FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s)
What sort of problems do you treat?
I help people reduce the experience of stress that arises out of various life challenges such as parenting, marriage, relationship problems, job issues, health issues and so on. I also help people reduce the stress that is generated internally, addressing the mental and emotional patterns that generate low self-esteem, negativity, irritability, fear and worry, confusion, low moods and so on.
What sorts of problems do you treat when doing parent counselling?
I help parents with all issues that concern babies, toddlers, kids and teens and adult children. I help design interventions that can solve everyday behavioral problems,address fears, moods and anger, and improve the parent-child relationship.
Do I bring my child along to the appointment?
Generally speaking, I like to meet with the parents alone during the first session. I use this session to get the history of the problem and information about interventions that have already been tried. After meeting with the parents, I may recommend that the problem be treated by the parents in the home setting (i.e. following a specific parenting plan that I will devise for this purpose) or I may recommend that I meet with the child at the next session or I may recommend that the child receive therapy of a different kind elsewhere (i.e. art therapy, behavioral therapy, medical treatment or some other kind of therapy). On the other hand, if your teenager wants to have personal therapy and you don’t feel a need to first meet with the therapist to provide background information, you can just send the teen in alone for his or her treatment.
I’m having a problem with my mother-in-law. Is that something you can help with?
Counseling can help people with any sort of relationship problem whether it involves immediate family members, extended family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues or anyone else.
Do you do family counseling?
Normally I work with parents without young children in the room. However, sometimes I will work with a family of several members all at one time – such as Mom, Dad and two or three teenage or grown children.
Do you work with eating disorders or addictions?
When a person has a problem that requires its own primary treatment – like eating disorders, addictions, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, A.D.H.D. or any other clinical issue – they can come to me for counseling providing that they are concurrently receiving the appropriate treatment from the appropriate professional for their clinical issue. For instance, someone who is seeing a psychiatrist for the medical treatment of her depression, may also want some stress-management counseling or other general counseling that I can certainly provide.
Do you do anger-management counseling?
Yes. However, for those mandated by the courts because of issues of violence, group therapy for anger-management has been shown to be the most effective intervention and this is a service that I do NOT provide. I work with individuals, parents and spouses who want to learn how to reduce both angry feelings and angry behaviors.
Can you help me or my child with fears and anxieties?
I can offer a variety of tools that may help you or your child reduce fear, worry, insecurity and other types of anxious feelings. These tools will be helpful even if a person is already receiving medical treatment for anxiety – they are suitable for both those who have anxiety disorders and those who simply have anxious feelings. Sometimes people receive medical/psychiatric treatment at the same time that they seek psychological counselling for issues regarding anxiety or mood management.
Do you speak any languages other than English?
Do you do play therapy with children?
Generally, I treat children indirectly by providing therapeutic programmes for parents to follow at home. I do, however, see children for short-term therapy for issues like nail-biting or other habits, or for worries or fears (of bugs, needles, clowns, flying in an airplane and so on), as well as for mild mood issues.
Can you assess my child’s learning problems?
No. If you would like a formal assessment to determine the cause and nature of your child’s learning problems, or other problems such as behavioural, social or emotional issues you should contact a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in the assessment of children’s disorders.
Do you do marriage or couple’s counselling?
Yes, I counsel couples for any issues that are of concern to them.
I have some personal concerns I want to discuss with you. Can you help me and if so, how long does counselling normally take?
I can help you with many issues including things like stress, decision making, worries anger management, troubling memories, relationship problems, work related issues and and more. Individual counselling can take as little as one or two sessions or it can take months, depending on your areas of concern. People who live in chronically stressful situations may benefit from long-term supportive counselling. The length of counselling is determined both by the issues being treated and the preferences of the client. For example, a client who only wants a few sessions (due to time, financial or other constraints), can create a specific goal and focus in counselling which can realistically be achieved in those sessions.
Do you treat people with disorders such as severe depression, schizophrenia, autism or learning disabilities?
No. I practice counselling psychology, which means that my clients are basically healthy individuals who have various challenges in living. These may include mood issues that do not severely impact the ability to function, worries, fears, anxious feelings, stress and relationship problems and so on. However i do not treat major psychiatric disorders such as psychosis, clinical depression, severe anxiety disorders that interfere with the ability to cope or function, or personality disorders (like narcissism). I do not diagnose disorders such as learning disabilities, autism or ADHD. although I do help parents develop strategies for dealing with the problems that may result from these syndromes.
Can you provide a diagnosis?
I do not diagnose mental illness. If you require a diagnosis, you can consult with your medical practitioner and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or to a psychological practitioner who works with clinical disorders (such as major depression, bi-polar depression, brief psychotic episode, schizophrenia, bulimia, anorexia nervosa, etc..).
I have been told that I need to do CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy). Is this a service that you offer?
