What is the payment and cancellation policy?
Payment happens at the end of each session and can be made by cash or an Interac e-Transfer® sent to raneeta[at]raneetagopal.com. If an appointment needs to be cancelled or rescheduled please contact me at least 24 hours in advance. For cancellations with less than 24 hours notice, a no-show fee of $50 (plus tax) will be charged.
What can I expect in the first counselling session?
You may book an appointment via email or phone. I will send you either an electronic or paper copy of the Client Intake Form to fill out and return before your first session. This form provides me with information pertaining to your personal history and your counselling needs. Having you complete this form in advance saves us time so that we can start therapy the moment you walk into my office.
When you arrive for your initial appointment, you may find a seat in the waiting room. The entrance of the office building is locked in the evenings and on weekends, so if your appointment is scheduled during this time, I will meet you out at the front door a few minutes before the start of your appointment. There is someone at the front desk Monday to Fridays from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. If your appointment is scheduled within this timeframe, please check in with the receptionist and they will let me know that you are waiting.
At the beginning of the first session, I will go over the details of the Informed Consent Form, which outlines your rights as a client. Then, based on your Client Intake Form, you and I will discuss what you hope to achieve in counselling and we would create a plan accordingly.
If I am seeking to have my employee benefit plan pay for counselling, what insurance information do I need in order to determine if your services are covered?
There are six important questions to ask your insurance company before attending counselling. Please call your insurance provider (e.g., Chambers of Commerce, Blue Cross) and ask the following questions to ensure eligibility:
1. Do you cover a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)?
Most insurances cover counsellors from a variety of professions (social work, psychology, expressive therapies); however, some may only cover one or two of these. Raneeta Gopal is a registered clinical counsellor in British Columbia. Check your plan to confirm that they cover this profession.
- Would you make an exception? If your company does not cover registered clinical counsellors, you may consider writing to ask the company if they would make an exception.
2. How much am I covered for?
Ask the amount of money which you are covered for.
3. What is the maximum amount paid per session for the therapist?
Insurance companies often pay counsellors below the counsellors private practice rate for therapy services. It is important that you know what the insurance company maximum is and what the counsellor’s private practice fee is.
4. Are there any deductibles?
Ask for information about any deductibles that your insurance company might charge you if you utilize the money allotted for counselling coverage.
5. Is the coverage for a calendar year or a fiscal year?
Some insurance companies give a set amount of money that you can use in a year for counselling. It is important to know if they base this on a calendar year (beginning in January-December) or a fiscal year (beginning in April to May). Depending on when you need to begin your counselling, this question can make a big difference in the amount of coverage available to you.
6. Does my counsellor bill the insurance company directly or do I pay up front and then get reimbursed?
This is a very important question to ask. If the counsellor is able to bill the insurance company directly, ensure that you obtain all of the billing information before sessions begin, that is, the name, address and phone number of the company which the counsellor will send invoices to.
How long will counselling take?
This is dependent on multiple factors including your goals, personal motivation, the complexity and duration of the situation you are presenting with. Some issues can be resolved over a few sessions, and some might take longer. We will check in at regular intervals to see how counselling is going for you and review your goals or intentions. As much as I find meaning and purpose in the work I do with clients, my hope is always to help you meet your goals so that you can live a happy and healthy life without necessarily feeling the need for counselling.
What days and times do you have available?
I typically work on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, as well as evenings throughout the week. At this time, I am not offering sessions on Saturdays and Sundays.
Do you offer video or phone sessions in place of in-person visits?
Yes. This option has always been available and since the pandemic most people feel more comfortable accessing counselling through these means.