Our responses to a sample of questions commonly asked by patients are presented below. If you have questions or would like more information about our practice, please feel free to contact us.
What is a clinical psychologist?
A clinical psychologist is a regulated health care professional. In Ontario, psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. The College functions to assure that psychologists maintain the highest standards of professional practice and conduct. Only psychologists who are registered with the College on the basis of a doctoral degree are permitted to use the title “doctor”. Doctoral level clinical psychologists are among the most highly educated, trained and experienced health care providers in the field of mental health.
What might I expect during our first meeting?
Many people feel nervous about the first meeting and, in particular, about the prospect of sharing personal information with a stranger. That said, it is common for people to state that they began to feel more at ease or even relieved as their initial meeting progressed. It is our job to create a meeting space in which patients feel comfortable, safe, and secure.
The first meeting is an opportunity for your psychologist to get to know you. Your therapist will invite you to share whatever information you wish. He/she will also ask you questions in order to better understand or clarify the information you provide.
The first meeting is also an opportunity for you to get a sense of whether or not your psychologist is the right fit for you. We appreciate the importance of “fit” and, if you were to feel you would rather see another therapist, we would be pleased to recommend other professionals who might be a better match. Similarly, if we were to determine that another professional may be better able to meet your needs and goals, we would discuss this with you and, upon your request, refer you to someone better suited.
What is your approach to therapy?
While each of us has his/her own approach and style, we share the following fundamentals:
- We believe it is crucial to establish a positive and collaborative working relationship with our patients.
- We place a strong emphasis on developing a full and thorough understanding of our patients’ concerns.
- We are integrative in that we use several evidence-based treatment approaches, including psychodynamic/interpersonal, existential/humanistic, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and family systems.
- We pay attention to the unique treatment needs of each individual. No two therapies are alike.
- We are empathic, sincere, and non-judgmental.
How long does therapy take?
The duration of therapy varies across different people and is dependent on a number of factors. After your psychologist has met with you and assessed your situation, he/she will be able to recommend a course of treatment for you. Generally speaking, treatment length ranges from short-term (12-20 sessions) to long-term (over one year). Regardless of its duration, you should notice signs of progress over the entire course of your treatment.
What should I expect at the end of treatment?
Treatment outcomes are described differently by different patients. Many individuals focus on the resolution of their symptoms. Others refer to their personal growth. Still others describe having benefitted in ways that are beyond what they had considered or expected prior to treatment. In one way or another, as their therapies draw to a close, our patients talk about having developed inner capacities and resources that allow for a richer and more fulfilling life.