Benjamin Wong, Behavioral Addictions

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (Must-Read when Arranging Counseling Sessions)

What qualifies you over other service providers in the field of counseling?

This is the question that gets asked by every new inquirer. Please first refer to my “about” page here. The ethical clinician (LPCs, psychologists, social workers etc.) knows that textbook and/or training knowledge about internet addiction and problem video gaming does not translate into proficiency in carrying out therapeutic work without significant clinical experience. Therefore, when seeking help you must ask about the amount of actual counseling experience and not whether they have read literature in the field.

Since practicing counseling at Richmond Addiction Service in January of 2008, my caseload focus has been families and youth affected by problem video gaming (and related behavioral/emotional problems). As of December 31, 2015, I have worked with 202 individuals/families.

What is your counseling/consultation approach informed by?

3 distinct yet interrelated life experiences converged to inform my approach both inside and outside the counseling office: my recovery from problem video gaming, formation of my attitude toward parenthood, and clinical experience working with diverse populations on addictive behaviors.

My struggles with video games as an addictive behavior dates back to my teenage years, which particularly wreck havoc to my interpersonal relationships, academic and career fitness, and ability to self regulate emotions. While heavily immersed in online strategy games such as Warcraft in the mid-1990s, this choice of addictive behavior almost led to probation status in my university program.

My wife and I became parents in 2006, and we found ourselves confronted with challenging choices of how to raise children in a digital environment with an increasing amount of unnecessary stimulation.

Experience in my counseling career, specifically that which involved school counseling, family therapy and process addictions such as that to pornography, sex and gambling, also heavily informs my current work.

What do the session fees cover?

They cover costs of time, liability insurance, clinical material, assessment and treatment planning, counseling and coaching, case management duties, general office expenses etc.

What material is included in the Assessment Form Package?

  • Personal Identification Information Form
  • Informed Consent Acknowledge
  • Confidentiality Limitation Acknowledgement
  • Service and Fee Information

What is the purpose of the Assessment Form Package?

The main purpose is to get to know the client(s), what the situation is that they are dealing with, their current emotional state and mental health status, in order to fine-tune realistic goals, device strategies to get there, and consider ramifications in the process. I also use the information provided to determine if appropriate referral to other practitioners is necessary, as I do not practice certain common psychotherapies that might be deemed necessary (in particular trauma work and marital therapy).

How are sessions conducted?

Sessions are conducted at the comforts of clients’ homes, coffee shops or office spaces we use in Vancouver or Richmond. Sessions are also offered by phone/Skype.

How long should I set aside for sessions?

  • Individual and family sessions are 50 minutes long.
  • 80-minute sessions arranged according to need.

What is the procedure for setting up a face-to-face meeting?

  • Get in touch first by phone or email to indicate interest in setting up a face-to-face meeting.
  • Determine the venue to meet.
  • Receive by email and complete all parts of the Assessment Form Package); when completed, fax forms to my attention (please include a cover page for clarity).
  • Determine method of payment. Current options include payment by cash or cheque. Please inform me of such when faxing the assessment forms over.
  • Please have cash payment enclosed in an unsealed envelope at the beginning of our session.
  • For cheque payment, please send a copy of the cheque (payable to Benjamin Wong) by fax or email at least 48 hours prior to our scheduled meeting. I reserve the right to honor our meeting or otherwise depending on this proof of intention to pay.
  • Arrange time and location to meet.

What is the procedure for setting up a phone/Skype session?

  • Get in touch first by phone or email to indicate interest in setting up a face-to-face meeting.
  • Determine the venue to meet. My practice is an outreach service, meeting clients in the comfort of your choice of venue (coffee shop being the most requested); coffee is on me.
  • Download and complete all parts of the Assessment Form Package); when completed, fax forms to my attention (please include a cover page for clarity).
  • Only payment by cheque is accepted. Please inform me of such when faxing the assessment forms over.
  • Please send a copy of the cheque (payable to Benjamin Wong) by fax or email at least 72 hours prior to our scheduled meeting. I reserved the right to honor our meeting or otherwise depending on this proof of intention to pay.
  • Send the cheque by mail immediately after faxing/emailing me the copy of it.
  • Provide me with phone number to call anr/or Skype ID; arrange a time to meet.

What does follow-up after assessment session look like?

There are a number of possibilities:

  • Ongoing counseling, coaching, case management.
  • Referral to practitioners in your community for mental health or substance use issues brought up in our work.

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