1. How can I know if I should try therapy?
See this page on the American Psychological Association's website for an introduction to psychotherapy and how it can help people. They list the following signs that suggest it might be time to try psychotherapy:
- You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
- Your problems don't seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
- You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
- You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
- Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive, are harming you or others.
You may be wondering whether or not therapy will or can help you. Ultimately, you can't know until you try it - as is true for many of the things we worry about - so give it a shot and then see what you think.
2. How often will I need to attend sessions?
Most likely we will schedule weekly sessions. In my experience, less frequent meetings tend to be insufficient for supporting behavior change and can extend treatment duration. We may jointly decide that more frequent sessions (for example, twice per week) would be more beneficial. However, we may then also consider whether a higher level of treatment - e.g., inpatient or intensive day treatment - may be more appropriate.
3. How long will therapy last?
This varies very widely. I've worked with some patients who've only needed a few sessions (4-5) to learn and apply skills and see significant relief or change. Far more typical is 3-6 months and I also see patients for a good bit longer than that. Much depends on the number and complexity of treatment goals and also the degree to which patients are able to consistently and systematically practice and implement skills-based exercises.
4. Can I continue seeing my previous therapist while seeing you?
I typically address this on a case-by-case basis but generally recommend against seeing two therapists at the same time (unless you are seeing me strictly for mindfulness training). Although there is similarity between different treatment approaches, it is possible that different approaches to an issue will result in confusion and possibly even conflicting guidance to the patient. Thus, I generally advise to take a break from seeing your previous therapist to work on your CBT or mindfulness-based treatment for a period of time and then return to working with your previous therapist.
5. What is the first session like?
The first session is an intake session where I ask background and history questions and aim to obtain a lot of information about what is troubling you so I can help you decide if what I have to offer may help you. If we agree that it is a good fit and will continue to work together then we will jointly determine treatment goals. If it appears that I am not the right fit for any reason, I can provide referrals.
6. What are subsequent sessions like?
Treatment or training sessions are structured - we will typically set an agenda for what to discuss, review experiences from the prior week, review home assignments, discuss/practice new skills/strategies, and make a plan for the upcoming week.
7. Do you provide teletherapy, web-based therapy (aka video or phone sessions)?
Yes, I offer video-based therapy for a lower fee than in-person sessions. Please contact me for more details.
8. What is the payment policy?
Payment for psychotherapy services is expected at the time of your visit. You may make your payment with cash, credit cards (all accepted except American Express), or cheque. Please note that you must provide 48 hours notice when cancelling appointments or you will be charged the full fee (fees for missed appointments are not reimbursed by insurance companies).
Payment for the 4-session mindfulness training package is collected after the intake session and in advance of the training sessions.
9. Do you accept insurance for psychotherapy services?
I do not currently accept insurance. However, if you have out-of-network benefits, I can provide receipts for you to submit to your insurance provider so you can be reimbursed according to their policies. Be sure to check with your insurance provider about your benefits and any requirements they may have prior to beginning treatment.