1. Does needing counselling mean I’m “crazy”?

I highly doubt it.  Being “normal” does not mean having a perfect life but a life with challenges.  Sometimes we can deal with them and other times we do not.  There are times when we have tried to deal with the issue on our own but we are unable to achieve the desired results.  Guess what that means?  You are stuck.  Welcome to the human race of being imperfect.  The solution often involves working with an objective, trained professional who can guide you in a healthier direction. Let me be your guide. 

2. What is psychotherapy? 

There are many misconceptions about psychotherapy.  At some point in their life, everyone struggles with something they are unable to address themselves.  In essence, they get ‘stuck’.  Psychotherapy helps people become “unstuck’.  Registered Psychotherapists are trained to be objective, nonjudgmental, and a provider for a confidential atmosphere.  Like a sailboat navigator, the Registered Psychotherapist guides clients to steer or pursue a healthier course but the clients are still the captain of the sailboat. 

Psychotherapy is a way of helping people overcome stress, emotional issues, relationship difficulties or troublesome habits.  Psychotherapy addresses personal challenges by providing the opportunity for clients to talk openly and confidentially about their concerns and feelings with a professionally trained individual.  Clients can be seen on an individual, couple, family, or group basis for psychotherapy.

3. What is the difference between a Psychiatrist, Psychologist and Psychotherapist?

Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine, like your family physician, and then take specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioural problems.  They are able to prescribe medication and their fees are covered by the O.H.I.P.  In Ontario, they are licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.  Psychiatrists and psychologists have approximately the same number of years of formal training. The basic difference is the kind of training they have received. 

Psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology and specialize in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health issues.  They have advanced training in psychotherapy and the science of behaviour change.  Although they may have training in the use of medication to treat mental illness, in Ontario they are not licensed to prescribe medication.  Psychologists are the only professionals qualified to use certain kinds of psychological tests to assess intelligence, emotional and behavioural problems, and neuropsychological dysfunction.  Their fees are covered by private payment, extended medical plans, employee assistance programs, and through government agencies or other special programs.  They are licensed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. 

Psychotherapists should possess a master’s degree in psychology and undergo a process to become a Registered Psychotherapist.  The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) regulate practitioners by  establishing and maintaining standards of practice, promoting continued competence and quality improvement, and ensuring professional accountability.  They should also be affiliated with a professional organization, such as the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP).  Thus, reviewing the credentials of a Registered Psychotherapist is recommended.  A Registered Psychotherapist and member of the OACCPP performs counselling services to address the needs of the individual, couple, group, and family as needed.  They are not licensed to prescribe medication.  Fees are covered by many extended benefit plans or by private payment.

 

4. Who may want to consider counselling?

  • You are facing situations which are causing you stress, anxiety and upset.
  • You are experiencing feelings that seem more intense or uncomfortable than usual, or beyond your control, such as anger, sadness, fear, frustration and depression.
  • You are behaving in ways which don't fit your normal pattern, don't serve your needs, or are problematic to you or others.
  • You are thinking thoughts that are peculiar, hard to understand, out-of-control or disturbing.
  • You've been subjected to a traumatic experience, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, a serious accident or a criminal injury.
  • You are dealing with a relationship issue, family conflict or difficult life transition, such as the death of a loved one, a life-threatening illness, divorce or separation, or a mid-life crisis.
  • You are challenged by family issues, such as parenting, child-rearing, adolescence, and aging parents.
  • You need help with an addiction such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling.
  • You are coping with an eating disorder.
  • You are facing difficulties with matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, racism and oppression.
  • You wish to explore spiritual issues, questions of meaning or matters of faith.

5. Do I need a doctor’s referral?

No.  Just call me directly at (416) 805-6155.  If I do not answer right away, I may be with a client but feel free to leave your name and best contact number so that I may call you as soon as possible.