WHEN CAN PSYCHOTHERAPY & COUNSELLING HELP?
When we are experiencing emotional and mental suffering. When we feel stuck. When we tried to “fix” it ourselves and it didn’t work. When we feel lost. When we experience and need to recover from trauma. When we go through major life changes and transitions and can’t cope with what life bring us. When we lose someone close to us. When we realize that we’ve lost our joy. When our relationships break-up and no longer work. And in many other situations .
Everyday challenges seem to be endless in our modern world. Work pressures, financial commitments, relationship struggles, technological change, isolation from community and nature, and lack of work-life balance (to name a few) can negatively affect our individual mental health. To all of these we contribute our personal views, choices, patterns and ways of dealing with challenges. Sometimes, it can become too much.
Psychotherapy can help you identify the beliefs and patterns that no longer work in your life. It can help you find new abilities, inner strength, self support and new strategies and ways to cope constructively with your challenges and with unexpected difficult circumstances such as assault, trauma, illness, separation and divorce, losing a job or starting a new one.
DOES PSYCHOTHERAPY WORK?
Yes it does… and there is no quick fix.
While for some people just being able to talk freely about their challenges in a safe and supporting space can bring relief, for others it might take longer, and the process can bring up emotions and unfinished business from the past. They may need more time to become aware of the root causes of their emotional suffering or behaviours, and to gain a clearer understanding of their feelings, thoughts and actions. It is important to understand that every person and life experience is unique, and it can be difficult to change the way we think and behave in the world. While there is no magic bullet, psychotherapy and counselling help clients become aware of their choices, learn new skills, change their perspectives and become better equipped to make changes in their lives.
The therapeutic relationship developed between you and your therapist is a very important factor, regardless of the modality. The more open, honest and determined you are to work through your challenges, the better the results.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
You can expect to be treated with respect, honesty and compassion in a safe and supportive therapeutic space.
Through a here-and-now, present moment, approach we will engage in authentic interactions and honest dialogue. Sometimes, therapy can be emotionally challenging as different feelings naturally arise as you go through aspects of your life story or deep dark spaces. I will be there to support, listen, and understand you. Sometimes I might respectfully challenge you and, with your consent, ask you to role play a different response to a challenge or to try something new until the next session.
Through the whole therapeutic process, you’ll gain awareness of how you create your reality and experience; your self-defeating beliefs; and your ability to make contact and be authentic in your interactions. You will become more aware of your body and where you block your energy. You will learn “creative adjustments” to seemingly impossible situations. You’ll (re)discover your inner wisdom, strengths and abilities and also become aware of your patterns and behaviour.
With awareness, change becomes possible. You’ll gain the ability to make different choices, find new resources and ways to deal with what is not working in your life, and become more able to cope with challenges.
ARE MY SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
Maintaining your privacy is extremely important. It is a part of, and I abide by, the Registered Psychotherapist professional code of ethics.
All sessions are confidential with the exception of situations required by law, such as if you or someone else is in danger or a child is abused. Otherwise, information you share with me is confidential and will not be shared or quoted by me. During the first session the limits to confidentiality required by law are fully discussed.
Services during COVID-19: In keeping with the guidance and recommendations from CRPO and the public health agencies, I now offer only regular telephone and online sessions through the Doxy.me telemedicine platform. Doxy is an easy to use online video sessions solution, end-to-end encrypted, fully PHIPA and PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 2004) compliant.
Please note that both for phone and online sessions, when you book a session, we will discuss the consent for phone/online sessions and electronic communications. I will then send you the Electronic Communications Consent Form which you need to sign and email me back a signed copy/photo/scan (digital signature is accepted).
As part of my continuous professional development, I participate in professional group supervision meetings with other psychotherapists. Without ever disclosing or naming any of our clients, or sharing their life stories, we might discuss true aspects of our therapy work, learning from each other to become better therapists.
HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I NEED?
The number of therapy sessions varies according to the client’s needs. Some clients want to work on a certain issue and come for short-term therapy. Other clients want to go deeper and come for long-term therapy. Some clients might come for a while, then stop, then come back again later as new needs arise. Together we’ll discuss what would be good for you, however you are the one who will decide for how long and how often you want to engage in therapy.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE FIRST SESSION?
The first session is a time for us to meet and learn about each other. Like any other relationship, the therapeutic relationship starts with a conversation.
You have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about my approach and decide if you want to start therapy with me. I will also have the opportunity to learn about you, the main challenges that brought you to my office at this time, and your therapy needs and goals. I will assess how I can support and assist you in your process of change. For this, I will go through an intake questionnaire with you and will ask some personal questions about your life, family, friends, and current challenges.
CAN I GIVE YOU FEEDBACK?
I not only welcome and fully appreciate your feedback, it is part of our work together. Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is essential to the success of therapy, and relationships thrive through honest, open two-way conversation. I will ask for your reflections after sessions, and provide you with a brief session form to help you assess our work after each meeting. You’ll have the opportunity to let me know if you felt understood and respected; if we talked and worked on issues important to you; if you feel that my approach is a good fit for you; what worked and what didn’t; your learnings and any awareness that you might have gained from our work together.
At the beginning of each session, we’ll also discuss your well being between sessions and if you noticed any progress. Your reflections are important to make sure that your sessions with me support your progress and are aligned with your therapy needs and goals.