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. My hours are extended compared to many other therapists. I offer couple evenings and Saturday appointments too! You really shouldn't have to wait too long to get an appointment. Same week for sure! The biggest challenge will be you. How flexible are you in your availability? Are you willing to leave work a bit early or go in to work a bit late? As long as you are flexible and serious about counselling, scheduling you in within a few days after your initial inquiry is very likely.
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?
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?
Updated February 2018