+ What happens during the free 20 minute phone consult?
Our free 20 minute no obligation consultation is an opportunity for you to connect to one of our therapist by phone so that we can gain a clearer sense the concerns that have led you seek help, the type of help you are seeking and which of our therapist might be best able to help. If you determine that we are a good fit, the next step would be to set up your first therapy session. If not, we will do our best to provide you with information and or a referral to a service better able to assist you.
+ I am nervous about coming to my first session, what can I expect?
Feeling anxious before meeting with a therapist for the first time is normal. This tends to be the case even for people who have been to counselling or therapy in the past. At Counselling Associates, we are committed to making all clients feel welcome, safe and taken care of. The first session is an opportunity for you to get to know your therapist and for your therapist to get to know you. Your therapist will ask questions to get a better understanding of the concerns that have brought you to therapy and learn about your goals and expectations. He or she will get some ideas from you about what you want to work on and give you some ideas about the different approaches and possibilities for that work together. Your therapist will also take some time to discuss the therapy process with you including the rights and responsibilities that govern a professional relationship.
+ Your site mentions both counselling and therapy what is the difference?
These words are often confused and interchanged. Counselling is not a regulated practice per se whereas in Ontario you must be registered by a governing body (i.e. OCSWSSW or CRPO) to call yourself a “psychotherapist”. Although the distinction is often a blurred one counselling is often considered a more pragmatic, current and specific intervention, whereas therapy or psychotherapy is more often considered a deeper, more involved intervention that is more likely to address underlying causes related to current difficulties.
+ How long does therapy take?
Therapy is an individual process that is unique to each client. Research shows the optimal change period for clients in therapy falls between 6-8 sessions on average. However, some clients report getting what they need in 1-2 counselling sessions, while others report finding longer-term therapy helpful in really getting to the root of issues or for longer support. Everyone’s journey is different. At Counselling Associates we will collaborate with you in our initial session to define what you are hoping to get out of our time together, with clearly defined directions, goals and indicators that will tell you and your therapist we are on the right track. We will continue to check-in with you on an ongoing basis to make sure we are heading in the right direction and when you think we are getting to where you want to be.
+ How often would I need to go to therapy?
We recommend attending weekly sessions in the early stages of therapy. Meeting weekly with your therapist helps to build trust and rapport and may also help move you towards achieving your goals in a more timely way. As you begin to gain skills and achieve your goals, the frequency of your sessions can be adjusted accordingly. In some cases, clients express a desire to attend monthly maintenance or 'booster' sessions after their initial work together ends.
+ How do I know if therapy will help?
At Counselling Associates we believe clients define the problem or issues they want to work on and, in collaboration with your therapist, develop unique solutions and strategies that keep your goals as our highest priority. Putting clients in the “driver’s seat” of therapy makes it more likely that therapy will be effective in taking you in directions you want to go in.
+ I tried counselling before and it didn’t help. How do I know this will be any different?
Many of our clients report past counselling experiences that have not been effective for them. One of the first questions we ask at Counselling Associates is what has been helpful and what has not been so helpful in past counselling experiences. This allows us to build on those things that clients have found helpful and to pay attention to things that have not been so helpful. Rather than us defining the problem and trying to solve it, we will try to understand how you define your struggles, and how we can best help you with them.
+ Does going to therapy mean that I am weak, that I can’t solve things on my own?
It takes a lot of courage to seek help for difficulties in our life. Our training and experience give us some “expertise” in different models and an understanding of what is helpful, but we also consider that you are the “expert in your own life” insofar as you have ideas about what works for you what you want to focus on. In working from a collaborative model we walk alongside you as partners on the road to better. Making changes in your life or talking about difficult things is all about strength, not weakness.
+ Does attending therapy mean I am crazy?
Everyone of us faces life struggles that might involve difficult emotions (anger, fear, sadness, anxiety etc.), difficulties in our interpersonal relationships, (work, romantic partners, extended family, etc.), and difficulties with mental health, that does not make us “crazy”, only human.
+ Am I covered by OHIP? Am I covered by insurance ?
Like other private practice therapists in Canada we are not covered by OHIP. Most insurance companies provide coverage for counselling/therapy that is conducted by a licensed psychotherapist. Our counsellors are registered psychotherapists. This means we are licensed through either the OCSWSSW (Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers) or the CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario).
+ What about confidentiality? Will my employer, family know what I talk about in therapy ?
Therapy is intended to be a safe and private space for clients to work through their challenges. No one including your employer or family will be informed about your participation in therapy unless you specifically direct us to do otherwise. Even in such cases, we would be required to obtain written permission from you in the form of signed ‘release of information’ request. It is important to know that there are a few legal limitations to confidentiality which all mental health professionals in Ontario are required to adhere to. In our first session we will go over all the details about confidentiality and its limits and answer any questions or concerns that you may have. Click here to review our Confidentiality Policy.
+ How much does therapy at Counselling Associates cost? Do you offer reduced rates?
While financial considerations are important in many of our lives, we believe that therapy is a worthwhile investment. At Counselling Associates, we offer rates that are both competitive and affordable. Our standard rate for a one-hour session is $120. This includes all applicable taxes and is payable by cash, cheque or e-transfer at the beginning of each session. Reduced rates may be available under certain circumstances. Contact us for more information.
+ Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes. We are an appointment based fee-for-service private practice. This means that no shows or last-minute cancellations impact our income and our ability to offer appointments to clients in need of support. We require for a minimum of 48-hours notice if you need to cancel or change a scheduled appointment, in order to avoid being charged a cancellation fee. Exceptions to this are physical illness or any unanticipated circumstance that could be reasonably deemed an ‘emergency’.