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Example of SandPlay Therapy technique

Common Questions:

1. How much does face to face, or telephone counselling cost?

If you do not have Insurance to cover a Registered Social Worker, your fee will be based on the following Sliding Scale, according to your Gross Household Family Income:

$45,000 and Over: $130.00/hour

$35,000 - $44,999: $120.00/hour

$25,001 - $34,999: $110.00/hour

$25,000 and Below: $80.00/hour

Your one hour counselling session will be $130.00 if you do have Insurance to cover a Registered Social Worker.

Counselling spaces are also made available at a discounted fee of $80.00 to Individuals and Couples who are Students, receiving Ontario Works or funds from the Ontario Disability Support Program who do not have Insurance Coverage.

**Please note, in cases where Insurance Coverage is available, your rate may be re-negotiated once insurance is depleted, according to the parameters outlined above. 

**If Insurance becomes available, or is renewed, your rate may be re-negotiated according to the parameters outlined above.

Your fee covers preparation for your session, your one hour session, as well as documentation following your session. Much time is dedicated to considering your unique circumstances and what approach may be most helpful, along with additional research and professional development.   

Appointments are flexible, and available Weekly, Bi-weekly and Monthly. Fees can be paid by credit card (Visa/MasterCard/American Express/Discover), cash or cheque, and are payable at the end of each session.

Please note that Full-time Students of Western have $500.00 in coverage for the services of a Registered Social Worker; Prescription No Longer required. Please visit the link below to complete an application:

https://www.studentbenefits.ca/landingpage?s=82

Many Employee Benefit Plans, and Private Health Plans cover some (or all) of the costs of counselling from a Registered Social Worker. It is best to check with your insurance provider prior to beginning services.

Some group benefit plans do not cover social work services because no one has asked for inclusion of this benefit. Speak with your union representative, employer or human resources department with regards to the inclusion of this valuable professional service for yourself and your colleagues. Social workers are the largest group of professionals providing counselling and psychotherapy services in North America!

In addition, as of 2012, fees for clinical social work services can now be claimed (on your tax form) as a Medical Expense Tax Deduction, due to the recognition of Social Workers as "Authorized Medical Practitioners."

2. What is your cancellation policy?

It is very important to attend your appointments for your own progress, as well as not to utilize an appointment time which could be given to another person. Please note that 48 hours notice is required for any cancellations or changes to your initial consultation or follow-up appointments, emergencies excepted. Credit card information will be collected on intake and you will be charged the full fee for cancellations or changes without 48 hours notice (including your intial consultation). If you do not attend your intial consultation, or a follow-up appointment and Credit Card information is not on file, an invoice will then be submitted to you by email, or mail, and payment is required upon receipt.

Please note that reminder notices are sent each week to provide you with an opportunity to cancel or change your appointment within the 48 hours notice requirement (weekends are included in the 48 hours). If the reason for cancellation is not an emergency, a telephone counselling appointment can be arranged in order to avoid a late cancellation charge.

3. When are counselling appointments available?

Monday: 2PM, 4PM, 6PM (Earlier/Later by Appointment)

Tuesday: 2PM, 4PM, 6PM (Earlier/Later by Appointment) 

Wednesday: 2PM, 4PM, 6PM (Earlier/Later by Appointment) 

Thursday:  2PM, 4PM, 6PM (Earlier/Later by Appointment) 

Friday: By Appointment

Please note days and times are subject to change due to availability, holidays, or Professional Development. 

4. Do you diagnose or prescribe medication?

No, my scope of practice is therapeutic and does not include providing a diagnosis or prescribing medication. If a diagnosis or medication is being sought, you may want to include the services of a physician, Psychiatrist or Psychologist as part of your treatment plan.

5. Why women-focused counselling?

Unfortunately, even as times change, women still struggle to maintain a balance between their work-life and their home-life (often causing them to question their self-identity, impacting on their relationships, career, parenting, self-esteem and body image). Your concerns as a woman are unique, due to our ever changing society and your place in history. You deserve a knowledgeable, caring counsellor dedicated to women's concerns and societal challenges; a counsellor who makes it a priority to research and increase her knowledge in this area on a regular basis, consistently seeking interventions which are specifically tailored for women.

In addition, as a woman, your important relationships directly affect your physical and mental health, and can negatively impact your coping in other areas of your life. Difficulties with your partner can increase anxiety and depression, and the improvement of your relationship can decrease these difficulties. Including your partner in your counselling process, from the outset, may be highly beneficial, and should be considered. Often, it is the female partner (in a male/female partnership) who becomes the "caretaker of the relationship" and brings the partner in for counselling. Explaining to your partner that you wish to improve yourself within the relationship and not that you want to "change/blame them" can encourage your partner to become involved.

