Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the Fees for Services?
Our practice’s fees are consistent with the rate set by the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia.
Therapy services are a billed at $210/ therapy hour (a therapy hour includes 50-minutes of direct service and 10 minutes allotted to billing and record keeping). Please note that the intake session will be booked in for 75 minutes ($315).
Assessment services are also billed at the rate of $210/hour. The fee for psychoeducational assessments is $2940 (14 hours). To find out more about our psychoeducational assessment process, click here. The cost of psychodiagnostic assessment will depend on the specific goals and presenting concerns. Your psychologist will provide an estimate prior to booking.
Do I Need a Referral?
Although we welcome referrals from other health care providers, you do not need a referral from a physician to access therapy or assessment services at our practice. However, some private health insurance plans may require a referral for reimbursement of services. Please note that it is your responsibility to determine if your specific plan requires a referral. We encourage clients to reach out to their health insurance providers to find out more about your coverage.
What Should Expect at My First Appointment?
The first appointment is an opportunity for you to learn more about your psychologist’s approach and to discuss your goals for treatment to ensure that you are a good fit in working together. Typically, for younger children, the initial meeting takes place with parents only. For older youth, both the parent and the adolescent are involved in the initial meeting. Young adults can attend independently.
How Do I Book an Appointment?
New Clients – To book an appointment, you can reach out to us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by phone (902-579-1481), or by completing the contact form on our website. All phone calls and emails will be returned within 48 hours. Prior to booking, one of our psychologists may reach out for further information to help us determine who would be the best fit for the kinds of supports you are looking for.
Existing Clients – Existing clients can book appointments using our online portal at developingminds.owlpractice.ca. Your psychologist will help support you in creating an account for online booking. Once you Sign In to your portal, you can click on BOOK NOW to see your psychologist’s availability. If there are any concerns with your account, please contact your psychologist for support.
What Kind of Payment do You Accept?
We accept all major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express), e-transfers, and cash for payment. Payment will be due by the end of session in full.
Our practice is also able to do direct billing with Blue Cross. For other insurance companies, a receipt will be provided, and the client is responsible for submitting to their private plan for reimbursement. We encourage clients to reach out to their health insurance providers ahead of time to find out more about your coverage. Depending on your coverage, you may be able to receive reimbursement for some or all of the session fee. Receipts for psychological services are income-tax deductible as health-care expenses, so please retain your receipts for your tax records. Please note that psychology services are not covered under the Nova Scotia Health Care Plan (MSI).
How Many Therapy Session Will I Need to Attend?
The recommended number of and frequency of sessions will depend on the nature of the presenting concern and your goals for treatment. At your intake session, your psychologist will discuss a possible course of treatment to best address your goals. Your psychologist will also work with you to determine what appointment frequency may best address your treatment goals. We recommend that initial appointments occur more frequently to allow for skill learning and practice. Please note that you can decide to end treatment at any time.
What Is Your Cancellation Policy?
To cancel or reschedule an appointment, you must provide at least 24-hours of notice. You will receive automatic reminders via email or text (depending on your preference) 48 hours before your scheduled appointment. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, let us know as soon as possible so that we are able to provide that time to someone on our waiting list. All appointments not attended or cancelled with less than 24-hours of notice are charged the full session rate. The only exception to this policy is for late cancellations due to poor weather conditions where schools are closed or in the case of Covid-19 symptoms/exposure/required isolation.
In the case of poor weather or illness, your psychologist may be able to see you virtually.
How Will My Privacy Be Protected?
Our practice takes issues of privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Our policies are in line with requirements of our regulating body (Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology) and federal and provincial privacy laws. All of our psychologists, staff, and trainees adhere to the same privacy and confidentiality rules.
Our practice uses a secure client management software (OWL Practice) for record keeping and for scheduling appointments. All information entered in OWL is stored in secure Canadian servers, in compliance with federal and provincial privacy legislation. If you have any concerns regarding the storage of your information, please speak to your psychologist.
Limits of Confidentiality
Our psychologists will not disclose any information to another person or agency without your explicit consent, except for in situations in which a psychologist is required by law to reveal information obtained during therapy to another person or agency (i.e., risk of harm to self or others, abuse of a child or vulnerable person, when subpoenaed by a Court of law). These limits to confidentiality will be discussed in more detail during your initial therapy or assessment appointment.
When working with families, we also understand that there needs to be a balance between protecting the child’s or adolescent’s right to privacy and the parent’s or guardian’s right to information. We value parent consultation and see parents as a critical part of the team to help support change in many cases. However, therapy is most effective when a trusting relationship exists between a psychologist and a youth, and privacy and confidentiality can play an important role in this. Your psychologist will strive to protect your child’s privacy as appropriate, while at the same time providing parent recommendations that help facilitate change. In the case of adolescents, privacy is protected to ensure that the youth is comfortable disclosing information, provided that youth are believed to have a good understanding of our services and are able to consent. Young adults seeking treatment can do so independently.
We understand that many individuals prefer to reach out to their psychologist over email. At Developing Minds, we have taken steps to reduce the risk of information breaches by storing our emails on secure servers. However, privacy of information over email cannot be guaranteed and you are encouraged to contact your psychologist through another means to discuss confidential matters.
If you choose to participate in virtual sessions via telepsychology, your psychologist will review important privacy and confidentiality considerations at the beginning of the first session. Our psychologists commit to conducting sessions from a private setting using a secure video platform.