Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, changes in behavior leading to improved social and vocational functioning, and personality growth.
Why do people seek counselling? People seek counselling for many reasons. Some people would like support dealing with unexpected changes in their lives, and some people are looking for guidance with personal growth. Sometimes our coping skills not at their best as a result of life circumstances, and couselling can help during those times. Counselling provides support for issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem relationship difficulties, childhood issues, grief, and stress management. What issues do I address in my practice? Distress can manifest itself in many ways such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, eating disorders, addictions, trauma, physical or sexual abuse, discrimination, issues relating to sexual orientation, creative blocks, unhappy relationships, ongoing diffuculties with one's family of origin, recent immigration, problems in the workplace, stresses of parenting, separation/divorce, loss of a loved one, disability, sickness etc.
Will it work for me? Many people feel a great deal of benefit from psychotherapy, some even after comparatively few meetings. Like any other treatment approach, psychotherapy may not be suitable for everyone. Each must decide on their own whether therapy is helpful for them. The initial consultation's aim is to help people think about this, in collaboration with a therapist. Clinical experience shows that if you are motivated and set yourself realistic goals, psychotherapy is likely to help.
What can I expect in a session? During sessions you will talk about the issues in your life which at brought you to counselling and looking for the most effective way to address them. A session lasts 50 minutes and are most people find it helpful to meet weekly or every other week at the beginning of therapy, and then to meet monthly or as needed.
What are the benefits of working with a psychotherapist? Many people find it helpful to have the understanding and validation that a therapist can provide. Some of the benefits of therapy are:
- Developing skills for improving your relationships.
-Finding resolution to the issues that brought you to therapy.
- Finding effective ways to manage with overwhelming emotions
- Developing healthier behaviours
-Learning skills to have healthier relationships
How will I feel during therapy? It is possible that you may feel worse before you feel better, and some people find their psychological distress is reflected in physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains. Therapy requires an uncovering of painful feelings and memories. This can be experienced as a relief but it may also stir up uncomfortable feelings.
Will I need to stop medication? This depends on what sort of treatment is being offered. If you are going to are going to participate in psychotherapy, this might means stopping all tranquillizers and anti-depressants. I will consult with your prescribing physician to determine the best possible course of treatment. Sometimes there is a need to combine medication and psychotherapy over a period of time, and this decision should be discussed by everyone involved. I do not prescribe medication.
Can I stop if I feel it's not working? It is always possible to leave therapy, though the pressure to remain may seem stressful at times. Some people have to have several "goes" at therapy before they succeed. Talk about your difficulties with me before you decide to stay or leave. Ultimately, if you want to stop, it is up to you.
What kind of records are kept? Psychotherapy records contain any questionnaires you have completed and returned, any letters you send and copies of any letters sent to you. There will also be a summary of your assessment and documentation of any contact with other treatment professionals whom you‘ve given me written consent to communicate with. Notes from the process of your treatment, including your attendance and content of the sessions, are also kept. If there are details you do not wish to have recorded in your file, please discuss this with me.
Will my information be shared with anyone? The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission of the client UNLESS there is suspected child or elder abuse, or threats of harm to oneself or to others.
What about vacations and canceled sessions? Continuity in therapy is important, and time away is better planned in advance with this in mind. Of course, I understand that sometimes circumstances may prevent you from coming to your session, and I require 24 hours notice for a cancellation without charge. Occasionally, I may need to cancel sessions. I will give you plenty of notice of any absences I intend to take. Any feelings stirred up by breaks in your therapy are an important part of the process, and I encourage you to discuss them with me.
When will I no longer need psychotherapy? Ending psychotherapy is a personal decision based on a variety of factors. Feeling better about yourself, being better able to manage the stresses in your life, having a sense of hope, potential, or peace of mind are all markers for ending therapy. Whatever the reason, the psychotherapist retires, the client moves, closure sessions are extremely important. Taking the time to say goodbye is a way of respecting the work and acknowledging that it is time to move on.
I know people what have been in psychotherapy for years. Does that mean that they are not getting better? Not at all. Like an exercise program or specific diet, therapy can be viewed as a good psychic maintenance. Some people value the continued exchange between psychotherapist and client, as the client's life unfolds leading to other challenging circumstances.
Is Psychotherapy covered by OHIP or Extended Health Insurance? Psychotherapy is not currently covered by OHIP, however, most extended health benefit plans cover a significant portion, if not all of consultation fee. Check your benefits plan, or call your insurance provider for more information. Be sure to ask iv visits with a registeres social worker are covered, how much coverage you have, if there is a deductible per visit, if there is a limit per visit, and when your policy year ends.