Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we most frequently get asked at Dr. Ladd's office:

What is a psychologist?
What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Will other people know what I talk about?
How long will my appointments last?
How long will I need therapy?
What if I need to reschedule an appointment?
What about phone, email or internet chat (i.e. Skype and Facetime) policies?
How can I find out more about coverage?
Are there issues Dr. Ladd doesn’t treat?
I am a physician. How can I refer my patients to the clinic?
What if I have more questions?

What is a psychologist?

A psychologist is a mental health professional trained in the study of human behavior and in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. A psychologist studies how we think, feel, and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour. In British Columbia, psychologists are registered and regulated by the College of Psychologists of British Columbia (CPBC). Only a registrant of the College may call themselves a psychologist. In order to become a Registered Psychologist or a Registered Psychological Associate in British Columbia, an individual must have completed a relevant program of graduate study (after a bachelor’s degree) in psychology, and a period of supervised experience and training which meets criteria established by the College under the direction of the Health Professions Act. He or she must then pass professional examinations, both written and oral, regarding their intended area of practice. All Registered Psychologists are required to follow an ethical code and standards of professional practice established by the College, and supported under British Columbia’s Health Professions Act. For more information about BC legislation regarding the regulation of psychologists, please visit the website of the College of Psychologists of BC.

What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

In British Columbia, the class of Registered Psychologist is intended for individuals who have completed a doctoral degree in psychology as well as extensive supervised practice experience in the form of practicum and a full time 12-month supervised internship (Please note, this is Dr. Ladd’s level of training). They have advanced training in assessing, diagnosing, and treating a range of emotional, behavioural, cognitive, and relationship problems. In contrast, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has completed a residency in psychiatry. A psychiatrist is trained in the medical management of psychiatric disorders, which usually involves prescription of medication.

Will other people know what I talk about?

The things we talk about in therapy or in assessments are private, so everything you say in session is strictly confidential. But there are situations where a psychologist is obligated by law to disclose information to the appropriate authorities. Limits to confidentiality include things like safety issues; mistreatment of a minor; court subpoenas; and the involvement of third parties like insurance companies and lawyers. These limits will be discussed in your first session. With your consent, at your request, or for compelling reasons, Dr. Ladd may contact your extended health provider, family physician, or emergency contacts as appropriate.

How long will my appointments last?

Unless otherwise arranged, therapy appointments are 45 to 50 minutes long, leaving 10 to 15 minutes for charting and other administrative tasks. Due to other commitments, Dr. Ladd’s practice is set up to not require much time outside of the therapy hour. If you feel your needs will require a lot of time outside of the therapy hour, it might be a good idea to choose another therapist, or to discuss a re-referral to a clinician with a more flexible schedule.

How long will I need therapy?

The length of your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs. Dr. Ladd is happy to accommodate clients who can benefit from short-term therapy, which is generally about 8-12 sessions, as well as clients who benefit from ongoing standing appointments on a weekly basis. Some clients respond to a more long-term relationship while others want to attend only for a few sessions to get more information and learn a few new coping skills. Most clients come every one to two weeks and then taper to monthly or “as needed” sessions to maintain their treatment gains. Dr. Ladd will offer you her professional opinion about what frequency is best for you, and she will always respect your right to decide about how often feels best for you. Psychological assessments follow a different format and typically involve longer appointments. Please contact our Office Manager for more information.

What if I need to reschedule an appointment?

Mutually agreeable appointment times are important. Ecclesia is happy to reschedule your appointment with Dr. Ladd to a more convenient time. Please be aware that a minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required for cancelling an appointment and that late cancellations and/or missed appointments may be charged at the regular rate.

What about phone, email or internet chat (i.e. Skype and Facetime) policies?

When, occasionally, meeting face-to-face is not possible, it might be that clients who are already established with Dr. Ladd can communicate by telephone or web counselling. Outside of scheduled sessions and more generally, phone calls with Dr. Ladd and other consultations are billed in 15 minute increments. If you feel that you would like to communicate for more than 15 minutes on the phone, for example, then a prorated fee will be charged to your account based on the time spent on the phone. Short emails to the office regarding scheduling will not incur a fee, but if you would like Dr. Ladd to read a longer emails or other correspondence, and if she agrees to do so, then charges to you will based on the time spent to do so. Please be advised that Dr. Ladd will not respond to emails or any other social media in the therapy role. For insurance reasons, Dr. Ladd will not provide any psychological services for clients who reside outside the province of British Columbia. If your are a client of Dr. Ladd’s please be aware that all correspondence will become a part of your clinical record. Please feel free to talk with Dr. Ladd more about these policies if you have any questions.

How can I find out more about coverage?

Dr. Ladd’s psychological services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance, an employee benefit plan, or by arrangement with another referral source. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

      Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
      What is my deductible and has it been met?
      How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
      What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
      What coverage does my insurance have for "out of network" providers?

Are there issues Dr. Ladd doesn’t treat?

The truth is, not all psychologists work well with all clients. After many years of general private practice, Dr. Ladd currently works with adults specializing in relationships, self-esteem, goal attainment, anxiety, personal growth, depression, chronic pain, and posttraumatic stress. Dr. Ladd gets very good results with these areas of concern. She is not taking new clients wanting help with bipolar problems, schizophrenia, substance abuse, complex posttraumatic stress, eating disorders, or depression and anger issues that involve current thoughts or behaviors of physical harm to oneself or others. Dr. Ladd limits her focus only to areas where she has the skills and expertise to work with a great deal of confidence. She believes it is in client’s best interests to refer out everything else to experts in other areas. If you need help with an area listed above that Dr. Ladd doesn’t treat, please consider contacting the British Columbia Psychological Association at for an appropriate referral.

I am a physician. How can I refer my patients to the clinic?

Physicians practicing in the Comox Valley and North Island region may refer patients to Dr. Ladd using their own referral form, or by completing the referral form below and faxing to 250-941-0322. Once a referral is received in our office, the patient will be contacted to book an individual appointment.

Download our referral form here. Referrals should include:

  • all patient information (name, address, birthdate, phone number, PHN)
  • reason for referral
  • current medications
  • current concerns and any discharge notes
  • referring doctor name, fax number and billing information
  • history of aggressive behaviour towards others or property
  • history of legal charges

Please ensure all patient and physician information is printed clearly and legibly on the referral.

What if I have more questions?

Thanks for checking out our website. If you have more questions or if we can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 250-941-0311, or email us at office@ecclesia-counselling.com.