When can I see you?

      I work 2 evenings a week (Mondays at 6:30  and Thursdays at 4 pm and 5:30). Daytime appointments are available on Thursdays afternoons and Friday's. Friday appointments are booked at 60 to 90 minute intervals starting at 9:30 am. Know that evening appointment spaces are highly requested and are booked on a first-come first-serve basis. I do not book appointments through text messages or email - you will need to speak with me by phone in order to book.


How long are the sessions?

    The first session usually lasts 80 minutes, follow up sessions usually last 50 minutes. EMDR sessions can be anywhere from 50 - 80 minutes - we will work until the issue is resolved or we are at a good "stopping place".


What are your fees? 

  • If you are paying by cash or check the fees are as follows:
    • ​​Initial session and EMDR sessions:  $150 (80 minutes).
    • ​Regular sessions: $100 (50 minutes).​​
    • ​​Telephone contact:
      • ​​The initial telephone consultation is free (this is where you get to tell me what issues you want to work and we can both ask questions of each other to make sure that it is a "good fit"). 
      • ​Follow up telephone calls -If the call is less than 15 minutes it is  free. Longer calls are billed to the closest 1/4 hour ($25 per 1/4 hour). 

​​​​Can I use my insurance benefits?​​​ 

  • Check your insurance benefits for "psychological" or "counselling" services. Psychotherapy is considered a medical expense and may be covered by your  extended health account, your health spending account, or both
  • I am able to direct bill for: ​ASEBP (Alberta School Employee Benefit Program), and Blue Cross. I can do a "preauthorization" on line (like they do at the dentists office).  This will tell me if you are covered, how much of  the fee the insurance company will pay, and how much you have to pay. To do a "preauthorization" I need your coverage numbers, your full name and your birth date. You can also find this same information out yourself by making a call to your insurance company.
  • Great West Life, Sun Life, and RWAM have all require that you pay, and then submit receipts for reimbursement. Check to see what your coverage allows. Many insurance companies now allow you to submit claims on-line by scanning them or taking a picture with your smart phone. If you are paying and submitting receipts then you pay the lower fee (noted above). Check with your insurance company to find out about your benefits before you make your first appointment. Notice: the total amount of benefits allowed, and the renewal date (some companies "refresh" your benefits January 1st, others July 1st etc.).
  • ​Please check that your benefits cover a "Master's level Social Worker" (i.e. MSW, RSW)  or a "Clinical Social Worker" (i.e. RCSW).  Some benefit plans only provide reimbursement for services provided by a Registered Psychologist .


What if I don't have insurance and can't afford those fees?

   If you live in the Taber area, you are very lucky because there are excellent free counselling resources available. Consider the following local programs:

  • Alberta Health Services: Addiction & Mental Health: (403)223-7244 (located at the Taber Hospital)
  • Family and Community Support Services: (403)223-7230 (also located at the Taber Hospital)
  • Family School Liaison Program (for students of Horizon School Division - check at your child's school).​

What is EMDR Therapy?

     EMDR stands for "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing" which is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and  proven effective with trauma. I have experienced EMDR both from the perspective of the therapist and from the perspective of the client and I have found it to be the most effective and efficient way of making deep and lasting life changes. It is appropriate for both "Big T Trauma"  and "Small t trauma".  In my private practice (Joy Rising) I work primarily with small "t" trauma. EMDR is appropriate for use with both children and adults.

  • Big T Trauma: Situations where there was the "risk of blood on the floor". Examples: natural disasters, car accidents, assaults, or or rape. 
  • Small "t" trauma: Situations where there was "no blood on the floor" but you "feel like your self-esteem just got stomped on". Examples: workplace bullying, sudden job/relationship loss, emotional abuse. 

 What are your professional qualifications?

