If you or your family member are currently experiencing something distressing that you no longer wish to go through alone, therapy or psychotherapy may begin to help you think about it in a different way and eliminate the stressful symptoms. Help with medication is sometimes the only treatment people hear about, and this may be heavily influenced by the medical industry and the popular media, but psychological treatment with therapy or psychotherapy may be the most effective form of treating psychological symptoms. This makes sense if you think about emotional and behavioral problems as usually resulting from the individual’s experiences in the actual world – its never just a neurological or medical problem. Therefore, a treatment that includes a relationship with another person – the therapist – often is the most powerful agent of change there is.
It’s normal to experience reservations, anxieties or fears before deciding to start therapy or psychotherapy, and this section on frequently asked questions may help answer some of your concerns and help you make the right choice for you and your family.
What’s the first step I should take?
The psychotherapy process begins with a telephone consultation where we discuss your concerns and evaluate if therapy is the right choice for you and I am the best therapist for the job. Then an appointment is made where you, your family, spouse or child attend in order to have an initial session to get into the problems in more depth. I will have many questions for you about what is happening, and you may have questions for me also. Psychotherapy is essentially a guided back and forth conversation. There are many myths about what therapy is, but it’s actually quite simple.
Do you conduct an assessment?
Yes, an in-depth assessment before therapy begins is essential to learning about the history of the problem and to learn how a family or individual is composed. Many doctors and psychiatrists conduct a quick assessment in just a few sessions, but this is essentially a short cut, and a good assessment usually takes at least 6 visits, followed by an in-depth feedback session where I present my understanding of the individual and offer recommendations. Written reports for parents, schools, or the children’s aid society are also available upon request.
How much does therapy cost and how long does it take?
My fee is $135.00 +HST per 45 minute session for individuals without insurance coverage, and $190.00 per session for individuals who are insured. (This higher fee is not a “cash grab” – my services are insured because I work in association with a registered psychologist who receives a portion of the higher fee).
The length of a psychotherapy process varies widely – some people attend for a few months and feel content with the gains and changes that are made, while others may attend for several years. The human mind’s capacity for growth is endless – it never stops changing and evolving – and I often feel most comfortable ending treatments where the growth is well on its way and may no longer need a consistent facilitator. This is a highly personal decision, but I usually not be fully content with the job unless most or all of the individual’s symptoms are gone by the end of the therapy. Ultimately, psychotherapy should be aimed at symptom reduction, and time is of the essence.
What frequency are the sessions in psychotherapy?
Minimum one session per week, and some patients attend 2, 3 or even 5 sessions per week if they wish to conduct a psychoanalysis.
What if I am not sure if psychotherapy is for me?
This is quite normal and I encourage you to call me to book a session so we can discuss in more detail what is happening for you in order to enable you to make a decision about whether therapy is for you or not.