Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I really need therapy? Is it for me? I can usually deal with my problems.
Whether you’re struggling with work stress, marital difficulties, depression, or any number of challenges life sends our way, therapy (or counselling) can be helpful. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we can’t seem to make our way through difficult challenges. We may feel alone without anyone we can comfortably or safely share our inner thoughts, feelings and concerns.
Although there may still exist some stigma around seeking therapy, having the courage to be vulnerable by openly exploring and sharing your feelings and needs, is actually a sign of your strength and readiness to make changes. Therapy can provide insight, awareness, tools and strategies to avoid reoccurring triggers and ineffective patterns. It can be helpful to talk with a therapist in an atmosphere of privacy, confidentiality, trust, support, objectivity, and comfort in order to guide us to find our inner strengths and true selves.
2. What is therapy about? What happens in sessions?
The way therapy is portrayed on TV often leads to misconceptions about the process. The therapist is seen as a detached, distracted listener who merely nods, offering little input. My style and approach are the opposite of this; I’m a very interactive therapist. You won’t just get head nodding. Instead you’ll develop awareness of perceptions, patterns and behaviours that are in conflict with what you say you want. I’ll help guide you to experience moments of clarity and awareness that can make therapy an exciting experience. It’s a collaborative process where we work on what matters most to you within a relationship that supports you to build confidence, strength, and brings about changes you seek. You and I will both work hard during our sessions together, and you’ll leave my office with plenty to think about and explore.
3. What happens in the first session?
The first session serves primarily to gather information and assess your concerns. It also provides an opportunity for you to get to know me, to determine whether you feel comfortable and if there's a "fit" between us. We will review what brings you in and what you’re struggling with. I’ll learn about you, your strengths, what’s worked to get you through tough times and what hasn’t/doesn’t work. I’ll learn a little about your history and how it may have influenced who you are today. Ultimately, we’ll be determining what you’re hoping to get out of the process. What is “feeling better” or “getting along better” supposed to feel like for you? From there, we’ll discuss how we’ll work together to get as close to that as possible.
4. What happens in couple therapy?
In couple therapy we’ll explore what’s happened recently/currently and over the years to bring you to the point of emotional crisis or disconnection. I’ll learn about how each of you have experienced the relationship from its beginning and where you feel the disconnection occurred. Through an interactive process, we’ll create safety so that you can openly and directly share your thoughts, feelings, and needs for yourself, from your partner and for the relationship. We’ll explore where you feel stuck communicating effectively, and get to the underlying needs and wounds that have kept you emotionally apart. We’ll address the issues that are most frequently at the root of relationship distress and try to rebuild and strengthen them:
- How much do I matter to you?
- Do you really have my back?
- Can I trust you?
- Do you value me?
- If I reach out to you, will you be there for me?
- Do the things I feel and say impact you?
5. How long does therapy take? How will I know when we’re done?
It depends on various factors including the severity, complexity and length of time you’ve been struggling with the issues, as well as your commitment to change. With some issues, significant results can be seen in 6-8 sessions. With other more complex or longstanding and severe issues, as many as 20 or more sessions may be required. At our initial session, I’ll be able to give you an idea of how long we should consider working on particular issues. We’ll also check-in on a regular basis to review how the process is going. You’ll know when we’re done when you start feeling stronger, more confident, hopeful and more self-aware. You’ll sense that you’re approaching and doing things differently and making behavioural changes.
6. How long does each session last?
Each session lasts one hour. Because there’s usually more information to be gathered initially, the first session can last between 1-1.25 hrs.
7. What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel or reschedule a session, please call within 24 hours to avoid being charged for a missed appointment.
8. Are you covered by insurance? How does it work?
To determine if you have coverage for counselling through your employment extended medical insurance, you should call them prior to us meeting and find out what and how much they will cover. Some helpful questions to ask them might be:
- What are my counselling benefits?
- Do my benefits cover the services of a Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW) or a Canadian Clinical Counsellor (CCC)?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
At the end of each session, I will provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your extended health benefits provider for reimbursement. Fees that aren’t covered by your employer may also be claimed as an income tax deduction under medical expenses.
I also provide services through some Employee Assistance Programs that may be offered through your employer. Check with your employer prior to us meeting to see if (or which) EAP service provider your workplace uses and we can determine if my services can be offered to you through your EAP.
My services are not covered by MSP.
9. Are the sessions confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of building trust and safety in the therapeutic relationship. No information can be disclosed without your signed consent, except in some legal situations.
10. How much do you charge and what methods of payment do you accept?
- My fee is $120 for a 60 minute session.
- All fees are payable at the end of each session.
- I accept cash, cheque or e-transfer.