How long do I have to wait for an appointment? I hear wait times are months long!
I run a full time practice in Hamilton, open 6 days a week (except the summer.. I take the weekends off!). Plus having extended evening sessions 2 to 3 times each week, I am able to schedule clients without a lengthy wait time. Some of the non-profit organizations do have a wait time of several months to a year. What really determines the length of time before you can come in is your own flexibility. For instance, if you are only available after 8pm on a Wednesday, you might run into problems. But for the most part, I can schedule you in the same week you call or the week after.
Isn't counselling really expensive? I don't have benefits from work so how can I pay for it?
Counselling needs to be budgeted. Just like how we do for our cable and phone bills, hair cuts, massages and everything else.
You will find my rates to be among the lowest in the Hamilton and Toronto area. My full time practice is geared towards Ontario residents who don't have health benefits to cover the costs. (although many of my clients do use their insurance for reimbursement) In fact, my sessions are, on average, 25% longer and 25% cheaper than many counsellors. But even then, you still need to budget for it.
One way clients help budget the cost for therapy is by limiting sessions to bi-weekly rather than weekly. While others may suspend certain services, like their home cable, while they are in counselling. Just remember, therapy is an investment in yourself and in your relationship.
I have never gone to counselling before! I can't believe I am even here! What can I expect?
I think the most stressful time is the window between the time you get your appointment and the time you actually arrive. If your mind is racing, trying to think of what you will say, how you will say it, and what NOT to say, you are totally not alone! I can tell you right now not to think too much about it, but chances are.. you will!
When you arrive, you will notice a simple room, a small desk, a bookshelf, couple of chairs and me. I will begin by briefly going over the confidentiality agreement and to answer any questions you may have about that. I then leave the floor open to you. If I feel you are uncomfortable or hesitant not knowing where to start, I will ask you questions about family, work and maybe even talk a bit about the weather. Most of my clients will tell me after their first visit that it was a lot easier than what they thought!
Does counselling for marriage problems actually work? I know other couples who went and it did nothing for them!
If you and your partner are willing to take responsibility and work hard by using the tools and techniques you will discover in counselling, then I believe you are on a good path to achieving a stronger and more enriched marriage. But it takes time and effort. I will assign tasks that needs to be completed in between sessions. And with my assertive approach, I will hold each person accountable, and expect each of you to be accountable to each other. Often times couples will come to counsellling after ten or twenty years of misery and will want things to change within a week or two. Ain't going to happen! Marriages who achieve success in counselling are those with couples who are committed to the process of therapy.
I notice you don't have any testimonials on your website. Why? How do I know what other people's experiences have been like with you?
Most of the Colleges and Associations that directs or oversees the counselling industry in Canada do not recommend therapists having testimonials on their website. I think it can be for a variety of reasons including client confidentiality. Also, what way would you have to confirm whether those testimonials were actually true and not just made up? Results of therapy can vary so much, I think it would be careless for you to decide on a therapist based on someone else's experience.
Most of my clients have reported back commenting how they like the fresh therapy experience, that it wasn't a typical "tell me how you feel" session, and that they really connected with my direct, interactive way of running a session.
Why is there a different rate for insurance clients than cash-pay clients?
Your Inner Soulutions, which is the name of my own private practice, is not covered by insurance or health benefits. My practice rates are as listed, and designed to be affordable for the 1/3 of Ontario residents who do not have any workplace benefits or health insurance.
In the fall of 2016, I contracted with a group practice named Life Restoration Counselling Group, where I provide counselling services for their clients. Life Restoration is covered by many insurance companies.
If you are going to use your insurance for reimbursement, you will become a client of Life Restoration and therefore be subject to their rates and policies.
If you are going to use your insurance, it is your responsibility to make sure you have the proper coverage. Good questions to ask are:
- do you cover RSW?
- what is my annual limit?
- what percent am I covered for?