therapy provides an opportunity for the child to ‘play out’ his or her feelings and problems just as, in certain adult therapy, an individual ‘talks out’ their difficulties.”
Are you looking for a counsellor for a child or youth? Registered Clinical Counsellors, interns, and Child and Youth Care Counsellors provide one to one counselling for children with a focus on reducing anxiety, improving mood, enhancing social skills and engaging in problem solving. Using directive and non-directive methods, children can express their innermost thoughts and feelings through a language that feels most natural to them: play. Expressive play therapy and art therapy can be useful tools for children with limited verbal abilities. Counselling can also be focused on regulating big emotions through mindfulness techniques, emotion identification, and coping skills. We enhance the service with parent participation options, including conjoint sessions and parent information sessions. We welcome children of all ages and abilities into our play space.
“No brain is the same. No brain is the best. Each brain finds its own special way” (from a poem written by Edward Hallowell).
At ICC we celebrate differences and want all clients to feel safe and supported. All counsellors at ICC have experience working with individuals with neurodiversity, such as ADHD, Autism (including Autistic or self-identifying Autistic adults), and FASD. Our services can also be paid for using the Autism Funding Unit.
ADHD is often misunderstood and mismanaged. It can look differently depending on whether it is a man, woman, or child. ADHD gets involved in everyday relationships. ADHD can result in distraction, forgetfulness, impulsivity, mood sings, feeling or acting disorganized, and hyperfocus. ADHD coaching helps educate clients about their symptoms. As a coach, we work collaboratively with clients and caregivers to help develop stronger emotional regulation, create and meet academic/professional/personal goals, enhance self-acceptance and create practical solutions that help reduce symptoms. Coaches use basic counselling skills to support their clients. It is also a very practical appointment and clients find it useful to engage in concrete strategies and techniques. Some techniques include using body doubling, visual reminders, an external brain, creating routine, simplifying tasks, taking breaks and minimizing distraction. Coaches, Registered Clinical Counsellors, and interns are able to help you go through a self-report measure and write the findings in a letter for your family physical or your child’s pediatrician.
Autistic individuals of all ages receive affirming care at Island Clinical Counselling. We offer individual support that is adapted to the needs of the client. We also offer numerous groups for children and adults. The journey towards diagnosis is a hard one
We specialize in supporting adults as well as children and youth on the spectrum. Working with an affirming therapist is important. Many adults we see want to receive a diagnosis. Autism assessment as an adult is a hard process to go through and there are limited resources. For those looking for adult assessment we can support this process by walking through the diagnostic criteria and writing a support letter to your psychiatrist or psychologist of choice.
Services for Neurodivergent Individuals and Families:
- Individual counselling with a Registered Clinical Counsellor or intern
- Individual counselling with a Child and Youth Care Counsellor
- Family and couples counselling with a Registered Clinical Counsellor or intern
- Parent Support with a Child and Youth Care Counsellor, intern, or RCC
- Support Groups offered on Zoom in the evenings for individual adults and also for caregivers
- Child and youth in person groups
- ADHD Coaching
- Advocacy support at school, medical, and professional meetings
Couples and Family Counselling
You do not need to wait until it is too late or when you are in crisis to seek out support. Counselling is useful to strengthen couple relationships and navigate family dynamics at any point in the relationship. Some reasons to attend Couples or Family Therapy include: communication difficulties or conflict, grief or loss in the family, becoming a new parent/step-parent, struggling as a caregiver, comorbid mental health conditions, exploring a transition or an unconventional relationship, experiencing changes or issues in intimacy, desire, or sexuality. We also offer pre-marital counselling and counselling for family and couple transitions.
When couples begin therapy we often teach strategies such as fair fighting. Avoiding name calling, staying in the here and now (not bringing up the past), reducing the use of harsh language, speaking for one’s own experience (I statements), sticking to one problem at a time, and reducing the volume of their voices can be useful tools. As therapists, we try to get to know the couple’s individual communication styles, support them when working through conflicts of any size, help foster further intimacy, establish appropriate boundaries, navigate grief and loss, and provide a safe space to explore past issues and hurts. We offer Gottman trained counsellors who can support couples in living their best lives in their relationship through enhancing communication patterns and identifying values that are key to their success as a couple. Gottman therapy is an evidence-based treatment.
Family counselling can be useful when miscommunication, disagreements, and family conflict is occurring. It is also useful as a preventative strategy in times of transition. Families come in all shapes and sizes; families change and expand as we age. If you are looking for family counselling in Nanaimo or a virtual approach, Island Clinical Counselling can help. Our family systems approach allow for families of all shapes and sizes to get the support they need in a timely manner. In our work with you we will help encourage families to practice empathy, give listening cues to one another, paraphrase or clarify meaning, avoid interruptions, and be mindful of each others body language.
