About Psychotherapy

Choosing a therapist can be an intimidating task.  You may be asking yourself things like what is the difference between therapists, how will I know if it is the right fit, where do I start?  On our website you will find answers to these questions and much more.  When you have explored this site you will know about our approach and can make the choice to contact us.

When choosing a therapist write down some questions you may want to ask about them and their practice.  You have a right to ask questions about the therapist’s qualifications, professional experiences, certifications and specializations, professional registration.  Also, to make sure their ‘style’ fits what you are looking for you may want to ask questions about their therapeutic and personal approach to therapy.  A good therapist will take the time to answer your questions, take the time you need to make sure that you will connect and feel comfortable with this person.

You are the expert in your life. Our role is to support you in overcoming barriers and beliefs that keep you from attaining or maintaining the fulfilled life you desire, and to connect you with your own expertise and wisdom.  Often these obstacles have developed through past (childhood) or current trauma, unresolved grief, relationship difficulties, depression etc.

Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint what the “thing” is that stops us from attaining the life, relationship, feelings that we want in our life.  Psychotherapy can be a part of the process of unpacking and untangling the past or present issues, beliefs, and barriers to attaining the life you deserve.

Simply put, psychotherapy is a learning process that will help you to cope better with your life. Psychotherapy can help in:

  • Healing from previous trauma or grief.
  • Forming more satisfying or lasting relationships with people.
  • Developing peace with yourself: you can gain closure on things from your life that are unfinished for you, or can see yourself more clearly, and know your strengths and challenges more clearly – and come to accept yourself as you are.
  • Changing behaviours and patterns that are destructive in your life.
  • Helping you to access parts of yourself that you have repressed or kept low-key, in order to fit into your family, or society.
  • Accessing memories, both good and bad.
  • Learning to love yourself and others.
  • Discovering your spirituality, gender, sexuality, likes and dislikes.
  • Learning to be more assertive and communicate better.
  • Developing and reacquainting with positive self-esteem and self-image.
  • Developing and reacquainting with positive coping skills.
  • Overcoming and preventing anxiety and depression.
  • Being a better parent, friend, daughter, son, or partner.
  • Learning to enjoy life (again) and reclaim your playful side.

 

How can I best benefit from counselling?

As a client, there are certain responsibilities that you have that can help make the counselling process more beneficial to you. I recommend the following:

  • Attend scheduled sessions and arrive on time.
  • Be specific about the concerns that have led you to seek counselling.
  • Work with your counsellor to establish goals.
  • Give thought to what you would like to discuss during each session.
  • Be willing to explore new behaviours within and outside of your sessions.
  • Complete assigned homework tasks/readings.
  • Discuss ongoing progress and work with your counsellor to modify your goals.
  • Communicate with your counsellor when the process is not helpful to you.

 

Who will know that I am coming for therapy?

Unless you decide to inform others (e.g., family, friends, partners) that you are seeking out psychotherapy, no one will know. For example, if a relative or professor contacts our office for any information about you, including whether or not you have kept an appointment, I cannot and will not disclose this information.

We follow protocol in accordance with the Privacy and Protection of Personal Health Information Act, and adhere to a strict policy of maintaining confidentiality regarding your involvement in counselling. Should you request your therapist to communicate with an external source, written consent must be obtained in order for us to release any information. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule. There are circumstances when I am ethically and legally entitled to break confidentiality. These circumstances are as follows:

Knowledge of ongoing abuse and neglect of a child or dependent adult.
Serious risk of suicide or harm for you or other individuals.
Subpoena of your file by a court of law.

Working with other services?

We believe that it is important for the people in your life to work together to assist you to achieve your goals in the best possible way.  We will not speak with other services or agencies without your written consent.  You may revoke consent at any time.

What if I need medication?

Individuals who suffer from certain conditions (e.g., severe anxiety, depression) may require and benefit from medication. If you are uncertain about whether you could benefit from medication, discuss this issue in session and a referral to either a psychiatrist or general practitioner may then be made.

A referral to a physician for a physical/check-up may also be made in order to ensure that your symptoms are not caused by a physical disorder. Many physical conditions (e.g., hypothyroidism) can produce changes in mood, energy level, and concentration. It is good practice to rule out physical explanations for symptoms at the initial start of therapy.

There are no magic pills and medication on its own doesn’t change things in life but it can sometimes help with your mood so you feel more ready to make changes.  It takes work to make changes in life.  If you are ready to make the change we are ready to work with you.