What is Counselling?

Clinical Counselling is an evidence-based therapy used to treat a variety of conditions including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, trauma and more. In British Columbia, counselling is provided by Register Clinical Counsellors (RCC) and/or Registered Social Worker (RSW). These individuals are specifically trained to help people who are experiencing challenges with difficult emotions, thoughts, situations, or circumstances.  

The counsellor’s role is to help facilitate insight, help clients develop healthy coping strategies, recognize or change patterns, and support them in exploring challenging emotions that are affecting their current function. Counsellors use evidence-based approaches while facilitating safe, confidential, and nonjudgmental environment, in which the client can express their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. 

For chronic pain patients, research has shown that integrating mental health services into an interdisciplinary care approach has optimal results. At changepain, this is our intention, to treat the whole person with a biopsychosocial integrated approach to recovery. By engaging in mental health services at our clinic, we can integrate interventional pain therapy, education, mental health, and rehabilitation together transforming both mind and body.

How much does it cost?
Cost (*)

* Please note: for those seeing clinicians registered as a RCC, a 5% GST tax is added to this cost. For those seeing clinicians registered as an RSW (ex. Laura Montgomery) no GST is required.

We offer direct billing for counselling to following third party payers:

  • Green Shield Canada
  • Empire Life
  • Pacific Blue Cross
  • Medavie Blue Cross/Blue Cross
  • ICBC 
Tatiana Santini

Tatiana is a Psychotherapist, Clinical Counselor, Trauma Therapist, and a Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapist. She holds a Bachelor degree in Health Science, and Master’s degree in Adlerian Psychotherapy and Counseling. In addition, Tatiana has a Postgraduate Certificates in Psychedelic Assisted Therapies and Research, MDMA Assisted Therapy, Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, and she is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.

Read more about Tatiana Santini

Laura Montgomery, Counsellor

Laura is a Masters Level Clinical Counsellor, and Registered Social Worker, who brings a passionate belief in each person’s innate wisdom to heal, navigate, and grow from their life experiences. She brings her humanity and lived experience with her own pain journey, as well as her extensive post-graduate training, counselling skills and experience to her work with her clients.

Read more about Laura Montgomery

Laura Montgomery


Laura Montgomery, is a Masters Level Clinical Counsellor, and Registered Social Worker, who brings a passionate belief in each person’s innate wisdom to heal, navigate, and grow from their life experiences. She brings her humanity and lived experience with her own pain journey, as well as her extensive post-graduate training, counselling skills and experience to her work with her clients.

Laura received her Masters of Social Work from the University of British Columbia in 2008; there she completed original research through the British Columbia Cancer Agency on the factors that contribute to post-traumatic growth after a cancer diagnosis. She has trained in trauma-informed somatic therapy with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, attachment-based parenting with the Neufeld Institute and is a Certified AEDP Therapist. Laura also currently enjoys helping other clinical counsellors learn new skills through being an assistant with the AEDP Institute. Prior to becoming a clinical counsellor Laura worked as a social worker at Providence Healthcare. She also spent years as a stay and home mother, her most rewarding and challenging position!

In sessions with Laura you can expect warmth, collaboration and understanding; as well as the challenge to together move through stuck places towards resilience and inner resources. Sessions may include slowing down with emotions or sensations as well as discovering tools and knowledge that you can take with you into your life.

Laura enjoys spending time with her family, the ocean, writing, movement, meditation and hanging out with her cat.

Laura Montgomery
Clinical Counsellor

Counselling FAQs

Techniques and therapeutic modalities that can be used in specialized counselling for chronic pain may include pain psychoeducation, relaxation techniques, developing coping strategies, setting realistic goals, improving sleep hygiene, managing medication use, engaging in pleasant and meaningful activities despite the presence of pain, or developing solid emotional regulation. Other techniques may delve deeper into the root causes of mental health struggles such as trauma or PTSD and may include trauma processing.   


Various counselling techniques will focus on mood, like depressed mood and anxiety, and other modalities will help address underlying trauma.  


  • Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a trauma therapy that focuses on body’s natural ability to heal from trauma and traumatic stress related symptoms. The main idea behind SE is that when body’s natural response to stress was interrupted and not fully completed, it can lead to physical and emotional lingering effects. In SE therapists help client tune into their body’s sensations and feelings, allowing the trauma and the stored stress energy to be released from the body for the body to restore sense of balance and safety.
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach which helps individuals develop mindfulness skills, improves flexible thinking, increases distress tolerance, improves emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. 
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help with challenging negative thoughts, while using Behavioral Activation (BA) to engage in activities to counteract low mood, or low motivation, and to overcome avoidance or withdrawal behaviours. 

Any one of these modalities or a combination of them can be used during therapy sessions, depending on client’s unique presentation, history, and need.

Many individuals only need a few sessions, while others may benefit from longer term care. Typically, 12-20 sessions can be sufficient for most, others may need less or more care. This is dependent on client’s history, presenting issues, goals, and preference.

During the initial session, the patient will be asked to inform the counsellor about their current struggles, relevant mental health history, and what they would like to address first. Together the counsellor and client co-create a plan while prioritizing and identifying achievable and attainable goals.

While counselling and psychotherapy share similarities there are some differences between the two:


Scope and Focus:

  • Counselling typically focuses on specific issues or concerns, such as relationship problems, career challenges, or life transitions. It often addresses more immediate and practical problems, providing guidance and support to help individuals navigate through difficult situations, deal with grief and loss, or specific family dynamics.
  • Psychotherapy, on the other hand, has a broader scope and aims to explore deep-rooted issues, psychological patterns, and the overall mental and emotional well-being of an individual. It delves into the underlying causes of distress and seeks to promote long-term personal growth and self-awareness.

Depth of Exploration:

  • Counselling tends to be problem-oriented and solution-focused. It focuses on helping individuals identify strategies and develop coping skills to manage specific issues.
  • Psychotherapy involves a more in-depth self-exploration of emotions, thoughts, patterns of behaviours and relationships. If facilitates gaining insight into underlying psychological dynamics, unconscious processes, traumas, while addressing root causes of presenting issues

Time Frame and Therapeutic Approach:

  • Counselling is typically shorter in duration and can be brief, ranging from a few sessions to a few months, depending on the specific goals, but the aim is to provide immediate support and guidance.
  • Psychotherapy is typically longer in nature, although there is a short-term brief psychodynamic psychotherapy as well. Psychotherapy typically requires a deep therapeutic relationship, and it may last between a few months to a several years, depending on the complexity of individual’s concerns as well as the desired outcome

Both Counselling and Psychotherapy can employ various therapeutic approaches, such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), or Somatic Experiencing (SE). It is important to know that some modalities are better suited for some individuals, depending on individual’s history, presentations, severity and complexity of presenting issues, as well as the unique response of each person. Essentially, Counselling and Psychotherapy can overlap, and terms used are sometimes used interchangeably, however, specific distinction may vary depending on cultural, regional, and professional context, as well as regional regulating body in different districts.

Please contact our Allied Health Coordinator:

Call 604-566-9101, ext. 2 or

Cost of Initial Assessments - Non-MSP Medical

Private Medical Consultation (PMC) Multidisciplinary Private Assessment (MDPA)
Description Expedited, focused assessment to determine fit for non-MSP covered services requested:
IV Lidocaine Infusion, Ketamine Therapies, Prolotherapy, BOTOX, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
Comprehensive functional and medical assessment with a multidisciplinary report addressing the biopsychosocial issues identified.
Care Team Pain Specialist Pain Specialist
Functional Movement Specialist
Duration 30 minutes 2 hours
Cost $450.00 $3,500.00

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Cost of Initial Assessments - Allied Health

Assessment Duration Cost
Chiropractic Initial 60 minutes $165.00
Physiotherapy Initial 60 minutes $160.00
Kinesiology Initial 45 minutes $90.00 (+ tax)
Counselling Initial 90 minutes $250.00
Acupuncture Initial 45 minutes $140.00
Ketamine Counselling Initial for Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy 60 minutes $250.00

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