Q. Can I claim for psychotherapy on my health insurance?
A. It depends upon your particular plan. The best way of checking is generally to call your insurance provider to ask. Be sure to ask about Regulated Psychotherapists (RP).
Q. What is your fee per session?
A. My fee for new clients is $200 + HST per session.
Q. Why choose therapy?
A. People who are struggling with mental health are faced with a difficult choice over how to move forward. There is a vast array of products and services on the market, all of which promise health, vitality and well-being.I believe that therapy, at its best, is the most rigorous approach, by which I mean it doesn’t just deal with symptoms, thereby covering up the underlying issue, but actively seeks to “go there” and to deal with problems at root. Therapy usually involves discussing past, present and perhaps less frequently, future.
Example: Two sisters have depression. Emily goes to the doctor and takes the anti-depressants she’s prescribed. This helps her, though she experiences side-effects including numbing. Ten years later, she’s still taking them, and is scared of stopping - she knows her symptoms will probably return.
Amelia takes a different route, into psychotherapy. After two years of considerable work and expense, she understands what’s really happening in her depression, and has learned how to take care of herself better. When she weans herself off therapy, she feels she’s learned a lot, and knows how to better manage any remaining symptoms.
Q. I’ve been to therapy before, but it was just “supportive” - how can you take me further?
A. Firstly, some people want “supportive” work, and that’s fine. I think that if I drew a pie-chart of my own practice, you’d certainly find some people who come for that support and are not interested in delving deeper. For this reason, I work as a coach for people like this, albeit a coach who has a lot of experience working in psychotherapy.
Examples might be:
- If you’re in a highly stressful situation, such as separation or career change
- If you want to attend to the mind/body continuum by getting in better physical shape/weight loss.
If however you’re interested in true psychotherapy, I’d say that one thing we need is time. We have to get to know your world. It’s there that we find repeating patterns and the reasons you feel stuck. Under your anxiety may be a battle for self-esteem, or under your depression you might be trying to reconcile different parts of yourself. These things require patience to come to light, and they take a keen therapeutic ear as well as time to work through.
Q. I’m trying to wean myself off medication - can you help with that?
A. For some conditions, such as bi-polar or schizophrenia, medication is advisable and you should always consult your doctor if you’re struggling with your medication. However, many people I meet are interested in weaning themselves off medication, especially anxiety medication and SSRI “anti-depressants”. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice on reducing your dosage, but psychotherapy offers a way to treat the root of the problem, rather than the symptoms of it. I work with many people who’d like to reduce or eliminate a dependence on medication and am happy to work alongside you and your doctor in order to do so.