General Practice and Office Frequently Asked Questions

A Psychiatrist is first trained to be a medical doctor and who after completing their MD, takes a specialization in psychiatric medicine. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications to treat psychiatric conditions. They may not have specialized knowledge in education or counselling and they may or may not offer therapy services to their patients. Psychologists also have advanced education, though they are not typically medical doctors. Psychologists rely on therapeutic and behavioural interventions, usually provide talk therapy and may have specialized training in areas such as assessment, counselling, education, family therapy or hypnosis. Psychologists do not prescribe medications. Psychologists and Psychiatrists often work together, collaborating in the provision of services to children and young people, with the psychiatrist taking a lead on medical management and the psychologist taking the lead on therapy needs, family supports, school supports and/or behavioural intervention.
A referral is not required to see a psychologist, though some insurance plans may ask you to provide one for reimbursement. Please check with your plan for your specific requirements.
Fees charged by psychologists in private practice are not covered by Alberta Health Care, however families should keep all receipts for psychology services as they may be used as a health expense when federal and provincial taxes are calculated.

In most cases, if a family has extended health care benefits or a health spending account, they are likely able to claim some, or all of their fees incurred when seeing a private practice psychologist. Families are strongly encouraged to check with their individual plan to determine coverage levels, as most plans include some amount of coverage for services provided by a Registered Psychologist. For some plans and services, Dr. Crawford may offer direct billing.

Families may find low cost or no cost therapy services via Alberta Health Services or other community resources. Alberta Health Mental Health Services are initiated by a call to Access Mental Health: (403) 943-1500. Families may also access emergency care through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Emergency department, the emergency room of their nearest hospital or the Urgent Care centers. Some family doctor’s offices offer short term counselling services, and Woods Homes offers urgent free care through the Eastside Family Center
At Crawford Psychological Services, we follow the Psychology Association of Alberta fee guide which can be found at this link

An Initial Therapy appointment is scheduled for 90 minutes, which includes 75 minutes of direct face to face service, as well as 15 minutes of time for documentation and billing. If your child or young person has not been seen by Dr. Crawford before or has not been seen within the past 12 months, you will need an Initial Therapy appointment.

Follow-up Therapy appointments are scheduled for 60 minutes which includes 50 minutes of direct face to face time and 10 minutes for documentation and billing.

Psychoeducational Assessment Services, when initially booked, are estimated to require 11 hours of service at the regular billing rate, as indicated by the fee guide. These hours will include the initial interview (scheduled for 60 minutes), direct assessment work(scheduled for 4+hours), analysis and review of data and collateral information, report writing and a final feedback appointment (scheduled for 60-75 minutes). Please confirm these costs with Dr. Crawford at your initial appointment.
A Psychologist in Alberta is a professional who has completed at least Masters-level, university education in psychology, as well as supervised practical experience. After completing university education, in order to practice in Alberta, Psychologists are required to register with College of Alberta Psychologists. To be a Registered Psychologist, a psychologist must provide their educational and training credentials for review and they must pass written and oral examinations to assess their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics regarding psychology and the ethical and legal matters related to the practice of psychology.
Crawford Psychological will not share any reports with a school, professional, or other organization without specific written consent provided by the family. We will provide parents with a digital copy of formal assessment reports, as well as paper copies if requested. As a regular course of events, we do not provide a copy of therapy notes.
Dr. Crawford can assist in filling out some forms. For items requiring less than 15 minutes, there is generally no fee. For items which require greater time, form completion will be billed in 15-minute increments. If you need a form completed, please provide Dr. Crawford at least 8-10 business days for completion. If you are unsure about your form and if Dr. Crawford can assist you, please call reception at (403) 984-1252 and/or send Dr. Crawford an email.
Parenting assessments and Custody and Access assessments are specialized services with very specific requirements. Dr Crawford does NOT provide this service. Parents are directed to their lawyers for more specific information about their situation. The links below may be of assistance to families needing these services:
If you have a sole custody agreement, you may not need your child’s other biological parent to consent to service – please refer to your legal documents. Please bring a copy of your legal custody document to your child’s first appointment so that Dr. Crawford can proceed with your child’s care, as proof of sole custody will be required. As a general rule, it is best that all caregivers are at least aware that a child will be having psychological services even if they do not have to provide consent.

For parents who have joint custody arrangements, it is generally the rule that BOTH parents consent to the child being seen. In these cases, Dr. Crawford usually requires that all biological parents attend the first appointment so that there can be a joint understanding and discussion about how services will proceed. Stepparents are also welcome at this first appointment. It will be important that divorced or separated parents who are bringing their child for services determine between themselves BEFORE services how they will manage payments. In cases where there is significant parent conflict, Dr. Crawford will be unable to provide services to your child and will encourage you to seek other services that are designed to focus on building collaboration and reducing parent conflict. Parents who are working on improving collaborative parenting relationships are encouraged to seek further information about the Children of Divorce and Parenting through Separation and Divorce programs at the Calgary Counselling Center.

Psychoeducational Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

A psychoeducational assessment is done to better understand a child or young person’s strengths and weaknesses within their cognitive profile (thinking and reasoning skills) and their academic achievement profile (school-based skills such as reading, writing and math). This assessment will also include a collection of health and wellness history, review of school and other important reports and may include assessment of visual motor integration, visual spatial functioning, social emotional and behavioural functioning and assessment of sustained focus and attention.

The purpose of assessment is generally at least two-fold:
  1. to better understand the assessed individual’s overall profile so as to have insight into their functioning in the school and home setting and
  2. to provide documentation so that areas of strength and weaknesses may be considered for individual supports.

