Why Therapy?

Why come to therapy? Most of the time, when people hit a rough patch, they can keep on going - even though things are difficult for a while. Sometimes, that difficulty is permanent. Or it has resulted in permanent changes to how you live or think. Or it's simply too much to sort through alone. Sometimes, issues overlap - it can be hard to tease out what is anxiety versus depression versus both!
 
How does what you are experiencing impact your ability to function on a daily basis? Are your symptoms interfering with your ability to complete the things you need or want to do?
 
When you get to a point where your coping skills aren't working, or your limits have been reached - that's where seeking support comes in. Therapy can help you work through what's keeping you stuck as well as expand your coping skills. When it comes to determining goals for therapy, the the most important question is: what does success look like for you? What does mental health look like for you? My job is to help you get there.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do you charge?
Intake sessions: $200
Relationship counselling (90 minutes): $200
Individual therapy sessions: $150
Please note that I am currently only able to offer direct billing for Alberta Blue Cross. If you are using insurance benefits, please check with your provider as to reimbursement as well as for number of sessions covered by your plan.
Do you offer sliding scale fees?
Yes. The current fee schedule set out by the College of Alberta Psychologists gives an hourly rate of $210/hour. Unfortunately, the reality is that those who are most likely to need mental health supports are least likely to be able to afford them. Part of how I ensure accessibility to my services is through a set number of pro-bono and low-cost spots. People who can afford to pay my full fees keep the doors open for folks who can't. If you need access to sliding scale, please don't hesitate to contact me directly, and we'll collaborate to figure out what's workable for you.
How long are intake sessions?
An intake session involves taking your history, discussing informed consent, confidentiality, what to expect with regard to counselling, and providing information as well as discussing any questions or concerns. I book individual intake sessions for 90 minutes so that we can discuss the above while also leaving time for specifically therapeutic work. I book relationship counselling intake sessions (2+ people) for 2 hours for the same reason.
How long are sessions?
I book individual sessions for 50 minutes, and relationship sessions (2+ people) for 80 minutes. Therapy is hard work! It might not seem like it, but therapy requires both your energy and focus. More importantly, leaving 10 minutes at the end gives us a bit of wiggle room if there are last-minute discussions, ideas for your next session, or if it would be helpful to end with some grounding.
What if I'm late or need to cancel?
Please let me know as soon as possible if you're running late or something has gone sideways and you expect to be delayed. Life happens, and I do my best to accommodate unexpected circumstances (i.e., I won't charge you for a missed session if you had an emergency). However, accommodations may be limited by my schedule at the time. Same with cancellations: please let me know ASAP if you need to cancel or reschedule.
How often do I need to come to therapy?
Again, individual needs are the main factor here. While there are different needs at different points in the therapeutic process, we will find the best balance for you. Maybe that looks like coming once a month, maybe it looks like once a week or once every three months. Maybe frequency changes depending on how things are going at a particularly time. What matters is whether or not the scheduling works for you and that you're able to access support as needed.
What if therapy doesn't work for me?
Sometimes, we feel ready to begin before we're actually ready to do so. That's ok! The healing process isn't linear, like a road map. It's more like trying to figure out where a ball of spaghetti starts and ends. Therapy is a process, and stopping and starting are sometimes just how it goes. It's ok to come to a session, realize that maybe you're not ready to work on X yet, and come back to it later. It's also ok to start therapy and realize that you need to take a break before continuing.
What if we don't "click?"
The connection between therapist and client is (in my humble opinion) the most important part of the therapeutic process. That said, sometimes people just don't mesh, or don't have much of a connection. That's ok! That's part of the reason I do free phone/video consultations. It's a low-risk way to check in with how we might work together, and if we don't "click," I am happy to provide referrals to other excellent therapists. What matters is that you are able to access supports that work for you and support your wellbeing.
Do you work with other health professionals?
Absolutely! The circle of care - or all of the people, professional or otherwise, who are involved in supporting your health - can be an essential part of therapy. With your consent, I am happy to work with medical professionals, support workers, professional/personal caregivers, etc. At the end of the day, what matters is what works best for you and to support your healing.
Blue Bird