6. How do you approach couples counselling?

My approach to couples counselling is ecletic, meaning several counselling styles will be utilized. One approach is a specialized, and highly researched theory called Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy which assists couples to understand their cycle, or their dance, that they find themselves repeating and works to replace it with ways of interacting which increase the couples empathy for, and attachment to, each other. Another approach is Acceptance and Comittment Therapy which helps couples see how some of our societal "myths" about relationships keep them stuck, and assists couples to more effectively handle painful thoughts and feelings which allows them to be more engaged with their partner. In addition, a theory, called Developmental theory is utilized to assist couples to see which "stage" of their relaitonship they may be in, and what is both normal and typical for couples to go through at each stage. Whichever approach is being utilized, each person will be heard, respected and understood, and the need to be connected and close to another will be viewed as a vital and necessary part of a full life. Extensive training, reading, research and a dedication to assisting couples, continues on an ongoing basis.

7. Are their situations that might exclude couples from counselling?

Yes, couples counselling is not recommeded for situations such as domestic violence, severe addiction or serious mental illness. If the initial intake reveals these concerns, couples may need to seek individual counselling or additional services (eg. anger management, Changing Ways, Psychiatry or Alcoholics Anonymous) prior to, or in conjunction with, couples counselling. In more severe cases, couples counselling may not be recommended entirely due to the emotional intensity of the process for couples.

8. Do you work with same-sex partnerships?

Yes. I provide counselling for same-sex female partnerships.

9. Do you offer telephone counselling? 

Yes, telephone counselling sessions can also be pre-arranged for individuals residing in Ontario and wishing to receive services without coming into the office (this service is not available for couple sessions). This type of counselling may be very beneficial for circumstances such as severe anxiety, depression, illness, grief, or for those with limited transportation, those travelling long distances for services, or those with childcare concerns. Telephone counselling can be combined with face to face counselling, and email counselling or be the sole method of intervention. Telephone counselling is available to past clients, current clients or new clients, and as single session counselling or ongoing appointments. For this type of counselling, information and "homework" is exchanged by means of email. Fees related to telephone counselling sessions are pre-paid by Credit Card, and charged the same as face to face sessions. A telephone intake is conducted, prior to beginning telephone sessions. 

10. What type of counselling style do you use?

My counselling approach, when working with individuals, is also eclectic; my concern is what works best for you, not staying loyal to any one theory; my approach will be specifically taylored for you uniquely. I gravitate towards several counselling approaches, for example, I utilize Cognitive Behavioural therapy, Dialectical Behavioural therapy, Narrative therapy, Solution-Focused therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Emotion-Focused counselling, Sandtray therapy, as well as Guided Meditation. Regardless, of the theory utilized, I consistly seek to enhance each person's strengths.

Although counselling is not always thought of in this way, counselling can be a highly creative process for both you and your counsellor; I strive to utilize a variety of methods to bring out the very best in you - your insight, talents, skills, and abilities. In addition, I am dedicated to ongoing Professional Development and I am always striving to add new knowledge, and stay up to date on current research.

11. What are the benefits of obtaining counselling from you?

First and foremost, you will be connecting with someone who is kind, caring, non-judgemental and unbiased. Someone who will give a lot of thought and attention to your circumstances beyond your counselling session - always considering what might be most helpful. Clients say my style is "easy going" and I am very "approachable." I believe this is because I am not afraid to say that I have experienced, or that I am currently experiencing similiar concerns.

Counselling from me can improve functioning in your daily life, as well as assist you in finding solutions for your concerns. I will provide you with the opportunity to feel heard, respected, and supported; I will work with you as a team (no-one knows your life or your concerns better than you); My experience, and education will be combined with your vital knowledge of your circumstances, which may lead to new ways of approaching life. You may discover or rediscover your strengths and talents, while improving the relationships most important in your life. You may feel less alone, and even find ways to laugh and have fun!  

12. Will my counselling information be shared with anyone?

My profession and professional ethics require me to keep everything you discuss in the strictest
of confidence, except where directed by law. Information will only be shared with your written consent; some exceptions include the circumstances of a) my being subpoenaed to testify in court b) you indicate serious intent to harm yourself or another person, or c) suspected child abuse or neglect.

13. How do I get started? What is the process?

If you would like to proceed with arranging Telephone Counselling or an Initial Consultation, the steps are as follows:

a) Please contact my confidential telephone line at (519) 719-5264 Free of Charge to complete the Intake, and discuss your concerns. Upon completion of the Intake, your Telephone Counselling appointment or Initial Consultation will be scheduled, or an alternate community resource will be provided, if necessary.

b) Your first appointment will be 60-90 minutes and will consist of the signing of a Letter of Agreement (which can be reviewed on this website) and a Full Assessment which will allow me to really get to know you and your concerns, as well as provide you with the opportunity to get to know my style of counselling.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet you!