Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions about therapy with me. Feel free to contact me via the contact page if you have other questions.
How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?
Finding the right therapist may take some time. It’s very important that the therapist you choose has experience treating trauma; however it is the quality of your relationship with your therapist that is most important. Choose a trained specialist with whom you feel comfortable. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel safe, respected, or understood, find another therapist. There should be a sense of trust, friendliness and genuineness between you and your therapist.
Because therapy is a very personal experience, it is important for you find the right therapist for you. If either of us feels that a different therapist or different approach to therapy would be more suitable to your needs, then I am happy to refer you to someone who would be a better fit.
It is important to match the therapy style to the client and not the client to the therapy. It is for that reason that I have an eclectic toolkit to match the needs of my clients. I generally use therapy modalities such as Somatic Experiencing, Self Regulation Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Self Compassion Therapy and Solution Focussed Therapy.
How do I know if I would benefit from therapy?
First of all, it is important for me to emphasize that anyone who takes the steps to go for therapy is demonstrating an admirable act of inner strength, hope, and foresight.
Second, it is important to recognize that therapy is only 1 hour every week or two so benefiting from therapy requires work on your part. Your willingness to try or experiment with new ways of thinking, new ways of being, new ways of interacting, etc. will determine how beneficial therapy is for you.
Location, costs, and forms for appointments?
I see clients during the day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each appointment will be for 55-60 minutes (unless otherwise arranged) and will cost $200/session (the suggested rate of the College of Alberta Psychologists). I accept e-transfers, cash, cheques, and credit cards. I do not take debit cards. I will send you a receipt by email after our session, which can be submitted to your insurance provider. I do not deal with insurance companies directly.
Sessions cancelled less than 24 hours before a session will be billed at the session rate and are not eligible for reimbursement. Discretion is exercised only in exceptional circumstances.
You will need to sign a consent for therapy, which is available on the forms page. You are not required to fill these out before hand, though it might save some session time.
Due to COVID all sessions are online
Currently ALL sessions are online.
What is your cancellation policy?
There is no fee for cancelations made 24 hours or more in advance. Sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours will be billed at the session rate and are not eligible for reimbursement. Discretion is exercised only in exceptional circumstances. I do ask to keep a credit card on file to cover the cost of cancellations with less than 24-hour notice.
What kind of therapies are you trained in?
My primary therapeutic style is based on the somatic or body-oriented therapies. Somatic therapy is based on neuropsychological research on the nervous system and how it is impacted by a full range of traumatic events, from violent crimes to childhood dental work and all issues, in between. For more information see Somatic Experiencing and Self Regulation Therapy.
I am an attachment-oriented therapist. This is an insight-oriented approach that focuses on the relationship between therapist and client as the vehicle for healing. So for all therapy, I seek to maintain a positive working relationship between the client and me. I have additional training and/or supervision in other therapy modalities Solution Focussed, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Hakomi.
Is therapy long-term or short-term?
I find that therapy is a very personal thing and the approaches I use are tailored to each client. Thus, some people may require a short term, focused approach, while others benefit from a longer term, more open-ended approach in which building a trusting therapeutic relationship is an integral part of the therapy.
It is difficult to predict how many sessions an individual will need to achieve their goals for therapy because each person is so unique in their resiliency and risk factors. Also, self care and the level of healthy living (sleeping, writing, practicing new coping tools, eating fresh, real foods, time outdoors, etc.) can greatly impact the duration of therapy.
What are your guiding principles?
The heart of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and client in which both parties contribute and work together to heal and to support the psychological growth in the person.
The mind and body are inseparable and we might have a range of physical symptoms that may be related to mental and environmental stress.
Self compassion and the ability to feel emotions are the foundations to all healing.
Symptoms are often signs or signals that something within ourselves or our environment is causing us unhappiness or distress. Symptoms, in a way, can be viewed as positive because they point out our need to change and often offer clues to the solutions we need.
Clients are not a set of problems or a walking diagnosis but are unique, whole human beings. Therapy must address the whole person. The whole person needs to sustained and nourished with adequate sleep, nutritious foods, safe socializing, and other meaningful activities. So taking care of yourself during therapy is especially beneficial.
Being in therapy can help increase self regulation, gain insight into problems, address problematic thinking and beliefs, and also discuss problem solving but change actually takes place outside the therapy room. Outside in the real world is where clients practice and develop their strengths and their skills.
As a therapist, I encourage clients, who are interested, to achieve deeper changes by helping them to gain a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives and to develop or refine their own philosophy of living.
A therapist should always preserve, support and uphold the dignity and equality of the client. Clients deserve the highest ethical standards when coming to a therapist.