How is therapy being provided virtually?
If you've ever chatted with loved ones over Face Time, Skype, WhatsApp or Duo, video sessions are similar. Because therapy appointments require the highest level of security, I use a paid encrypted (secure) service offered through the Jane platform. Jane Telehealth is compliant with The Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). This means I have taken every precaution to make sure our sessions are secure and private. The great thing about video sessions is that it allows us to still see one another and pick up on important non-verbal cues. If you're unsure about making the transition to online video sessions, that's okay, phone sessions remain an option as well. I have also have a Microsoft 365 Business Premium account as an alterative to Jane and/or for sessions with multiple guests in different locations.
Of note, I have always offered video and phone sessions, even before the covid19 pandemic, to help make attending therapy as convenient as possible. Online video sessions can be convenient for those that are unable to attend sessions in person due to distance, work schedules, child care, illness, weather, etc. As such, I have taken the proper time to research and test various online video platforms before carefully selecting Jane and Microsoft Teams. Please reach out if you have any questions.
What to expect with counselling?
Seeking out and attending counselling can be anxiety provoking, as it can be difficult to acknowledge when we, or a loved one are struggling. Counselling is meant to be a comfortable, safe space, where you will be encouraged to share and process your feelings/experiences while learning new thinking and behavioural habits. Counselling can be very rewarding as you start to see positive shifts in yourself and your relationships. It can also be challenging as we review life experiences that may have been upsetting and/or traumatic. I am here to support you through your journey and help nudge you along to get through to the other side of things.
During the first couple sessions I will gather information about your experiences and what brought you to counselling. This information will help guide my treatment approach. Together we will set measurable goals and determine the frequency of sessions.
What do people mean when they talk about a “good fit” and/or the therapeutic connection?
Research has shown that success in therapy has less to do with the actual therapeutic approach and more to do with the therapeutic alliance or “fit” between therapist and client. It is important you feel comfortable and safe with your therapist.
How many sessions will I need?
This will be different for everyone and will be informed by the circumstances that brought you to counselling, and your treatment goals. Many people benefit from 6 – 8 sessions, while some clients experience success with only a few sessions, and some with longer term support. We will determine the right fit for you during your first few appointments. Attending weekly or bi-weekly sessions is recommended especially for the first 3-6 sessions, as it helps with momentum.
Many clients also benefit from follow-up or maintenance sessions, as needed. These can be described as a booster session to help remind us about the skills we learned in therapy, when we run into a new stressor or life transition.
Can I text with my therapist?
I do not communicate with clients via text messages for a variety of reasons:
Will my information be kept private?
Yes. In keeping with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers, Code of Ethics, and Ontario privacy legislation, known as the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), all discussions within counselling sessions are strictly confidential. I will not share any information about you without your informed and written consent. However, there are certain situations where personal information can be disclosed without consent:
Is email secure/private?
As per above, I take privacy and confidentiality seriously, so have purchased my own email domain, which provides end-to-end encrypted messages. This means the content of emails is encrypted, or disguised in order to protect sensitive information from being read by anyone other than the intended recipient.
Please note that I use email communication for administrative purposes, such as scheduling appointments and sharing resource information. I am not able to respond to crisis situations via email.
Are fees covered by my insurance?
If you have extended health benefits through your employer, you may have coverage for psychotherapy and social work services. I encourage you to speak with your insurance provider to inquire about counselling services provided by a Registered Social Worker.
Please note that psychotherapy services provided by Registered Social Workers are also recognized as an income tax deductible medical expense by Revenue Canada.
What do I do in a crisis situation?
While I do my best to be responsive to your needs in between sessions, I may not always be available to respond to a crisis situation. If you are in crisis or in need of immediate emotional support, please call Here 24/7 at 1-844-437-3247 for addictions, mental health and crisis support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Or, attend your nearest emergency department. For mental health support in Kitchener-Waterloo, attend Grand River Hospital
In Cambridge and surrounding area, attend Cambridge Memorial Hospital
For supportive listening consider connecting with one of the following supports:
LGBT Youthline LGBTTQQ2S Peer Support: Youth Line offers confidential and nonjudgmental peer support through our telephone, text and chat services. Get in touch with a peer support volunteer from Sunday to Friday, 4:00PM to 9:30 PM
Good2Talk 1-866-925-5454 - For post-secondary students - talk or text