How long and how many times a week is a typical session?
Sessions are usually 50 minutes long. Most clients are seen once a week in the beginning, then, as time goes on, less frequently. The number of sessions depends on what your current needs are. I see some clients for only 3 to 5 sessions, and others over a longer period of time. At Toronto's Mindful Solutions Clinic, your needs will be re-evaluated with you periodically as your goals are achieved and you set new ones for yourself. It's a very collaborative process!
How long will I be in the counselling or coaching relationship?
The length of time a client is in counselling or coaching depends on the nature of the problem, and the goals you would like to achieve. Some clients have a very specific problem that can be worked through in a set course of sessions. For others, counselling or coaching is an on-going learning process, and they choose to receive our services over a longer period of time. You are the ultimate decision-maker as to how long our working relationship will last!
How are session structured? A counselling session with a mindfulness and acceptance-based therapist typically consists of talk therapy, along with some in-session mindfulness practices that will help reconnect you with your mind, body and feelings. Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy may also involve regular home practice assignments that will encourage you keep up your new skills between sessions. There will be a lot of psychoeducation involved in our work together, to help you learn and practice new life tools.
How soon can I have my first session? Do you have a wait list? I do not currently have a wait list. This means that our first session likely can be booked within one week after our free 30-minute phone consultation. Only clients who have had a free 30 minute consultation can book an initial session with me. The free consult is an opportunity for the both of us to see whether we would be the right fit to work with one another.
Do I need a referral from my doctor? You do not need a doctor's referral to begin counselling or coaching at Toronto's Mindful Solutions Clinic. However, such a referral may be required by your extended health insurance carrier, if you have one. Please check with them to see whether this is the case.
I have extended health insurance through my workplace benefits. Can I get reimbursed for your services? Yes! My psychotherapy services are indeed covered by all extended Canadian health insurance plans (e.g.: Great West Life, Manulife, Blue Cross, etc.), since my practice is supervised by a registered psychologist. As each extended health plan can differ, depending on what your employer negotiated with the insurance carrier, please check your own insurance plan regarding your specific coverage (i.e.: maximum dollar amount or percentage covered per session, maximum dollar amount covered annually, and whether your plan runs on a calendar year or other, such as June 1st to May 31th). Please note that neither counselling nor coaching services are covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan, aka Canadian Universal Health Care).
Do you prescribe medications? No. Coaches, Counsellors and Psychotherapists are not legally allowed to prescribe medications. However, based on a joint assessment of the mental health problems you are facing, it may be advisable to consult with a psychiatrist or family doctor to determine whether medication is warranted. We can talk about possible referrals should the need arise.
Are my sessions confidential? As your psychotherapist and life coach, I will always respect your right to privacy and confidentiality. This means that your information will not be communicated, directly or indirectly, to a third party without your informed and written consent. However, there are some limits to confidentiality. I have legal and ethical obligations which may limit your right to privacy and confidentiality in the following circumstances: * Informing the Children's Aid Society if there is a suspicion of a child being at risk, or in need of protection, due to neglect, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse * Releasing your client file if court ordered to do so * Informing an appropriate family member, health care professional, or police, if necessary, of your intention to end your life * Informing a potential victim of violence of your intention to harm him or her
* Case consultation with my supervising psychologist, especially if you are using your extended health insurance plan for reimbursement
What exactly do you mean by "mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies"? Mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies, including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), are distinct forms of psychotherapy that incorporate the practice of mindfulness and compassion-based strategies with cognitive behavioural therapy. Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges when we deliberately pay attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. It is the act of regulating one’s attention, so that focus is grounded in the present moment, while also being aware of one’s body, thoughts, surroundings and feelings. Mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies teach us to become aware of, and cultivate acceptance of, our thoughts and feelings without judgment. By remaining grounded in the present moment, mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies help us to come out of our usual unhelpful patterns of automatic reactions to thoughts, feelings and events. In this way, we will be able to respond rather than react, thereby reducing the likelihood of “flipping our lid”, or acting impulsively in the heat of the moment. For more information, please click over to the Mindfulness Training page.
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Mindfulness And Acceptance-Based Therapies? Mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies have been shown to improve concentration, and ease symptoms of mental and physical conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, drug abuse/dependence, and chronic pain. A regular mindfulness practice has also been shown to increase one’s level of compassion and equanimity toward the self and others.