Starting Therapy

Grab a cup of tea. Make yourself comfortable. I’m so glad you’re here.

I know reaching out for help isn’t easy. I hope the following information will answer some of your most pressing questions and put your mind at ease.

Virtual therapy from wherever you are in Ontario

I am so pleased to offer 60 minute video and telephone therapy sessions in my part-time practice for adults residing in Ontario, Canada.

The first step is to book a free (and obligation free) 30 minute Discovery Call. This phone consultation will allow us to learn a bit about one another, speak about what therapy might be like for you, and allow me to answer any questions you might have.

Convenient Online Booking

You can view my availability and book, cancel or reschedule your Discovery Call and ongoing Individual Therapy Sessions through the secure online portal hosted by Jane.

The below video walks you through how to join an online appointment. It’s even easier than it sounds!

Payment and Insurance

I always tell my friends and family that therapy is the gift you give yourself and is an investment in your future.

But I also recognize it is an expense in the sea of expenses we have to think about. My hourly rate $120 CAD and my promise to you is that I will value your time and investment.

If you are an Ontario Disability Support Program or Employment Insurance Sickness recipient due to illness, ask me about my reduced rate appointments during our Discovery Call. I set aside a number of sessions each month so I can provide this service because I know how difficult it can be to navigate living with illness on a fixed income. Thank you to the full rate clients who make offering a sliding scale affordable.

Payment is required at the end of each session and can be made using credit card through Jane or e-transfer through your online bank. You will receive an itemized receipt via your email after payment of every session. .

Many extended health insurance plans cover Registered Social Workers (RSW). It’s important for you to check directly with your insurance provider to determine that registered social workers (RSWs and/or Masters of Social Work (MSWs) are covered by your plan. I am able to direct bill your insurance if you are with Greenshield. If you have questions about insurance please do not hesitate to send me an email or let’s talk about it during your Discovery Call.

If you do not have insurance you can submit your therapy receipts as a medical expense on your personal income tax.

Cancellations and Appointment Changes

You will recieve routine appointment reminders before every session. In your portal you will have the ability to cancel and make changes to your upcoming appointments with me.

Please kindly provide 24 hours advance notice if you need to cancel or reschedule.

Policies

In this section you will find copies of the forms I will ask you to fill out through the client portal. These are provided for you to read through in advance if you wish to.

An arial view of an open laptop sitting on a coffee table. A filled cup of tea sits to the right and a candle and crystal sit on the left.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in a first session?

First sessions can be nerve wracking, I know because I’ve been there. But my hope is these Q&A’s will make it easier! When we meet for our first session together I will go over some of my policies including confidentiality and obtain your information and informed consent to go ahead with our session. I have included links to these forms in the policy section above in case you would like to review them prior to our first meeting.

We will spend the majority of the first session getting to know each other better. I will ask you some questions but mostly it will be a conversation centred on you – what’s been going on for you lately and what you’re hoping to get out of therapy.

We will also discuss how often you’d like to meet and I will answer any question that you have.

Before you know it the time will have passed and you’ll have a number of things to reflect on and perhaps some homework or resources to read and implement.

How does video therapy work?

The service I use for video (sometimes referred to as virtual) sessions is compliant with Canadian and Ontario privacy laws (PHIPA and PIPEDA) and can be easily accessed by clicking a link I will send to your email. This will open up our video session in your web browser and there is no need to download any systems on your computer. The best browser to use with the video service is Chrome.

Is video therapy as effective as in-person sessions?

There are many clinicians who have been using only virtual therapy for decades. What I also like about video therapy is it gives you the flexibility to choose where you would like to speak with me from – it could be from your couch, your bedroom or a quiet space in a park. It’s also an important social distancing measure we can put in place during the time of COVID-19.

Do you have any tips for virtual therapy?

You can access video therapy from your computer, smartphone or tablet depending on your comfort. If you’re having trouble with your internet speed, using an Ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to your modem may be helpful. However, for most internet connections wifi will work just fine.

You can click here to read about how to test your video before your session.

Regardless of if you opt for video or phone sessions, it will be important for you to think about where you plan to be during session and who may be in earshot. If you’re comfortable, having a conversation with your family or roommates about your need for quiet or to be alone during the session might be helpful. Wearing headphones is also a good practice to give yourself more privacy.

How long should I come to therapy? And how often?

This is a very individual question, as each of our needs, preferences and goals are different.

As an example, someone who is coming to therapy to work through a very specific problem such as “I need to make a decision about X” may only want a few sessions to help them work their answer. Whereas someone who has a less concrete issue or who has a long history of struggling with the problem may feel they need more sessions to get them where they’d like to go.

Some people like to have sessions every week, particularly if they are going through a more pressing issue, while others prefer to spread out their sessions to twice a month. Finances play a role in these decisions as well.

I have experience providing both brief, short term counselling and longer term psychotherapy – we can decide together which approach best fits your needs when we have our Meet & Greet. I think it’s very important to have ongoing discussion about the length of therapy and you can expect me to check in with you often, but please also feel free to ask me as well.

Why are sessions only 50 minutes instead of 1 hour?

We will only spend 50 minutes together in session because I will spend the remaining 10 minutes on administration. This includes documenting our session, invoicing and billing and sending you resources we discussed in session. They call this 50 minutes a “clinical hour” because it includes the other parts that are necessary for good practice.

Do you work with everyone?

Sometimes a client and therapist are not the right fit for therapy together. This is a natural and normal part of therapy. Sometimes this happens because your needs, preferences or goals are beyond the scope of my practice or do not align with my specialties. Other times it may be that our styles or personalities do not match or you are looking for a service I do not offer (family therapy, for example). If this happens I will be more than happy to refer you to the network of therapists I am associated with. Most importantly, I want you to know I am always open to a conversation about this.

What types of therapy do you practice?

I use a combination of the following: cognitive behavioural, mindfulness and mindful self compassion, attachment focused, dialectical behavioural skills, solution focused, acceptance and commitment, narrative, existential and somatic.

If you’d like to learn more about me and my approach to therapy then visit my about page.