Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a treatment with a licensed professional using Psychological methods. It involves a collaboration between a Psychotherapist and a client like you. Using effective strategies supported by research, you work together to address problems or concerns that impact your well-being. The goal is to help you feel well and give you the skills to manage current and future problems in a healthy and helpful way.

Is Psychotherapy Right for Me?

Guess what? If you're human then you automatically qualify! There is a misconception that you have to suffer from a severe and persistent mental illness to attend Psychotherapy. Think of therapy as preventative wellness. Like anything, seeking therapy is a personal choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce, a loss or work transition. Working with a Registered Psychotherapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all of the challenges that life throws our way. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness and working towards change in their lives.

Do I really need Psychotherapy? I can usually handle my problems. 

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need support, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to manage triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

How can Psychotherapy help me

A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for problems such as: depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body-image issues and trauma. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values

  • Developing skills for improving your relationships

  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy

  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety

  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures

  • Improving communication and listening skills

  • Changing old behaviour patterns and developing new ones

  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage

  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

What is a Psychotherapy session like?  

Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific treatment goals and needs. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary/presenting concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly or bi-weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues. For therapy to be most effective you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviours (this is also known as homework). It is important that what has been discussed is integrated into your life between sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:

  • Compassion, respect and understanding

  • Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings

  • Real strategies for enacting positive change

  • Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance 


How many sessions do I need?

This depends on several factors. Consider how long it took for the problem to get this bad. For example, if this has been a concern in your life for 20 years, we won't be able to resolve it in one session.

1. Are you willing to be an active participant in your own healing?

2. Will you complete homework and suggested readings as assigned?

3. Will your attendance be regular and consistent?

4. Will you come to your session prepared?

If, you answered "yes" to the above 4 questions, it is likely that you will make progress in a shorter amount of sessions than those who answered "no". My goal is not to have you in therapy forever, my goal is to empower you and provide you with the skills you need so that you can eventually move forward with your life in a positive direction without me. 


Is medication a substitute for therapy

In some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. Many long-term and or complex mental health and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behaviour patterns that interfere with our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work

To determine if you have Psychotherapy coverage, the first thing you should do is check with your benefit provider. Check your coverage carefully and ask the following questions:

  • Do I have coverage for Psychotherapy Services? If so, how much?

  • Is there a maximum amount covered per therapy session?

  • Is a letter of recommendation required from my primary care physician?

  • How do I submit my Psychotherapy receipts for reimbursement?


Is Therapy confidential? 

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.

There are some legal and ethical exceptions which include:

  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The therapist is required to notify the police and Inform the potential victim.

  • If a client declares an intention to end their own life, an appropriate family member, health care professional (or police if necessary) will be informed. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety

  • If there is a court order to release a client's file.

  • If a child being is deemed as being at risk or in need of protection due to neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, the therapist has an obligation to Inform Family and Children's Services.

  • If the client discloses that they have been sexually abused by a health care professional. That health care professional will need to be reported.

  • If there is a need to share information with a clinical supervisor, another practice associate, or the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario for supervision or auditing purposes.