What should I expect at the first appointment?
The first appointment is a time to get to know you, gather information about the concerns and background history.
First appointments are scheduled for 50 to 75 minutes depending on the concern.
Online or in-person therapy?
We are only offering services virtually at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic led to a quick transition for psychologists and other therapists to offering services virtually. For the majority of clients this works very well and it is anticipated that even once in person services are more available, many families will choose to continue virtual services due to convenience.
How long does each therapy session take?
Most therapy sessions are 50 minutes and scheduled weekly or biweekly. In some situations, sessions might be scheduled to be shorter, longer, more or less frequent.
Who should attend the first appointment?
It is ideal if all involved parents are able to attend an initial appointment. However, we understand that that is not always possible and can schedule future appointments to include others who were not able to attend the first appointment as appropriate.
Children are typically included in the first appointment unless:
- It is anticipated that they will be too disruptive for the parent(s) and clinician to talk well
- There are things the parent(s) would like to discuss without the child present
- The appointment is for selective mutism
What should I tell my child about coming to see you?
We typically recommend that you tell your child that they are going to see a “Feelings Dr.” or “someone who helps kids with their feelings”. It is then helpful to tell them something brief and age-appropriate about why e.g. “You know how sometimes you get really angry and then mommy/daddy gets mad, she is someone who can help us all to get along better”.
You can tell your child that they will not be alone with the clinician during the first appointment unless they feel comfortable to be. Some children worry that they could be in trouble when meeting with a therapist. If you think that could be the case, it is important to tell them that the meeting is to help them and you with ideas and that they are not in trouble.
How long does therapy usually last?
It can be really hard to predict how a child and family will progress in therapy. On average most interventions are 6-10 sessions but we also offer one-off consults and are able to work with families as long as needed.
How much will I be involved in my child’s therapy?
Parents are almost always present during the intake appointment. Exceptions to this would be a teen who strongly did not want their parent(s) involved at all.
For younger children parents are always involved, whether that be having sessions with both parent(s) and child present, discussions with parent(s) at the beginning and end of sessions or separate parent sessions.
For teens, decisions are made on a case-by-case basis as to how much the parents are involved. We are always able to make referrals for separate parent work to support parents if we are working with teens.
How much are your services? Are they covered by OHIP?
Unfortunately psychology services are not covered by OHIP. Fees are set in accordance with guidelines from the Ontario Psychological Association. We do not bill insurance directly. Payment is due at the end of each session. The client is provided with a receipt with the therapists license number/supervisor’s license number and the client then seeks reimbursement from a private insurer if they have one.
Sliding scale fee is available for a limited number of clients.
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept credit cards and etransfers. For your convenience, we are able to securely save your credit card details and bill automatically at the end of each session if you would like.
What is your cancellation policy
We ask that you give us 24 hours notice for any appointment that you are unable to attend. We reserve the right to charge for missed appointments and appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice in full.
Will my child be diagnosed if I come to you?
When we meet with a family with concerns about their child, our approach is to undertake an assessment, formulate an understanding of “the problem” and propose a plan of intervention. In the majority of cases, that does not need to involve giving a diagnosis.
Diagnoses are descriptions of concerns that tend to occur together and are classified based on various criteria of how they present, intensity and duration of presentation. Unlike many medical diagnoses, there is no definitive test to determine whether someone “has” or “does not have” a mental health diagnosis. Rather it is a clinical judgement based on information gathered from various sources.
Diagnoses can be useful for accessing services and for parents and teachers to further understand the difficulties a child is having. Clinical Psychologists can give mental health diagnoses and we do when it is considered that they will be helpful.
If your child is coming for a psychoeducational assessment, a full assessment of thinking, reasoning, memory, various processing skills and academic skills will be undertaken. A psychoeducational assessment is more likely to lead to a diagnosis if the concerns are seen consistently on assessment. A diagnosis in this situation will often qualify a child for additional support within the school system.
What happens if another custodial parent does not agree to our child attending therapy?
In situations of parental separation and divorce, ideally both parents will consent to the child being involved in therapy. If another custodial parent does not agree, a copy of the custody agreement may be requested to determine whether both parents need to consent. Parents in this situation may need to seek legal advice.
I don't live in Ontario, can I still see you virtually?
Our psychologists and therapists work under Ontario licenses. As such, we are only licensed to see clients who are physically present in Ontario at the time of service. If you do not live in Ontario, it is unlikely that we can work with you but it is something that we could try to check with your province/state/country licensing board.