How can psychotherapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Psychotherapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, trauma, body image issues, creative blocks, and performance anxiety. Many people also find that counsellors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and everyday life challenges. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or assist you towards resolution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on multiple factors, including the therapeutic relationship you build with your therapist, and how actively you participate in the process. Some of the benefits available from psychotherapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communication, assertiveness, and listening skills
- Changing behaviour patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems at work, within your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need psychotherapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone experiences challenging life situations, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you have faced, there is nothing wrong with seeking extra support when needed. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting your current life situation and committing to making the necessary changes by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
Why do people go to psychotherapy and how do I know if it is right for me?
People have many different reasons for engaging in psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition or struggling with stressful circumstances. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, traumatic memories, and sleep difficulties. Therapy can provide support and encouragement, as well as assist in developing skills to surmount difficult periods. Others may be at a point where they are ready to learn more about themselves or want to be more effective in reaching their life goals. In short, people seeking psychotherapy are ready to meet the challenges in their lives and ready to make necessary changes.
What should I expect during psychotherapy?
Therapy differs depending on the individual, presenting issues and therapeutic goals. You can expect to discuss your reasons for seeking therapy, establish some therapeutic goals, share your current life challenges and any relevant personal history. As therapy progresses, you will review progress made and re-evaluate the goals. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific goal, or long-term, to deal with more complex issues or your desire for further personal development. Either way, it is recommended to schedule weekly sessions with your therapist.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you apply what you learn in sessions in your everyday life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to psychological and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do you accept insurance, and how does that work?
You may be eligible for partial coverage under your extended health care plan. Please contact your insurance company to determine the extent of your coverage. My psychotherapy services are supervised by a Registered Clinical Psychologist. Receipts for payment provide the necessary information required for reimbursement.
Can I expect that our conversations remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
Exceptions to confidentiality include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report to the appropriate authorities.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety. I will inform them if and when I am taking these steps.