Our services and processes are designed to ensure our clients feel safe and comfortable at all times.
Here are answers to some common questions, but if you have any additional concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Clinical psychologists are doctors concerned with the assessment, treatment, and prevention of mental health issues. Our roles may overlap with the work of social workers, counsellors, and other allied health care professionals however, what separates us from other disciplines is our ability to diagnose mental disorders and conduct psychological assessments. We are also highly trained in the treatment of mental health concerns and have experience treating a variety of disorders. By the time a clinical psychologist is in independent practice, they have completed approximately 10 years of post-secondary education, undertaken extensive clinical training, and passed rigorous registration exams. With the exception of psychiatrists, no other mental health professionals possess this level of education and training.
Psychologists and psychiatrists generally acquire the same amount of education and training. Psychologists have doctoral degrees in psychology and specialize in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of human emotion, thought and behaviour. They have advanced training in psychotherapy and the science of behaviour change. Psychologists are the only professionals qualified to use certain kinds of psychological tests to assess intelligence as well as emotional and behavioural problems and neuropsychological dysfunction.
Psychiatrists, like your family physician, have degrees in medicine. In Ontario, psychiatrists tend to focus on the biological aspects of mental health while psychologists tend to focus on the cognitive, emotional and behavioural. The practice of most psychiatrists in Ontario is focused on prescribing medications and consulting with family physicians, psychologists and other health professionals. In fact, psychologists and psychiatrists often work very closely together.
* Taken from Ontario Psychological Association website.
In most cases you do not require a referral from a physician, unless your extended health care provider requires a physician’s referral for reimbursement of fees paid for psychological services. Our services, however, are not dependent on a physician referral.
Appointments are generally one hour for individual therapy sessions. The clinical hour is 50 minutes, with the final 10 minutes used for notes and making any phone calls/emails on your behalf. Parent consultations are 25 minutes when scheduled with a child/adolescent session. When scheduled separately, parent consultations range from 25 to 50 minutes. For initial interviews, appointments range from 50 to 80 minutes depending on the number of people. Interviews for individual clients are generally one clinical hour, whereas parent and child/adolescent interviews are often 80 minutes.
Assessments are conducted in two sessions, ranging from 2 to 4 hours each, for a total of 4 to 8 hours, depending on the client’s age and nature of the assessment.
Your first appointment involves three steps:
- First, we review with you and/or your child the components of informed consent as defined by the Health Care Consent Act (1996), and the limits to confidentiality. Once informed consent is obtained, we can proceed with the service.
- Next, we interview you and/or your child to clarify the presenting problem(s) and review relevant background information such as family, medical/developmental, academic, social, and occupational history.
- Finally, we’ll discuss the therapeutic (or assessment) process and together, identify possible goals for treatment. For an assessment, we will provide you with a timeline for reporting results and completing a formal report.
Currently, psychological services are not covered by the OHIP system. However, many employers offer extended health care benefits which may cover some or all of your psychological services costs.
We take privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Our clients’ identities (including parents and children), their attendance at sessions, and the information collected during sessions are handled in a strictly confidential manner according to the professional standards set out by the College of Psychologists of Ontario if your practitioner is a psychologist, or the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers if your practitioner is a social worker. We are required to keep records of our contact with you, and a confidential file will be maintained, with complete records of you and/or your child’s assessment, sessions, and/or all other relevant communications. Generally speaking, only your psychologist or social worker will have access to your file.
There can be unusual circumstances when information may be released with or without the client’s (or their parent’s/guardians) consent:
- If a client presents an imminent danger to themselves or others, the practitioner (in this section meaning the psychologist, social worker, or psychotherapist treating you or your loved one) is legally and morally obligated to protect the client or other person.
- If a client provides information that gives reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is being sexually, emotionally, or physical abused, or will be abused or neglected, the practitioner is legally required to report the information to the Children’s Aid Society.
- The practitioner must comply with a subpoena requiring the release a client’s records by a court of law. Practitioners files are not “privileged” documents. In this case, every attempt will be made to satisfy the subpoena with a letter to be discussed with the client.
- All regulated health professionals must report any sexual abuse of a patient or client by another health professional to the appropriate regulatory body. The client’s name can only be included in the psychologist’s report with the client’s written consent.
- Psychologists’ files are subjected to random reviews by confidential “Quality Assurance Assessors” from The College of Psychologists of Ontario. Social worker’s files are subjected to random reviews by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
There is no prescribed length of treatment. For some clients, therapy may consist of a few sessions, while for others it may continue for several months. The treatment plan and decisions regarding the continuation of services are always developed in collaboration with you (and/or your child).
Our fees vary depending on the services provided and are consistent with the Ontario Psychological Association’s recommended rates. Please contact us for information regarding fees for specific services.
There are many different types of psychotherapy that have proven to be effective for various issues related to mental health challenges. We only use evidence-based therapies, which means there is a body of evidence to support effectiveness. We will work together to determine the best fit for you with the highest probability of success to reach your goals in a timely and cost-effective manner.
In a crisis you may try to contact the office, however this is not the nature of our practice, and we CANNOT GUARANTEE OUR AVAILABILITY. Instead, IMMEDIATELY phone one of the following:
Community Crisis Centre: 519-973-4435
The Distress Centre: 519-256-5000
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Or go to your nearest Emergency Room if you feel you cannot keep yourself, or your loved one safe.
In Windsor-Essex, if you are 17-years or older, visit WRH-Ouellette Campus at 1030 Ouellette Ave. If you are younger than 17, visit WRH Met Campus at 1995 Lens Avenue.