Frequently Asked Questions
Isn’t it embarrassing to go for therapy?
Perhaps, in a way…like going for a mammogram or a colonoscopy or tutoring. I can tell you though, that therapy is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage and insight to come for therapy. It makes sense to get help before you lose your health, job or relationship. It can be an important part of living well and fully.
Shouldn’t individuals and families solve their own problems?
Yes absolutely, to the extent possible. Our families and our world can be complicated. We may not have a lot of support or chances to learn about healthy connection and dealing with emotions. We may get stuck in situations we couldn’t have seen coming. We may have had difficult, confusing or painful experiences and we don’t know how to feel better. A psychotherapist is a highly trained professional who can help you with feelings, thoughts, behaviours and relationships that are causing you pain.
How long will it take?
That entirely depends on what your goals are and at what level we are working. It also depends on your readiness for change and your ability to use what you will learn in therapy to effect changes in your life. If you think of yourself as a home, and of therapy as a form of “renovation”, then how long it takes depends on what is needed and wanted. Are we looking at freshening up the paint? Some new windows and doors? To raise the roof and create more space? Or do we need to excavate the foundation and put a more solid one under the house? When you come for your assessment, I will give you feedback and outline some options. You will then be able to make an informed choice regarding therapy. It is always ok to change your mind partway through the process.
Most people, however, feel significantly better after 4 - 8 sessions.
Is therapy the only way for me to feel better?
There are many paths to wellness and therapy is only one of them. Some people heal at the gym, some in church and others from watching Dr. Phil. I work holistically and value the whole person (body, mind, heart and spirit) as well as the influence of family and community. I fully encourage you to pursue your healing and wellbeing in any and all ways that feel right to you.
Why is it pricey?
I understand that it seems like a lot of money just to “talk” to someone. However, psychotherapy is a highly skilled, regulated health profession requiring many years of formal education and practice, as well as ongoing professional training. As such, fees are in line with or lower than other helping professions such as dentists, chiropractors or massage therapists. The fee also includes work time outside the therapy hour such as preparation, documentation and collaboration with others involved with your care (with your consent).
Psychotherapy is an investment in your health, or the health of your child or family. Unresolved trauma, grief or mood difficulties can become much more expensive if not treated/ attended to. For example, depression is the leading cause for work absenteeism. Ignoring your emotional distress or family difficulties can result in physical illness, loss of ability to work, addictions and family breakdown. Many people find that in the long run, effective therapy helps them to save money by improving their health and the health of their relationships and families.
I will do my best to give you an estimate of the number of sessions that are recommended for you to reach your goals. This could be anything from 3 to 30, depending on your individual background and objectives. It is always up to you how many times and how frequently you come.
My commitment to you is to be open and transparent and give you useful professional feedback as you contemplate if you want to engage in therapy. I will inform you of other resources that might be available at no or low cost. I will let you know upfront if I don’t think I can help you and make alternate suggestions to you. I also will work as efficiently as possible with you to minimize your costs.
Does it actually work?
We have come a long way from the days when therapy meant laying on a couch 3 times per week for a minimum of 7 years! There has been extensive research into the effectiveness of therapy, specific types of therapy and different protocols that has scientifically shown that many types of therapy help for different issues or problems. One main predictor of how well the therapy works is the relationship between the therapist and the client. It is important you feel comfortable with your therapist and believe your therapist understands you and your concerns. Another factor that strongly influences the effectiveness of therapy is your motivation and readiness for change.
Can you work with me if I am on medication?
Yes, absolutely. Medication can be an effective adjunct to therapy. Medication can give you the energy boost you need to do the work required in therapy or it can level out your emotions so you can think more clearly. Sometimes people are over-medicated and that hinders therapy. If you are not able to feel a range of emotions, or are very sedated, you may need to talk to your doctor to change your medication or the dosage. Many people choose therapy instead of medication or do therapy with the goal to eventually go off their medication. It is not wise to go off medication or change your dosage without consulting your physician. If you have questions about this, I would be pleased to answer them.
Do you have other questions that have not been addressed here? Feel free to email or call and I will reply promptly.