CBT is a particular type of therapy (learn more about it in the Counselling Section on this site). In classical CBT, the therapist helps the client to challenge destructive thought processes and to test out hypothesis by trying new behaviors. This form of therapy is the main treatment approach for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and it is also used widely in the treatment of depression and anxiety, among other issues. Many therapists refer to any “talking therapy” as CBT, however. Unlike classical CBT – a formal protocol involving very specific therapeutic interventions – “talking therapy-type CBT” is any therapy in which the therapist helps a client sort out thoughts and feelings through talking them through and/or doing homework assignments and exploring new perspectives, or using any other therapeutic strategy that changes both cognitions (beliefs) and behaviors. All of the therapies I practice impact on cognitions and behaviors. I do not generally practice workbook-based classical CBT using the thought-challenging technique. In my practice, I use cognitive-behavioral interventions mostly for marriage and parenting issues and I use a variety of other therapeutic interventions (see below) that lead to positive changes in both thoughts and feelings.
Can you tell me more about the kinds of therapy you use?
Yes. The main therapeutic techniques that I employ with clients are described in detail in the Counselling Section of this site under the heading “Therapies Used.”
How do I make an appointment to see you in Toronto?
Please call (416) 785-8046 and leave a confidential voice message stating the best times and telephone numbers to reach you at. Your call will be returned as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours. All appointments are scheduled by phone (not email).
I live out of town. Can you refer me to a counsellor in my area?
Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the services of out-of-town practitioners. I suggest you ask your doctor for a referral.
What are your office hours?
I work Sundays through Thursdays, 9 – 5 p.m.
How long is a session?
Each session is 50 minutes long.
How do I pay?
Fees are payable by cash or cheque at the time of the session. (I do not take bank cards or credit cards). Fees are subject to change. I do not have a sliding fee schedule.
Are your services covered by my health insurance policy?
If you have a medical/dental plan that covers psychological services, my services are most likely covered by your plan. I am a registered member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, registration #5439.. Please check your plan to find how much coverage is offered for psychological services. Some plans require a note from the family doctor recommending counselling services. Most doctors are happy to make a brief referral for counselling when you ask them to. It is up to you to collect payment from your insurance company. At the time of your counseling session, you are required to pay by cash or cheque and I will give you a receipt for services provided. You then send this receipt to your insurance carrier for reimbursement. I do not accept direct payment from insurance companies.
If I am coming to discuss a question about my child, can you write the child’s name on the receipt for services?
The person who is receiving the services is the one whose name must be on the receipt. If your child is in the office receiving treatment, his or her name can be on the receipt. If you are the one receiving counselling, your name goes on the receipt.
My health insurance plan only covers “Clinical Psychologist.” Are you a “Clinical Psychologist?”
I am registered as a psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Nonetheless, to be absolutely certain that your insurance company will reimburse you for my psychological services, you can call them and give them my name and my registration number (#5439).
I don’t have a health plan. How can a receipt still help me?
Receipts for psychological services are considered to be tax-deductible medical expenses for income tax purposes.
Is your first session free?
No. Each session is the same price.
Do you have a sliding fee schedule?
Do you offer a discount for booking a large number of sessions all at once?
I only need to ask a brief question. Can I book half a session with you?
No. All sessions are 50 minutes long.
Does a session cost more if two people are coming (i.e. a husband and wife)?
No. The fee is the same no matter how many people are attending the session.
What is your cancellation policy?
Once you make an appointment, we are holding that particular slot for you. We require 48 hours notice (2 business days) for cancellation. If you must cancel within the 48 hours, we will always try to fill your slot for you. However, if we can’t, then you are responsible for payment.
I have children at home/a sick parent/an irregular job and I can’t always predict my availability. I may have to cancel at the last minute. How does this work in your practice?
You can make appointments as you wish, but the cancellation policy is still the same.
Are you available if I need to telephone you between sessions?
No. This is not an emergency-based practice. If your issues require more intense attention than can be provided within the counselling hour, another type of therapy (or therapist) would be more appropriate for you.
Where is your office located?
My office is in Lawrence Plaza, at the intersection of Lawrence Avenue and Bathurst Street in mid-Toronto. It is a 5 minute drive east of the Lawrence/Allen Road Subway Station (and the Allen Expressway), a 5 minute drive west of the Yonge/Lawrence Subway Station and a 5 minute drive south of the Wilson Ave. Exit on Highway 401. The office is located on the 2nd floor of 3130 Bathurst St. (Suite 211), just on top of the Second Cup Coffee Shop. There are 2 ways to get to the second floor: there is a doorway to the second floor in the front of the plaza between Cards Plus and The Dollar Store and, there is another doorway on Lawrence Ave (closer to the back of the plaza and Covington Avenue). On Sundays, the doors may be locked; the doorway closer to the back of the plaza has a keypad that will unlock that door when you push the code 0211.
I have some further questions. Can I e-mail you about them?
If you have further questions about my services, please call my office at 416-785-8046 and we’ll be happy to help you.