If you are looking for couples and family counselling, Island Clinical Counselling has several Registered Clinical Counsellors who provide this service. Ashleigh Martinflatt, Kathryn Atkinson, Joel Martinflatt, Bree Stutt, Lisa Passarelli, and Brittany Hesketh offer these services. For lower cost, but effective, counselling please schedule with one of our clinical interns.
Substance Use Services
At Island Clinical Counselling, we work to tailor our services to fit the unique beliefs and knowledge that people hold about substance use. We recognize change is a process that can be both challenging and rewarding. With non-judgmental support, flexibility, compassion and creativity, we strive to assist people in setting and achieving meaningful goals. Island Clinical Counselling substance use services are customized for youth, adults, and older adults and include:
- Out-patient therapy
- Referral to withdrawal management (detox) programming
- Referral to in-patient residential and/or supportive recovery programming
- Relapse prevention planning and ongoing therapy
- Harm Reduction
- Family Members/Carers
Family members often encounter grief, anger, shame, and confusion when caring for a loved one involved with substances. Carers can experience emotional and even physical distress. Despite such impacts, few resources are available to specifically support families, particularly those in parent and/or caregiving roles. At Island Clinical Counselling we believe that families are important resources for their loved ones and therefore should have readily accessible, respectful and collaborative support. We are here to help navigate, what many call, the roller coaster ride of substance use. We value the wisdom and expert knowledge that family members hold and work to assist carers to feel valued, heard, and confident in their efforts.
At our clinic we create safety by:
- ensuring choice and collaboration
- building trust and agreement on goals/strategies
- focusing on client strengths and insider knowledge
Substance Use services for individuals, couples and families can be scheduled with Brittany Hesketh. For support for children in the home, child counselling can be booked with Hannah Christianson. For lower cost options, please schedule with one of our clinical intern counsellors.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Therapy
Individuals and Groups
For those who feel caught in the OCD Loop, therapy can be very useful. Obsessions (intrusive thoughts, unpleasant images, unwanted ideas) can lead to distress (often shame, fear, disgust) can lead to compulsive behaviours (such as repetitive thoughts, images, behaviours) that can lead to a temporary relief of the distress. People tend to feel they are in a never-ending loop because the relief is temporary and they feel they need to engage again and again. Using Exposure Response Prevention (ERPs) counsellors help clients work through OCD symptoms in a progressive way. ERP therapy helps clients resist OCD compulsions and expose themselves to OCD’s threats and intrusive thoughts in a safe way. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques are utilized to help clients gain more control over their symptoms and recognize when they are experiencing an OCD attack. We work with families to reduce family accommodation and reassurance seeking compulsions. Counsellors offer group and individual therapy services (see our group’s page for group options). Many clients have reported that working with counsellors who do not have adequate training for OCD has been ineffective. There is hope for OCD and we want clients to feel confident in our training and experience.
Habit Reversal Therapy
For Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs) and Tics
Tics and Tourette’s disorder can be treated using a therapy modality called Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT). HRT combined with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the gold standard for treating tic disorders. Termed CBIT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Intervention for Tics) this treatment helps reduce the negative impact that tics can have on an individual through education and the use of a Competing Response (CR). Stress management techniques, social support, cognitive challenging, and emotion regulation strategies are also used to support clients. CBIT is an evidenced based treatment for tics and Tourette’s Disorder.
Habit reversal is a technique also used for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs). BFRBs include any repetitive body behaviour that involves biting, pulling, picking, or scraping one’s own hair, skin, lips, cheeks, or nails. This repetitive behaviour can lead to physical damage to the body. The most common BFRBs include Onychotillomania (nail-biting), Dermatillomania (skin-picking), and Trichotillomania (hair-pulling). In conjunction to HRT, we use CBT and the SCAMP model to work through the sensory, cognitive, affective, motor, and place factors that influence the development and maintenance of a BFRB. At Island Clinical Counselling in Nanaimo, we provide clients with individualized support, sessions for parents and caregivers, as well as group therapy options (support groups and educational workshops). We offer most of these services in a virtual format so that clients can attend from all over. In person services are also available for local clients.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Did you know that Stats Canada suggests that one in three Canadians, about nine million people, will be affected by a mental illness during their lifetime?
