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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is a psychotherapist different from a psychologist or a psychiatrist?
    I know, they kind of all sound the same, but I'll try to cover some of the key differences between them! While a psychotherapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist can all offer psychotherapy services, they are not interchangeable. Psychotherapists are licensed under a provincial regulatory body, commonly the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario. They require a Master's degree, and are not able to diagnose or prescribe medication. Their services are not covered by OHIP, but many insurance plans do provide coverage. They are more focused on talk therapy as opposed to clinical areas of practice. Psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. They require a PhD, are able to provide a diagnosis, but are not able to prescribe medication. There services are not covered by OHIP, but many insurance plans do provide coverage. They are typically more clinically focused than psychotherapists. Psychiatrists are considered medical practitioners, and are regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. They will hold a medical degree, are covered by OHIP, and are able to diagnose and prescribe medication. Not all psychiatrists are trained in or provide psychotherapy - the primary focus is on prescribing and monitoring any medications that may be part of a client's treatment plan.
  • What is the difference between psychotherapy and coaching?
    While there can definitely be some overlap between the two, psychotherapy tends to be longer term, more in-depth, and more focused on emotional support than coaching is. Here is a list of common issues that are often addressed by psychotherapy - in no way an exhaustive one, but you get the gist. Conversely, coaching tends to be shorter term, and focuses more on self-empowerment, goal-setting, personal development, coming up with strategies to help you reach your career, personal, financial, health, or relationship goals, and overcoming the main obstacles standing in your way. Coaching is not counselling, so you wouldn't necessarily go into a coaching session expecting emotional support or spending much time unpacking your past.
  • What is "person-centered therapy"?
    Person-centered therapy is an approach that puts the client in the driver's seat. Rather than setting an agenda or being overly directive, a person-centered therapist will focus on supporting you on your journey without presuming to know better than you what your destination ought to be. My own approach is rooted in Person-Centered Therapy, although I take a somewhat more active role in sessions than person-centered therapists are generally known for. For more information on how I approach therapy, visit my About page!
  • How can I tell if I need to talk to a therapist?
    This is a personal call, and a subjective one at that! When I think of needs, I think of food, water, sleep, oxygen, and so on. Nobody technically "needs" therapy, but I think that many people can certainly benefit from it. If you're wondering if starting therapy is right for you based on where you currently are in your life, my guess is that you're not where you want to be. We have a tendency to wait until things get "bad enough" before we seek help, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you're unhappy, that's more than reason enough to reach out!
  • How can I find a therapist in Toronto?
    It can get pretty exhausting to sift through the countless therapy practices that come up in your google search, but fortunately, there are a number of directories that make finding therapists much simpler. The great thing about directories is that you can filter based on your specific needs! Two of the largest and most well-known directories are Psychology Today and Good Therapy . Another comprehensive one is Since these directories are huge, you can set Toronto as your location to narrow down your search. In fact, you can search by neighbourhood as well! My practice is located in Midtown, Toronto, and many clients find me specifically be searching that location.
  • How do I choose the right therapist for me?
    There are many different therapists in Toronto, but it goes without saying that not all of them are going to be the best fit for you. So here are a few tips to help you screen out the therapists you believe are incompatible with your needs and focus instead on the ones who are compatible. Many directories will allow you to filter therapists by their therapeutic approaches, issues they deal with, areas of specialization, rates, spoken languages, and so on. Set your filters, and see who comes up! Reach out to therapists and inquire about a consultation call if they don't already advertise one. A consultation call is a great way for a therapist and potential client to break the ice ahead of a first session and gauge if they'd make a good team, so I highly recommend prioritizing therapists who offer them. What kind of first impression did the therapist make when you reached out? Did they take over a week to respond, if at all, or did they reply promptly? Are they friendly, approachable, and attentive, or do they seem distant, overly clinical, or impersonal? Consultation calls. Yes, again. I can't emphasize enough how helpful these can be! This is an opportunity for you to speak with a therapist for free and potentially save yourself the time, money, and hassle of booking a full session with someone, only to discover that their approach or personality doesn't work for you. So take advantage of the opportunity to chat with them ahead of an official appointment! If you're getting a weird vibe from a therapist or just don't think you gel with them, keep looking. Being able to develop a positive relationship with your therapist makes all the difference. It doesn't matter how skilled or well-educated a therapist is - if their approach isn't right for you or you don't feel comfortable with them, you're unlikely to get very much out of your sessions. So take as much time as you need to find someone who's actually a good fit!
