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 Interac e-Transfer payments. For other options (cheque or credit/debit card), please discuss it with me at the first session. I do not handle cash or direct billing at this time.