Q: What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling? Which service do I need?
There are some overlaps and differences between them, which can be confusing sometimes. See below for the general definitions, scopes, and required competencies of each work.
Psychotherapy: Treatment, by means of psychotherapy technique, delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning (Controlled Act of Psychotherapy in Ontario).
Counselling: Counselling is a relational process based upon the ethical use of specific professional competencies to facilitate change, growth, and development. Counselling addresses wellness, relationships, personal growth, life changes, and career development (adapted from Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association’s definition).
Please feel free to ask any questions about these services at the new client consultation call if you are not sure which would be more suitable for your needs.
Q: How frequently do we meet? How many sessions do I require?
It is entirely up to you and depends on your needs and goals. Generally speaking, we would meet weekly in the initial phase where we focus on exploring your life history, root causes of your presenting issues, and assessment of your symptoms. We may switch to a bi-weekly or monthly schedule once you are in the “maintenance” phase where your symptoms or challenges are more manageable.
Q: What does the therapy/counselling process look like?
Usually, it begins with a new client consultation call, where you can share your presenting issues and goals, ask any questions about my practice and services, and see if we are a good fit. If we decide to work together, we will spend the first session conducting “intake interviews” where I ask a lot of questions about your personal, family, educational, and medical histories in order to establish a clear sense of where you come from and what may inform your present experiences. After the initial exploration phase (4-5 sessions), I will communicate ideas for treatment or intervention and setting goals, which we will decide together. The length of treatment/intervention phase will depend on the severity, breadth, and depth of the target issue, and the “on-goingness” of your challenges and circumstances. I understand psychotherapy and counselling to be a collaborative process and you as the client take the lead. I will make all my decision-making and rationales transparent to you and you are welcome to ask any questions about our work together at anytime.
Q: Is your service covered by my insurance?
It depends. Most private or student insurance plans cover mental health care and counselling services by a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). However, as CRPO is a relatively new regulatory college (compared to those for psychologists or social workers), sometimes it is not mentioned in insurance policies. Please check with your provider if work with an RP will be covered. I am happy to assist you with the process of confirming and petitioning with your insurance administrator if needed.
Q: What methods of payment do you accept?
I accept credit card payments using an online billing system. For other options (Interac e-transfer or personal cheque), please discuss it with me at the consultation call. I do not handle cash or direct billing at this time.
Q: What is Psychotherapy Matters Virtual Clinic (PMVC) and why should I seek medical diagnosis through PMVC?
PMVC is a clinical platform that allows your therapist, psychiatrist, and family doctor to create a Collaborative Care team for your mental health needs, including: diagnostic assessments, prescription, and follow-up consultations. I have received the mandatory training and accreditation as a collaborative care practitioner at PMVC. Through this partnership, my clients can save their money and time, and avoid having to navigate the fragmented and often discouraging process of seeking a formal medical diagnosis. As a client of Kizuki Works, you will be able to book a specialist visit with a much shorter wait time (4-6 weeks, as opposed to 6-12 months with out-of-network referrals). Additionally, there will be no additional cost to see a psychiatrist as medical services are covered by provincial health plans, such as OHIP and MSP. For more details, please contact me directly or visit the PMVC website.
Q: What will the diagnostic assessment process with a PMVC psychiatrist look like? How much time and cost should I expect?
First, I administer a clinical assessment(s) to clarify your experiences/symptoms and to determine whether a diagnostic assessment is warranted. In the following session, I will communicate the results, offer some psychoeducation on the condition indicated, and explore options with you. I will then prepare a referral form with comprehensive clinical information about your case, which will be signed and submitted to PMVC by your family doctor (if you don’t have one, you can use a primary care doctor at a walk-in clinic). We will then invite the PMVC psychiatrist assigned to your case to attend our session remotely. A diagnostic assessment & interview usually takes 90 minutes (120 min for a complex case). As per PMVC policy, my attendance is required as your support and to ensure that your needs and history are effectively communicated to the doctor. The results will be discussed with you at the end of the session on the same day. A recommendation for medication, if needed, will be forwarded to your family doctor who will write you a prescription. A regular hourly fee ($165/hr) will apply for my time.
Please note that the actual time and cost will depend on the complexity of the case, assessments required, and the availability of your psychiatrist and family doctor. Clients on the sliding scale at Kizuki Works will be invoiced at the same discounted rate that we’ve agreed upon.