addictions counsellor

Terms and Conditions

By purchasing and using Joanne Schwartz counselling services, Client agrees to the following terms and conditions:


  • Client agrees to undergo online counselling using internet videoconferencing technology such as Skype.


  • Confidentiality

Joanne Schwartz Counselling collects personal information in order to provide counselling services. However, contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian. Noted exceptions are as follows:

Duty to Warn and Protect

When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide, the health care professional is required to notify legal authorities.

Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults

If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is required to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities.

When disclosure is otherwise legitimately compelled by a court of competent jurisdiction.


  • Despite the advantages of using internet videoconferencing technology as a medium to provide counselling services for the Client, the technology raises privacy concerns. As a provider of a video interface service, Skype and similar companies own the transmissions that they facilitate. It is also theoretically possible for government agencies or other parties to capture the transmission. Also, the video transmission can be captured by the participants involved in its usage. In fact, e-mail and all other electronic communications are inherently insecure. Client acknowledges the inherent privacy limitations of electronic communications generally and online videoconferencing specifically and agrees not to record or otherwise use any part of the transmission and expressly agrees not to copy and/or distribute any such transmission for personal or public use.


  • Counsellor may be seen as “online” on Skype or similar videoconferencing services outside the agreed upon hours of the session, but Client agrees that he/she will only contact counsellor at the agreed time of session.


  • If emergency contact needs to be made (for example in case of technical difficulties during a session resulting from a Skype or computer crash), a call or email can be sent, with the purpose of agreeing to a follow up session if technology cannot easily be rectified. Email is appropriate for document transmittal.


  • Paypal is used to process payments at the time of booking each session. Each Client will automatically receive a receipt from paypal for the agreed upon rate.


  • Cancellation and Refunds

If Client fails to attend or to cancel a scheduled appointment, we cannot use this time for another client, and you will be billed for the entire cost of your missed appointment. A full session fee is charged for missed appointments or cancellations with less than a 24-hour notice.

Counsellor has the right to terminate a session (without refund) at any time during a session if the client is being abusive to Counsellor during such session.  Counsellor may also cancel due to emergent or unforeseen circumstances (with Client refund).

Any refund to client is governed by and subject to their terms and conditions and will be less costs and fees (if any) associated with processing said refund through

Technology is not perfect. In the case that videoconferencing doesn’t work properly, Client and Counsellor will switch to telephone and continue their session.  In the event that telephone is also not working, Counsellor can choose, at her sole discretion, to issue a partial or full refund for the session.



  • Counsellors are only permitted to see patients who are residents of jurisdictions where the counsellor is licensed. Client acknowledges that their primary residence is in British Columbia or the Yukon.