Frequently Asked Questions
Psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers are psychotherapists if they do talk therapy.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors, like your G.P. or family doctor. They have at least 6 more years training than your G.P. specializing in the mind and pharmacology for the mind (anti-depressants for e.g.).
Some family doctors have training and practice as psychotherapists. Most family doctors have a bit of training in counseling.
Psychologists have a PHD in psychology, have a doctor’s designation accordingly and are registered as clinicians.
Social workers, for the most part, have a Master’s degree in Social Work.
Ministers and other professionals with various counseling degrees also practice psychotherapy.
Legislation has recently passed requiring all psychotherapists to obtain a provincial license. Psychiatrists, family doctors, psychologists and social workers are already strictly regulated professions.
Psychotherapy, generally, is long term, deep and intensive work that involves working through complicated emotions and relationships. Childhood abuse and domestic violence are examples. Counseling is briefer with a focus on beliefs, behaviours and skills. Anger management and assertiveness training are examples.
I am regulated by the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. My license # is 320800. The college’s mandate is to protect the public.
Because they are doctors, G.P.s and psychiatrists are covered by our medical plan. Psychologists and Social Workers are included in many insurance benefit packages. You may be covered by your employee benefits plan. Unfortunately, coverage is limited and many people do not have insurance. Our training is expensive, ongoing and it is in addition to our formal education. Regular consultations and supervision are required and good therapists seek training, consultation and supervision throughout their careers. This can only be of benefit to you. We also have office expenses, insurances, and fees for professional associations. I do my best to keep my fees low. I also keep a portion of my caseload available at a sliding scale rate.
Pay by cheque, cash or email transfer after each session. Monthly payments are negotiable.
Twenty-four hours notice is required for cancelled appointments unless there has been an emergency. Full fee is charged for a missed session (less than 24 hour cancellation notice).
This depends on a number of variables. Your issues, how much therapy you have had already and what your needs and goals are. It is not unusual for people to enter treatment with a goal in mind, achieve their goal, leave and return awhile later for a ‘tune-up’ or another round of treatment. Most people stay in treatment for psychotherapy from one to three or five years. Counseling might be a few weeks to a few months.
We start with an initial consult. This takes approximately one hour, depending how complicated your life is. I take a full history and will ask you about your childhood as well as important relationships in your life. I am looking for any relevant incidents that have impacted your psychological functioning. Childhood trauma, an alcoholic or absent parent are two examples of how our upbringing influences adult life. School, religious, cultural, and social experiences also impact our lives. I will ask many questions in this first meeting. You inform me of what you hope to gain from this work, I tell you what I hear and how I think I can help. Together we agree on next steps. This relationship is always collaborative.
Confidentiality is absolutely guaranteed. There are exceptions. The primary one is whether there is a risk of harm to anyone and this includes you. The courts may subpoena my records. In this case, you will be well aware of it and we have probably been preparing for this development long before it takes place. Last, I may ask you if I can present your case for supervision or consultation purposes. I would not identify you and I would ask for your permission first. I am restricted by my regulatory body from presenting your case without your permission.
$145.00 for 50 minute session. Please check your insurance plan for coverage. Sliding scale available.
To learn more about my approach or to schedule your appointment, you can contact me by phone or email.