How long do I have to wait for an appointment? I hear wait times are months long!
My hours are extended, so there usually isn't much of a wait. The biggest factor that influences your wait time.. is you! If you are willing to be flexible with your own schedule (which may mean taking couple of hours off work) then you can expect an appointment within a couple of days. Keep in mind too that the most frequently asked times for counselling sessions are late afternoons and evenings. These times always book up first.
Isn't counselling really expensive? I don't have benefits from work so how can I pay for it?
Quick answer to this question is.. yes, if you don't plan and budget for it. If you don't have insurance/benefits, you will find that my rates are a lot lower than the going rate across the GTA. But you still need to budget for it. Just think of it this way, breakups, divorces and stress is a lot more expensive than counselling!
Other options: bi-weekly sessions rather than weekly. Or, temporarily suspend your TV cable to help pay for the sessions. I just looked at my cable/internet bill and can't believe how much I spend on that! Chances are your cable bill is much higher than what you will spend on counselling!
To make it a bit easier, I have several payment options including major credit cards, debit-visa cards, paypal and e-transfers.
I see some counsellors have a "sliding scale". Do you?
A sliding scale refers to a way of matching a client's income to the cost for counselling. Many of these counsellors base rates are around $150 to $200 per hour. My counselling rates are about half of that, so my full rate is almost like their sliding scale rate. My practice is not a non-profit. It's a practice that is self-sustained, so I do not offer a sliding scale.
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?
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.
What happens if I need to cancel my appointment? Do I get a refund? How much notice do you require?
My cancellation policy is really simple and straightforward. If you give me at least a days' notice of changing or cancelling your appointment, you will get a refund (if you have prepaid) and your credit card will not be charged. If, for whatever reason (and this includes sickness, family emergency, or whatever the case may be) you provide me with less than a days notice, you will be responsible for the missed session. Which means no refund and your credit card will be charged. Keep this in mind, you can cancel your appointment without having to talk to me! That's right, send me a text or even an email. I will reply that I got it and that's it. I won't ask you questions or try to make you feel bad. Simple, quick and painless!
This policy that I have has worked really well over the years. Clients know that no matter what the reason is, whether its sickness or family emergency, less than 24hrs notice means full responsibility of the payment. And that there is no guilt trip for cancelling. I have never charged a credit card or held on to payment because of a late cancellation or no-show.
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?