  • What does a typical therapy session involve?
    The content of a session can vary considerably. Sometimes you have a concrete goal or specific stressful event that you want to discuss, and sometimes you just need space to vent. Since a lot of people aren't sure what to expect from their initial session, maybe it would help to go over those in more detail. During an initial appointment, your therapist will usually set aside the first 10 minutes or so to go over limits of confidentiality and address any questions you may have about therapy, privacy, and so on. First sessions are mainly focused on getting a feel for your therapist and seeing if the two of you are a good fit, your therapist getting to know you and your goals in more detail, and discussing what you would like to get out of therapy. Ideally, you and your therapist would already have had the chance to chat and get better acquainted during a short consultation call, so in many ways a first session can built on that initial interaction.
  • How many therapy sessions will I need?
    A lot of that will depend on your goals and what kind of sessions you're looking for. Are you reaching out because of a time-limited issue (e.g. school exam stress) or looking for coaching? In that case, you may find that shorter-term therapy (something like 6 - 12 sessions) offers you what you were looking for. It can take around 3 sessions for therapy to hit its stride, so I generally recommend at least 6 sessions if you find that you click really well with your therapist. For people who want support with longer standing issues or want to focus on more in depth topics, there's really no specific amount or set limit. Some goals, such as exploring the underlying causes of certain patterns and behaviours, resolving emotions related to past events, increasing self-awareness, working on relationships, and overcoming depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem, will typically lend themselves to longer term therapy.
  • How often do you recommend that I attend therapy sessions?
    As often as: a) you find beneficial b) fits your budgeting needs There is no "correct" answer here, but generally speaking, I find that clients see the most benefit from initially attending on a more frequent basis, such as weekly or bi-weekly. After some time, they may start spacing them out to every three weeks, once per month, once every couple of months, and so on. The only guidance I would give here is to be honest with yourself about how you're feeling. Progress isn't linear - it's totally normal to be in a good place and go for months without therapy, followed by hitting a speed bump and being inspired to reach out again. That's not failure; it's just being human. Therapy is a tool - so long as it's helpful to you, use it!
  • Is psychotherapy covered by OHIP?
    Unfortunately, psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP. However, many insurance companies do provide coverage for it, so check with your employer to see if your extended benefits include psychotherapy!
  • Will my benefits cover my psychotherapy sessions?
    That largely depends on your employer, but as of now, many extended benefits plans do in fact cover registered psychotherapists! If you're unsure, check with your HR department and ask if your plan specifically covers "Registered Psychotherapists," or "RP's." As a result of the pandemic and the increased interest in mental health services, many insurance providers that previously didn't cover psychotherapists have started do. If your plan is under a provider that covers RP's but does not list them, employers are able to update their plans by just adding in RP's to reflect the expansion of coverage. It comes at no extra cost to them, so it never hurts to ask!
  • Is everything I say in therapy confidential?
    The majority of the time, yes, but there are specific situations in which a therapist has a duty to disclose something that has been discussed in a session. These are referred to as "limits of confidentiality." Limits of confidentiality include, but are not limited to, instances in which the therapist has a duty to report something that was said, has their notes subpoenaed by a court of law, or needs to act in order to prevent harm or danger to their client or another individual. It's important that your therapist take the time to go over the limits of confidentiality with you in detail and answer any questions you might have before initiating therapy with you. These are conditions that need to be outlined in writing so that you can review them before giving written consent to begin therapy, and your therapist has an ethical obligation to go over them with you verbally at the start of your first session as well.
  • Do you offer online therapy?
    You bet! In fact, right now all of my sessions take place either virtually or over the phone, depending on your preference. The video platform I use is Doxy, and I provide clients with a link to the video chatroom prior to their first session.
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