What is psychotherapy? How is it different than counselling? How do I know what I require?
Psychotherapy is a regulated act in Ontario, meaning that only professionals with specific training and qualifications can practice psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is counselling by means of specific psychotherapeutic techniques delivered through a therapeutic relationship. Psychotherapy can address an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception, or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication, or social functioning.
Counselling can also be an effective method to make change in your life. For example, perhaps you are not experiencing a serious disorder or severe symptoms of mental illness at this time, but you could still use supportive, evidence-informed help from a counsellor to work through a specific problem.
I am a Registered Social Worker who can perform the regulated act of psychotherapy and provide counselling, so your bases are covered.
When should I come to counselling?
Many people come to see a mental health professional when they feel they can no longer cope. However, you can also come into counselling before things get that serious. For example, individuals often seek counselling to explore how to handle stressors differently, learn news ways to cope, and find effective ways to make changes in their life and relationships.
How can I support a loved one who is in counselling?
If someone you care about is asking for counselling or is in counselling, you can support them in lots of ways. Sometimes practical support is needed, like a ride to and from appointments, reminders about appointment times, or assisting with payments or paperwork. Sometimes you can support them by checking in about how it’s going, if they’d like you to be involved in their counselling in some way, or by being there for them while they’re doing the difficult work of making change.
Either way, checking in with your loved one about what support they need or want, and if they would like you to ask them about their counselling is a great starting place.
I also offer services for loved ones, caregivers, and parents.
What can I expect at your office?
My office is located at 68 N. Algoma St, Suite 102. My name is on the door. The office is accessible. When you enter the building from St. Joseph Street, you will walk straight down a hallway to another door with my name on it. My waiting room is shared with another counsellor. While you may occasionally see another person accessing help, we schedule our appointments at different times to enhance privacy.
Take a seat, have a glass of water or cup of tea, and I will be out in a moment to bring you into my private counselling space.
When you leave, you will be able to exit through the back door which brings you up a set of stairs to the parking lot. Please ask if you require accommodation, and you will be able to leave out of the accessible entrance.
How long will counselling take?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to answer this question. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time to accomplish your goals depends on your specific circumstances.
There are interventions that specifically support people in short-term periods or even single single sessions, called Solution-Focused Therapy. If this is something that interests you, please feel free to bring this up when we speak.
You also get to decide when to start and stop counselling and you are able to return if you ever feel like you could use more help.