In-Office Counselling Services Calgary: Critical Health Guidelines
Since March 2020, nearly all of the Counselling Services Calgary has to offer have provided most or all of their services via Telepsychology due to the impact of COVID-19.
We are no exception to that rule.
As we return to some level of in-office sessions, certain precautions must become a part of our practice that previously were unheard of outside of a few predominantly Asian countries.
Alberta has now relaxed the Restrictions Exemption Program. Our insurance providers, however, have not altered their expectations surrounding COVID 19 vaccination. (Please click letter/screenshot below) As such, we continue to only offer in-office sessions to vaccinated clients until our insurance providers relax their requirements of us.
In-Office Counselling Services Calgary: Reopening the option
Due to how fluid the situation in Calgary is likely to be, this page and the entire question of resuming in-office counselling services are unquestionably a work in progress. Over the next weeks, we will continually update this page with information drawn from our governing bodies, multiple professional associations, Calgary municipal leadership and broader provincial authorities as we map out what this will all look like.
Rest assured that your safety is our primary concern.
Our resumption of in-office counselling services does not in any way imply an expectation that you would choose such. After polling many of our current clients, only around 5% of them have any immediate intention to switch back to in-office sessions. Some, quite justifiably, are still concerned about the continued spread of this virus, but the majority simply have come to prefer the convenience of video sessions.
We have always seen a substantial portion of our clients by phone or video. That option will remain open, and we encourage you to continue to use it – especially if in-office sessions would pose a health risk to you, or you would pose the same to others.
In-Office Counselling Services Calgary: Critical Health Guidelines
What we know right now:
Mask Guidelines for Calgary Counselling Services:
Simply put, the human face is the primary centre of emotional expression, and emotions are central to most elements of effective psychological counselling/Christian counselling. When our clients could not read our faces, many experienced humour as criticism. And, when we could not read the faces of our clients, we found ourselves constantly missing critical information.
As such, we will not be offering general (non-emergency) in-office sessions if mask mandates are in force.
At present, provincial, national and international health authorities, professional regulatory bodies and our insurance providers (click image to right to enlarge) are only recomending a return to normal for those who have been fully vaccinated. The COVID-19 virus is definitely not gone, and, increasingly, new variants are being cultured in those who have refused vaccination.
While vaccination is a personal choice, the absence of such presents a clear and present danger to our other clients, some of whom are immunocompromised, medically prohibited from vaccination or likely to be poorly protected by the vaccine.
All of our staff have been triple vaccinated. Our reopening of in-office Calgary counselling services is limited to those who are protected by a Canada Health recognized COVID-19 vaccination due to one of our therapist’s struggles with severe medical risk factors.
We understand that this is distressing to many clients who have chosen not to be vaccinated, some of whom have expressed intense frustration in this regard. While we do not take this distress lightly, we cannot ignore our legal responsibilities as Alberta-regulated health care providers. These guidelines are well-founded in scientific research. Even if we use as our baseline the worst-performing vaccine offered in Canada, we still see vaccination resulting in a 20-fold reduction of transmission when only one person is vaccinated and a 200-fold reduction when both are.
Please be assured: We will not deny assistance to any seeking to heal and change and the virtual/telepsychology options that all our clients transitioned to for the duration of the pandemic will always remain available to all.
Reducing the spread of ANY illness:
If anything positive can be said about the last 15 months of COVID-19 related lockdown, it is that our society has significantly changed its views of illness. Where businesses once looked down upon employees who did not come to work sick, we now see an almost universal agreement that doing so is no longer acceptable.
Nearly all major companies and most surveyed employees are now expressing the strong preference that even mildly ill employees switch to telework rather than infecting the rest of the office. We are no exception to that.
If you or a member of your household are experiencing symptoms that include:
- shortness of breath
- runny nose/nasal congestion
- sore throat
- loss of taste or smell
- even just the suspicion you are coming down with something remotely contageous
Please do not come to either of our offices!
Please contact us and we will happily switch your session to phone/video or reschedule your session at no charge to you!!!
Precautions we continue to take:
Sanitation: All of our offices are routinely sanitized, and our therapists have adopted staggered booking times to reduce the number of unrelated persons in our waiting areas at the same time. While unavoidable delays tend to reduce the effectiveness of this strategy, it has still proven moderately effective.
Options: Should you wish to wait in your vehicle, please feel very free to email upon your arrival, and we will notify you at the conclusion of the preceding session. (Note: This option is unavailable for our 10:00 pm MayFair Place session slots due to building lockup times.)
Ventilation: Building ventilation has undergone extensive upgrades in our MayFair Place location, and triple stage HEPA Filtration with UV light air disinfection has been implemented in both of our offices as well as our MayFair Place waiting/reception area to improve air quality further.
Low Contact: Hand sanitizer is on hand, contactless payments are available for in-person transactions, and credit card authorization and other consent forms are now routinely sent as part of our initial welcome email such that they are processed electronically before the commencement of counselling sessions.
Two Calgary Counselling Services locations open:
In addition to the much higher levels of safety found in continued video/telepsychological counselling service offerings, we will soon also be offering in-office sessions from both our MayFair Place and home office locations.
The location we will be offering in-office sessions depends on the day/time range in which you book your session. Careful attention will need to be paid to the reminder emails and the address information contained within the electronic calendar notifications delivered to your scheduling software/mobile devices to ensure you arrive at the correct location.
Home Office Greeting Committee:
He loves cuddles, treats, playmates and open gates leading to self-guided tours of the neighbourhood.
Please make sure he is deprived of the latter!
Note: Kylo is a Purebred, Long Haired, Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He is gentle, incredibly affectionate and loves to meet new friends. However, if you have any fear of or allergies to dogs, please let us know and we will rebook your in-office session to our MayFair Place location.
Beyond that, we expect ongoing changes as the COVID-19 situation creates shifts for our practice and all of the counselling services Calgary has to offer and will be continually updating this page with more detailed information as it emerges.
Please check back!