Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
Before our first session
Let’s say you’ve already had your free 20 minute phone consultation and we both decided that working together will likely be a good fit. Excellent! The next step is for us to determine a date and time for our first appointment.
For scheduling therapy, we’ll ideally want to find a day and time that works on an ongoing basis — that way I can protect that time slot for you each week.
A few days before our first session, I'll send you my introductory paperwork (all online) so you can complete it prior to our first session — this way you won’t have to arrive early to fill out the necessary paperwork. This includes a consent form and a very short intake form. We’ll review the paperwork together in our first session, and go over any questions that may have come up for you.
The First Session
The first time we meet for therapy I’ll go over confidentiality with you and you can ask any questions you have about the paperwork.
We will start by you telling me about what led you to seek out therapy at this time. This is a time for you to begin to tell your story, to get a sense of what it is like to be with me in person, and for me to learn about you and your struggles and goals. I ask additional questions about your general health, how you spend your time, and your history.
Frequency of Therapy Sessions
I generally work within a once-per-week therapy model because this is what is what research tells us give you the best results. Weekly therapy provides the continuity that allows us to form a strong working relationship, for you to feel supported between sessions, and for us to actively work together toward your goals.
Sometimes, however, once a week isn’t the best fit. Toward the end of therapy, for example, once you’ve met the goals you set out to accomplish, coming to therapy every other week for a few sessions as we prepare to end our work together can be helpful.
After this, you can come back for check-ins as needed, or return to regular session when you have a new goal to work towards. There might also be times, especially at the beginning of counselling or during a particularly hard time, that you might want or need to attend therapy twice a week. I will do my best to meet your needs in these situations. Otherwise, though, we’ll plan to meet on a weekly basis, during your protected weekly time.
Are you ready for counselling?
Psychotherapy is a powerful process that has the potential for you to make significant lasting positive changes in your life, but recognize that it does require an investment of time, effort, and money. Counselling is an investment in your future, and you need to decide if you are ready to prioritize growth and change in your life.
(You might find my Therapy Prep Package useful: a free resource I send when you sign up for my newsletter)
Your own, individual state of readiness will have a significant impact on your experience. Are you ready to engage with counselling? Do you see it as an investment in your future? Do you take it seriously? Are you able to make, keep, and pay for your appointments? Are ready to show up and do the work? If so, reach out to see if we are a good fit.
Each session has been specifically arranged for you, therefore I require 48 hours notice for cancellations or rescheduling. For missed appointments or late cancellations, the full fee for the session will be charged to your credit card on file. I’ll do my best to reschedule an appointment for you.
Individual therapy sessions are 50 minutes long. Couples (or when more than one person is attending) are 80 minutes long. You may request longer sessions.
Individual counselling sessions:
— 50 min: $150 per session
— 80 min: $180 per session
Couples counselling sessions
— 50 min: $170 per session
— 80 min: $200 per session
Sessions are plus GST.
Payment is due at each session. I accept cash, cheque, or credit card payment through my secure online system, Janeapp or etransfer prior our session.
If you are an existing client but have not worked with me in the last 3 months, you will be charged my current fee unless arranged otherwise.
If you have extended health benefits, counselling with a Registered Clinical Counsellor may be covered. Please contact your insurance provider or HR department for more information. Often an insurer will add this benefit to your coverage upon your request to your HR department. If your plan covers you for counselling or psychotherapy services, you will pay for the cost of the session in full, and then submit your receipt to your extended health care provider for reimbursement. Counsellors do not interact with insurance providers directly. Counselling is not covered by MSP (but it should be!).
How many sessions do I need?
Counselling is a collaborative process where we work together to engage your potential for change and growth so that you can live your life with more energy, presence, and appreciation. Everyone is unique and come to me with a range of situations and issues, therefore the amount of session you need cannot be predicted accurately. As a broad generalization, most people who come with a specific issue they want to focus on experience significant positive change within ten sessions. Many clients gain such positive benefits from counselling that they integrate it into their lives on an ongoing basis.