Change. One Conversation at a Time.

What is Rapid Access Counselling?

We all face challenges and issues that can be difficult to make sense of on our own. A conversation with a counsellor can offer new perspectives and help us understand what’s going on inside our heads and hearts. That support can help us cope with adversity and learn new strategies to help us move forward.

Rapid Access Counselling is our way of offering you that support. Single session counselling appointments let you access support when you need it. With no waitlist, and multiple daytime and evening appointments available from Monday to Friday, you’ll usually be able to book a 75-minute appointment within a week. You can book online at booksinglesession.cfs-ab.org or by calling 403.233.2360.

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More Information

Who is the service for?

The service is for everyone. There are no specific requirements or qualifications you need to meet. If you think a supportive and change-focused conversation could help you resolve a current stressor, or move through an ongoing struggle, Rapid Access Counselling is for you.

You can book an appointment for yourself as an individual, as a couple, or as a family. And we can help you with a wide variety of concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • Parenting
  • Relationships
  • Mental Health
  • Grief
  • Stress

Still not sure Rapid Access Counselling is for you? Contact our Engagement and Intake Team. They can provide you with advice, coaching, support and information about our counselling and other services, as well as other Calgary resources that may meet your needs.

You can reach the team at 403.233.2360 or intake@cfs-ab.org.

Minors and counselling: if there are any minors (under 18) attending counselling, all legal guardians will need to provide signed consent before that minor may participate in counselling. You’ll receive a consent form when you book an appointment. You can also click here to download it.

No. None of our clients or therapists are required to have a Catholic background or any religious affiliation. We welcome anyone and everyone.

We offer appointments for individuals, couples and families. Any family member who is an independent adult or for whom you have the legal right to provide consent for counselling can attend a session.

We have a variety of experienced counsellors from many backgrounds, including master’s and Ph.D. level students, social workers, certified counsellors, and provisionally and fully registered psychologists. All our counsellors receive regular supervision, consultation, training and support from Catholic Family Service. They are carefully chosen to work with our clients.

How do I book an appointment?

We’ve tried to make booking a Rapid Access Counselling appointment as easy as possible. You can

One of the key benefits of the online tool is access. We know it can be challenging to ask for help, and there are times when you can’t or don’t want to do that out loud over the phone—think 3 a.m. or in the middle of your busy office. Online booking ensures you can act and book an appointment whenever you feel ready.

Often it is. Our outcomes show that 85% of clients reported their degree of hopelessness, anxiety and distress was reduced as a result of their participating in just one single session appointment. Outside of our organization, research done by Dr. Moshe Talmon (and others) has shown that a single session is the most common length of psychotherapy and that the first session is potentially the most therapeutic, often having the greatest influence on the outcome of therapy.1

By focusing on a specific issue and identifying solutions or strategies, you’ll leave the appointment with tools you can continue using. Feedback shows that much good can come from this brief approach.

1 Talmon, Moshe. (2012). When Less is More: Lessons from 25 Years of Attempting to Maximize the Effect of Each (and Often Only) Therapeutic Encounter. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. 33. 10.1017/aft.2012.2.

You’re able to book one appointment at a time but may book another appointment once the day and time of your current appointment have passed. Change-focused conversations can have a big impact, and we encourage you to allow time to apply what you took from one conversation before booking another appointment.

Our single-session program is aimed at having a timely, change-focused conversation with a supportive counsellor. While it is not intended as a long-term counselling relationship with one counsellor, you may book any available appointment in the booking calendar and may choose to book with the same provider for future single sessions. You may also value fresh perspectives and the opportunity to have single sessions with different counsellors.

No. When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be greeted by our reception staff who will provide you with the necessary paperwork.

If you want a head start, you can complete any consent forms and a pre-session questionnaire ahead of time and bring them with you. You’ll receive these by email when you book a session using our online booking page (https://booksinglesession.cfs-ab.org).

What does Rapid Access Counselling cost?

For Rapid Access Counselling, we invite you to pay what you can afford.

We never want cost to be a barrier to accessing the support you need. You can choose session fees that are comfortable and manageable for you, and we trust you know your circumstances best. Some clients pay no fee, while others pay the current private-sector rate ($185) or anywhere in between.

Clients with insurance coverage are billed the full fee until their benefits run out. After that, they’ll pay what they can afford.

If you have employee benefits, our services are likely covered under the provision for counselling or psychological services. We recommend you contact your benefits provider directly to find out what kind of coverage you have, and how they will reimburse you since we do not direct-bill.

Some questions you may want to ask your provider are:

  • What kind of counselling services are covered by my health benefits?
  • What types of service providers are covered? (i.e., counsellor, social worker, psychologist)
  • How much coverage is there per year/per session?
  • Are there any restrictions I should know about?

You do not need to have benefits to access counselling at Catholic Family Service.

How is the service offered?

Our offices are temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, our Rapid Access Counselling sessions are being delivered using Zoom, an online video conferencing tool. If you don’t have access to video technology and still need support, our intake team can talk to you about options for counselling by phone.

Zoom is an online video conferencing solution (zoom.us), which allows you and your counsellor to see each other during the session. The tool is easy to use. It enables users with an internet or data connection to connect from anywhere on both desktop and mobile devices.

You don’t need to purchase Zoom, but there are a few steps to get yourself set up before your session. After you book an appointment, your counsellor will send you an email with easy-to-follow instructions.

We are aware of recent articles about Zoom security, as well as Zoom’s response. The video chats are end-to-end encrypted. However, it’s important that you are aware that at this stage, Zoom has the ability to decrypt it. Zoom has communicated that they have put internal controls in place to prevent this from happening, and we believe the benefits of using this platform outweigh the risks.

Zoom-bombing, where unwanted individuals have entered into meetings and flashed things across the screen, has also been in the media. Catholic Family Service has taken steps to lower the risk of this happening during a session.

We will continue to monitor this platform, along with others, to provide the best access to our services during this time an in the future. If you have questions, please reach our intake team at 403.205.5294.

Book an Appointment with Rapid Access Counselling

Contact Us

If you have any other questions, or prefer to book an appointment by phone, you can reach our Engagement Team at 403.233.2360 or email us intake@cfs-ab.org

Main Office
250, 707 – 10 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2R 0B3
Tel: 403.233.2360
Fax: 403.205.5295
Email: info@cfs-ab.org

Main Office Hours
Monday: 8:30AM – 5:00PM
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 8:30AM – 4:30PM

FOR IMMEDIATE CRISIS COUNSELLING OR AFTER HOURS EMERGENCIES, contact the Calgary Distress Centre 24 hour Crisis Line at (403) 266-HELP (4357).

Yes, you can start a conversation with us today . . .

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