Some families or individuals will also use an assessment report to apply to specialized academic programming and to assist in qualifying for government funding. In addition to direct 1-1 assessment activities, information for assessment is often collected from parents or partners, teachers and other people close to the individual being assessed. The Psychologist will generally also review important documents such as report cards or medical reports. Questionnaires are often provided to parents, spouses or the individual being assessed, and, in some cases, specific computerized tests are used. The psychologist will also make specific observations during direct assessment activities about motivation, attention, concentration, social-emotional functioning, regulation skills, impulse control and response styles.

A psychoeducational assessment will explore a student’s learning potential, including areas of strength and weakness in order to determine the best learning environment, supports, accommodations, and possible academic interventions for the child or young person being assessed. For some individuals, a psychoeducational assessment can also clarify if diagnostic criteria are met for a Learning Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or social-emotional or mental health problems exist, or whether there are other areas of challenge that may be negatively impacting their functioning in the classroom.
Parents are encouraged, when they talk about their child or young person’s upcoming assessment, to present it as a set of activities to understand the things their child does well, and the things they have challenges with. Parents are encouraged to let their child know that all children have strengths and weaknesses and an assessment is simply a way to learn more about THEIR strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Crawford will often encourage you and your child to think of assessment as the opportunity to understand what is ‘the right amount of hard’ for your child or young person.

It is ok to tell children that they will complete things like puzzles, drawings and school activities like math and reading. Parents are strongly encouraged to avoid describing assessment as “testing” or a “test” as it may cause a child to feel unnecessarily worried about failing. Many children and youth enjoy the experience and find some, or even all, of the activities to be fun.
On the day of your child’s assessment, please ensure that your child is well-rested and has eaten a good breakfast and has taken any regular medications that they would typically take. Please remember to bring a nut free snack for you and your child to have at the break midway through the 4-hour appointment. Please also ensure that prescription lenses that are used regularly or at school are brought to the session. Please do not bring toys or electronic devices to assessment. As a general rule, Dr. Crawford does not let children bring in any items into the assessment room. Your child will have a 15-20-minute break part way through the assessment appointment where they will rejoin you for a snack and a brief play break in the waiting area.
A standard psychoeducational assessment will usually take about 4 hours of direct testing time, although this can vary slightly depending on the child. In our practice, we begin with a 4-hour assessment time and adjust the number of sessions and length of sessions to meet your child’s needs. In many cases, a single 4-hour assessment session will be sufficient to complete all direct services, and in MOST cases, children have no difficulty with this time frame – remember, it is much like a morning session at school. In some cases, the initial session may be shortened slightly, and a second shorter session booked to complete all requirements, in other cases, at Dr. Crawford’s discretion, an individualized schedule will be arranged after meeting with you in your initial appointment. If you have any concerns or questions about this or believe your child will need a different arrangement, please speak further with Dr. Crawford about scheduling at your initial interview.
The goal within Crawford Psychological is to have a report completed within two to three weeks after all direct assessment activities are completed and after all questionnaire and collateral information is complete (parent and teacher questionnaires, report cards and medical reports). Once the report is ready, an assessment feedback session is booked for parents (and children over the age of 16) to attend. If a family has a specific deadline for which they require assessment results/report, they are strongly encouraged to discuss this with Dr. Crawford at the time of making the assessment booking. From start to finish an assessment usually takes 1 month.
Dr. Crawford generally does not complete partial assessments as she does not feel that it is best practice to attempt to answer such important questions about a child or young person without sufficient background information or without sufficient time spent with your child in understanding them during direct assessment activities. Also, if assessment tools are completed, it is a requirement that appropriate documentation be prepared, so Dr. Crawford is unable to leave out these portions of assessment as a potential cost savings.

Perhaps most importantly, a well-done assessment can provide parents and any school programs you are considering with important information about your child and their individual strengths and weaknesses. Many families find that even in their community school their child may access significant supports with a full assessment that they could not access with a single test. It is usually best if families consider the purpose of understanding their child or young person over simple admission requirements when pursuing an assessment. If you have concerns about the costs of assessment, you are encouraged to talk with Dr. Crawford about the process. In cases where parents have extended health benefits, it is likely that you will have at least some and often most of the costs of a full and proper assessment, including report, covered.
While some schools have indicated an expected cost of the items they require for assessment, these specific items do not make up a full and proper assessment. In addition, they may not be useful should you wish to use the results from assessment at another school or program. Dr. Crawford does not complete these abbreviated assessments as she strives to provide a service to you that is focused on supporting an expanded understanding of your child and their needs rather than focusing on a specific school or program requirement for admission.
It is a requirement of the College of Alberta Psychologists that all services with a psychologist be properly documented. As such, Dr. Crawford is unable to skip documenting an assessment result in order to offer a reduction in cost. Whether or not your child meets specific score requirements, it is always Dr. Crawford’s opinion that a well done assessment provides a wealth of information about your child that can support them in the school and home settings no matter the program.
It may or may not be possible to use pieces of assessment completed by your child’s school. Often, depending on how old the results are, it is best to re-do academic assessment pieces that may be done at the school. Sometimes school will use semi-formal academic assessment tools that, while helpful in the school setting, are not standardized in a manner that will be helpful in a formal assessment. If you have specific needs or questions in this regard, you are encouraged to discuss this with Dr. Crawford at your initial appointment.

Should you have other questions or want to clarify further, please contact Dr. Crawford.