We do not require a doctor’s referral in order to see your child and/or family. There are a minority of extended medical plans, however, that require clients to get a physician’s referral in order to claim benefits. We encourage clients to check their extended medical plans in case this applies to them.
A Psychiatrist completes a medical degree (MD) and then a residency program in which they specialize in psychiatry (RCPSC-Psychiatry). They also assess mental health challenges and can prescribe medication as part of the treatment plan. Some psychiatrists also offer therapy but they do not perform psychoeducational assessments. Their work is regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, which protects the public and ensures that psychiatrists meet expected standards of practice and conduct. A referral is required to see a psychiatrist but fees are paid for by the Medical Services Plan. Psychiatrists and psychologists often work together as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Payment is due at the end of each session and can be paid via cash, cheque, or e-transfer. Once payment is complete, you will be given a receipt for services that you can submit for reimbursement if you have extended medical benefits. Providers vary in the amount of coverage they offer per year for Registered Psychologists so it is best to review your policy or contact your provider for this information ahead of time. The Medical Services Plan (MSP) does not cover psychological services.
Jordan’s Principle and some distributed learning schools can be billed directly.
- We encourage parents to tell their children about the types of tasks and activities that they will be doing during their assessments. This is more helpful than referring to their assessments as “tests”, as this tends to make children feel anxious ahead of time. Consider explaining to children that they will meet a psychologist who will spend time doing activities with them and getting to know them. These activities might involve hands-on tasks such as building block designs and puzzles. They might also include word problems, picture puzzles, memory games, and academic tasks. Children are asked to simply try their best and there is no expectation that they will know the answers to all of the questions.
- Your child will usually be seen over two days. The time needed depends on a number of factors such as the reason for the assessment as well as your child’s age and tolerance for the activities. Your child’s fatigue, motivation, and level of effort are monitored closely. Breaks will be given as needed (e.g., snack, movement, and washroom breaks).
- It is really important that your child has a good night’s sleep the night before the assessment. Please also make sure they eat breakfast before arriving. You are encouraged to bring healthy snacks for break times. Please note that we are a nut-free clinic as we have several clients with severe allergies. If your child will be at our office over lunch, please bring lunch with you or be prepared to buy lunch at a nearby restaurant. There is a park with a playground nearby where your child can play during the lunch break.
- If your child uses glasses, hearing aids or any other device, be sure to bring that device along to the assessment.
- Please make sure to bring COPIES (not originals as we will need to keep them) of any prior assessment reports, doctor consultations, and school report cards to your child/teen’s assessment. For the report cards, the June summary report from each year that your child has attended school will be sufficient. If you do not have these report cards handy, your child’s school should be able to gather copies for you. Please leave the school plenty of time to collect and photocopy the report cards.
- If your child is on any kind of medication, please see the prior question about taking medication on the day of appointments.