Psychotherapy is not easily described. It varies depending on the therapist and the client, and the particular challenges people bring to therapy. The key to my clients’ successes in therapy is the willingness to work. To work on subjects we discuss during our sessions as well as at home. I sometimes suggest homework for between sessions I think is helpful.
Risks and Benefits of Therapy
Psychotherapy has risks and benefits. It often involves discussing unpleasant events or aspects of your life. You may experience uncomfortable feelings. Sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness are not uncommon. Psychotherapy has also shown to have benefits for people who use it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. Therapy success is often not straightforward, but a case of “two steps forward/one step back”.
The Therapeutic Process
Our first two to four sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs. During this time, we both decide if I am the best person to help you reach your treatment goals. We discuss what brings you to therapy, background information and any goals that you want to work on. By the end of these sessions, we will have a plan on how to proceed over the upcoming sessions.
Sessions are a 50-minute hour. Frequency of sessions bases on how often you would like to meet, as well as what may be therapeutically in your best interest.
You have the right to ask questions about anything that happens in therapy. I will discuss how and why I’ve decided to do what I’m doing. We can also look at alternatives that might work better for you. Feel free to ask to try something that you think helpful. Talk to me about any concerns that you may have. You can also request I refer you to someone else if you decide that I’m not the right therapist for you. You are free to leave therapy at any time.
Confidentiality of all communications between a client and therapist is protected by law and the ethics of College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). I can only release information about our work to others, or even that you are in therapy with me, with your written permission.
There are some situations when I am legally obligated to break confidentiality in order to protect others from harm. Where I have a duty to report to Family and Children’s Service and/or the police include:
- Abuse to themselves or to another (physical, sexual, emotional) where the young person is under 16 years of age;
- Intention to hurt themselves (suicidal);
- Intention to hurt another person (homicidal)
- Where I have reason to suspect that a young person has been or is currently being abused, or at risk of abuse; but also includes
- When domestic violence is reported and there is a child (children) in the home
- The situation where a client discloses that he/she was abused in childhood and there is a possibility that the abuser may be a danger to the children now.
Under these conditions, I will let you know that I have a duty to report the information that I have received to the appropriate authorities.
While the following is not a legal exception to confidentiality, I have a policy when working with couples in therapy. If you or your partner decide to have some individual sessions as part of the couples’ therapy, what you say in those individual sessions will be considered to be a part of the couples’ therapy. It can be discussed in joint sessions.
If you have questions or concerns about the therapy experience, please contact me and we can talk about them.