DBT is a therapy based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, with a greater focus on emotion and social interaction. DBT was developed to help people cope with big or unstable emotions and harmful interpersonal or self-behaviours. This is an evidence-based approach to help people learn skills to regulate emotions. DBT is useful for individuals with borderline personality disorder, or those with any of the following symptoms: suicidal behaviour, self-harm, dysregulated emotions, substance use, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and eating disorders. In individual sessions, clients learn strategies such as: distress tolerance, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. This is a skills based therapy and many clients who receive it find the skills applicable in every day life. Treatment can include a mix of one-on-one with group sessions. Clients learn skills such as tolerating distress, problem solving, building and navigating relationships, acceptance, mindfulness, and regulating emotions.
Trauma can show up in our lives in many different ways. It can show up where we do not always expect it to. We can develop feelings of isolation, difficulty trusting people, feeling numb or disconnected, having difficulty concentrating, experiencing mood swings, having an easy startle, being easily reactive, having difficulty setting boundaries, feeling the need to find control.
ICC counsellors practice in a trauma-informed way. We are committed to bringing safety, trust and transparency, choice, collaboration, empowerment, and an understanding of culture into our work with clients.
One modality we offer at Island Clinical Counselling is Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). ART uses back and forth eye movements that are combined with a technique that is called “voluntary memory/image replacement.” This helps address anxiety, mood, relationship issues, grief, and addictions that may be connected to a traumatic experience. This helps by re-programming the way that distressing or traumatic memories are stored in the brain, thereby reducing physical and emotional reactions associated with the trauma.
Therapy for Anxiety
“Quiet people have the loudest minds” – Stephen King
Anxiety can show up in our bodies in many ways such as aches and pains, excessive sweating or feeling hot, shaking, difficulty with or rapid breathing, fatigue, increased blood pressure and heart palpitations.
What therapy do we use for anxiety? The gold-standard evidence based treatment is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). We can use CBT for a host of anxiety disorders like, social anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, PTSD, and generalized anxiety. CBT focuses on the three pillars: thoughts, feelings (and body sensations), and behaviours. What we think, affects what we feel, and thereby impacts what we do. Understanding this connection is crucial to making changes in how readily anxiety controls us. Counsellors help clients identify their anxious thoughts, challenge them, and change them to establish new, more helpful patterns of thinking.
Therapy for Depression and Bipolar Disorder
“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t” (John Green, 2019).
In some age groups, stats Canada found that women are diagnosed with a mood disorder almost twice as often as men. Men are also reported to seek counselling services less often than women due to mental health stigma. Men are three times more likely to end their life than women. About two to three percent of Canadians will experience Seasonal Affective Disorder at one time. Post Partum Depression can impact about 23% of women. Mood disorders are chronic, often connected to brain chemistry differences, interfere with daily functioning and may require medication.
Mood disorders can be treated with a number of modalities such as DBT, CBT, Emotion Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and stress management. Focusing on a holistic view of the individual we look at the psychological, social, emotional, biological, cultural and spiritual factors involved in our clients’ lives. Behavioural Activation, Excercise Therapy, Outreach/Activity Based treatments can also be utilized to help support a holistic treatment plan for someone with a mood disorder.
Disability and Diverse Abilities
- 15 Minute Video Consultation: Free
- Individual Sessions Online or In Person at the Clinic with a Registered Clinical Counsellor (all ages): $140.00 Plus GST
- Couples and Family Sessions Online or In Person at the Clinic with a Registered Clinical Counsellor: $155.00 Plus GST
- Clinical Supervision and Professional Consultation: $140.00 Plus GST
- Half Session Online in Person: $90.00 Plus GST
- Child and Youth Care Counselling with Hannah Christianson: $60.00 Plus GST
- Groups for Children and Youth: $30 per session, group packages are also available
- ADHD Coaching: $60.00 Plus GST
- BFRB Coaching: $60.00 Plus GST
- Clinical Interns: $60.00-$90.00 Plus GST
- Adult Online Group Therapy and Weekly Workshops: $40.00 per session Plus GST
- Letters and Documents: $35.00 and up
Many extended health care plans cover the services of a Registered Clinical Counsellor or Registered Social Worker. Please check with your benefits plan. You will be asked to pay for your session and then will be issued a receipt to be provided to your benefit plan.
We are able to direct bill to:
- Autism Funding Unit
- Mental Health Network for Athletes (through Game Plan)
- Metis Nation
- First Nations Health Authority
- Homeschool programs, upon approval
- Crime Victims Assistance
We can support families in their applications to Jordan’s Principle and Variety Charities.
Island Clinical Counselling staff adhere to the ethical guidelines put out by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and the British Columbia College of Social Workers. All services with a clinical counsellor are confidential, with some legal and ethical limitations such as safety concerns and child maltreatment. We ask for informed consent at the time of services, which means that a person understands why they are here for therapy and what counselling will be like. Once they understand they give their agreement to engage in the service and may withdraw it at anytime. Counselling is voluntary.