     I have a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and a Master's Degree in Social Work specializing in clinical practice. I have worked in the Taber Mental Health Clinic for 26 years providing individual and family counselling. I am a registered with the Alberta College of Social Work (#892), and am also a member of the ACSW Clinical Specialty Registry (#37). I stay current by attending advanced professional training every year. Below is a list of relevant training:


  • Training towards Professional Certification or Membership
    • 100 Hour Training in Clinical Hypnosis and Strategic Therapy. (100 hours). Trainer: Dr.  Michael Yapko. April - July/12. 
    • EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - Level 1 Basic Training. (53 hours). Trainer: Sue Ganest (EMDR Certified Trainer). Nov. 30/13 - Mar. 17/14. 
    • MBSR Instructor Training Path - 9 Day Retreat. (85 hours). Instructors: Dr. Rachel Crowder and Dr. Steven Hick (MBSR Canada). Oct. 14 - 23/14. 
    • MBSR. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (20 hours). Instructor: Dr. Rachel Crowder. Sept/12 - Dec/12.
    • ​EMDR Certification - completed Jan. 25, 2018 (20 hours). Consultant: Sharon Meredith (Registered Psychologist). 
  • Workshops in the past 2 years:
    • ​EMDR Advanced Training: EMDR Desensitization of Triggers and Urge Reprocessing (DeTUR Protocol). Trainers: Ar. A.J. Popky & Dr. Judy Munch. (This protocol is used in addictions to reduce cravings. It can also be used to reduce sugar cravings, cigarette smoking, or "any behavior your want to stop doing").
    • ​Strategies to Reduce Compassion Fatigue and Burnout. Host: Lethbridge Mental Health Promotions Committee, May 4, 2017.
    • 2017 EMDR Canada National Conference - Banff (April 21 - 23, 2017). Host: EMDR Canada. Multiple presenters. April 20 - 23, 2017 (3 days).  I studies with: Ad De Jongh (PhD - Netherlands) "Treatment of Fears and Phobias with EMDR" -1 day, Roy Kiessling (LISW) - "EMDR Therapy Unchained"  - 1 day, Kathleen Martin (LCSW) and Cindy Shrigley (MSW) "Advancing Excellence in Treating Complex Trauma" - 1 day.
    • ​Meditation: Silent Retreat - Centering Prayer (Christian tradition). Instructor: Pat Boheme (Spiritual Director)March 10 - 12, 2017 (2 days).
    • ​Meditation: Silent Retreat - Metta Meditation (Loving Kindness - Bhuddist Tradition). Instructor: Bob Campbell. Feb 24 - 26/17 (2 days).
    • EMDR Spiritual Trauma and EMDR Therapy - 7 Steps to Help Clients Heal. Trainer: Mark Odland (5.5 hours) April 16/16.
    • EMDR Advanced Training: Recent Event Episode Protocol (R-TEP). Trainer: Elan Shapiro. (6 hours). September 12/15. 
    • Intelligence, Executive Function and Resilience: Shaping the Forces that Define Our Lives. (6 hours). Trainer: Dr. Sam Goldstein. May 8/15. 
    • Mindfulness Inside and Outside the Therapy Hour: 3 day Intensive. (21 hours) Trainer: Dr. Ron Siegel. July 15 - 17/15. 
    • EMDR Advanced Training: Looking Though The Eyes: EMDR and Ego State Therapy Across the Dissociative Continuum. ( 14 hours). Trainer: Dr. Sandra Paulsen January 23 - 24/15.  

Although I highly value professional training, no academic qualification replaces the importance of a "good fit" between client and therapist. It really matters that you feel valued, respected, and understood. The only real way for you to check with the "fit" of a therapist is to talk with them by phone or in person.


How can I be sure that my private information will be kept confidential?


    The information that you share in counselling is considered confidential and will not be shared with others. If I want to speak to someone about your situation, I will ask you to sign a consent form identifying what information is to be sought/shared and with whom it will be shared. 

    There are some important exceptions to the rule of confidentiality. If you tell me that you or someone else is at risk of being harmed (for example by homicide or suicide) I am legally obliged to take steps to try to protect the potential victim. This may involve notifying the police or seeking hospitalization for the person at risk. If you tell me that a child is at risk of being harmed by a caregiver, I am legally obliged to report this to Child Protective Services. It is also possible for records to be subpoenaed through a court order - but remember that no one will know that the records exist unless you choose to tell them that you are in counselling and where you are receiving services. 


                           Contact me: Kirsten Ferguson at (403)331-0352


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Joy Rising Counselling Services

How I work & "What is EMDR Therapy?"