Frequently Asked Questions


Fraser River Counselling is a learning centre for student-counsellors in the Master of Arts Counselling Psychology program at Trinity Western University, so there are certain therapeutic issues that may require more specialized services that we cannot provide.  We want to ensure your needs are being met in the best possible manner. The following questions and answers are to help you decide whether Fraser River Counselling is a good fit for you. 

I am currently facing legal charges, is Fraser River Counselling a good fit for me?
We are able to offer services to you solely at the Trinity Western University location. If you have faced legal charges in the past, contact the intake worker to explore whether the other locations are an option.

What if my counselling is court mandated?
Please contact the intake worker if your counselling is court mandated. Also, please note that we are unable to provide court documentation apart from providing a signed document/letter stating that you have attended sessions at FRC for a certain amount of time.  We do not provide assessments.  Because our counsellors are students, we will avoid any situations in which the counsellor would be called into court to testify.  Contact the intake worker for alternative referrals if this is a need that must be satisfied.

I have Bipolar Disorder, is Fraser River Counselling a good fit for me?
We provide services for clients with Bipolar Disorder who are currently taking prescribed medication for their condition and are stabilized.

I have experienced severe trauma, such as sexual abuse, is Fraser River Counselling appropriate?
We provide services for clients with many different traumas; however it is important to note the limitations of our service.  Often for severe trauma, long-term care with a consistent counsellor may be the most appropriate.  FRC by its nature cannot guarantee this.  If your presenting concern is sexual abuse, contact the intake worker who will provide you with appropriate referrals.

I have an active eating disorder (i.e. Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa), is Fraser River Counselling appropriate?
We can provide counselling, but only as supportive therapy.  We ask clients who suffer from active eating disorders to be under psychiatric care while receiving services from FRC. Our involvement will be to work on a particular issue that a physician has assigned.

I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), is Fraser River Counselling a good fit for me?
The best standard of practice for BPD is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and long-term care. Fraser River Counselling does not provide training in this specific therapy and does not provide long-term care. Unfortunately this means that our counsellors will not be a suitable match for your needs.

How long is the waitlist?
The waitlist is variable depending on the volume of clients currently being seen, and the volume of clients on the waitlist.  Counsellors usually start seeing clients late September, early October. The waitlist can be anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on the volume.  The intake worker will let you know the wait time once you submit an intake form.

Can an FRC counsellor help me obtain custody of my child?
Because our counsellors are students, we will avoid any situations in which the counsellor would be called into court to testify.  Contact the intake worker for alternative referrals if this is a need that must be satisfied.

I cannot afford the fee. Can I still receive counselling?
If you are faced with a circumstance in which you cannot afford counselling, such as being unemployed or on disability, you are still welcome to come for counselling.  We ask that you make note of this on your intake form and discuss what you can reasonably afford with your counsellor at your first appointment.  In special circumstances, we can waive the fee.

Who needs to sign consent for my child to receive counselling services?
In cases of sole custody or shared guardianship, we will need a copy of the custody papers.  We will need the names of both parents/legal guardians if there is joint custody, as well as signed permission from both parties.

Does FRC provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or other types of specialized therapies?
Fraser River Counselling is a learning environment for the student-counsellors, where they are encouraged to provide and practice a broad range of different therapeutic approaches.  We do not offer CBT or other approaches specifically; however we encourage clients to discuss the most appropriate approach with their counsellor.

Does FRC provide Christian counselling?
Although FRC is run through Trinity Western University, which is a Christian university, the Masters of Arts Counselling Psychology degree is not specifically a Christian counselling program.  The program encourages students to integrate their faith and spiritual perspectives into their approach to counselling; however we do not provide Christian counselling.  You are welcome to discuss your faith with your counsellor, but we cannot provide spiritual guidance.

Are people of varying sexual orientations, gender identities, and cultural/religious backgrounds welcome at FRC?
Yes!  We are glad to offer services to people of varying backgrounds and identities.  The only limitations to our services are listed above.

Can I request a specific FRC location?
When you complete an intake, we ask that you specify the location you would like.  It may increase your chances of being seen sooner if you are willing to go to more than one location.

Can I request my preferences for a counsellor?
Yes you can request what you prefer in a counsellor (i.e., age or gender of counsellor); however please be aware that although we would like to accommodate your preferences, sometimes we are unable to based on availability.  We will try the best we can!

What if I feel like my counsellor and I are not a good fit?
Sometimes this can happen in counselling.  We know the therapeutic relationship is a central component to your growth and healing, so we want you to feel comfortable with your counsellor. If you feel like you and your counsellor are not a good fit, we encourage you to speak with your counsellor about this to discuss alternatives.  If this is uncomfortable, you can request to speak with the counsellor’s supervisor or contact the intake worker to arrange for a different counsellor. 

What can I expect during my first session?
The counsellor will read through the informed consent with you and give you time to think about the agreement and sign it if you decide to consent to services.  The counsellor will then do a more detailed intake interview and set goals with you for your time together.

I am uncomfortable with being on camera.  Can I request to not be video-recorded or on camera?
We understand that counselling is a personal process and the thought of being on camera can feel intimidating or invasive for some clients.  Unfortunately because FRC is a learning environment for our student-counsellors, the camera and video-recording are central components of the learning process.  We are unable to make exceptions, but we encourage you to contact the intake worker if you have more questions about how this works or if you would like a referral.

How many student-counsellors are on a team?
Typically, one team is comprised of 5–6 student-counsellors and one supervisor who is a Registered Clinical Counsellor.

Can I request to meet the supervisor or the team?
You can definitely request to meet the supervisor.  Each team is different in how they approach clients meeting the whole student-counselling team, so this is a possible conversation to have with your counsellor.  Please note that it may be difficult to meet the whole team, as counsellors may have appointments with other clients at the same time as your appointment. 

Can I request to see someone more experienced, like a psychologist or psychiatrist?
We do not offer counselling from psychologists or psychiatrists.  Your counsellor will be a first year student in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program at Trinity Western University.  In special cirstumances, second year intern counsellors may see clients based on availability.  If you would like to know if a second year student-counsellor is available, contact the intake worker.

How do I get ahold of my counsellor if I am in crisis?
If you are in crisis, the best course of action is to either call 9-1-1 or the crisis line at 604.951.8855.  You may leave a message on the number the counsellor provides, but they may not return your call right away.

How many sessions am I allowed?
You may come for as many sessions as you would like, and this varies for each client.  After a certain amount of time, your counsellor may review your progress and set new goals with you.

Am I allowed to stop counselling when I want to?
Yes you can stop counselling at any time; however, we encourage you to discuss this with your counsellor to ensure you have an action plan set in place once you cease counselling.  In some circumstances, a referral for another service may be the most appropriate course of action. 

Have a different question? Contact us.