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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an evidence based practice?

Empirically Supported Treatments refer to specific psychological treatments for a specific population or disorder that have been demonstrated to be effective in scientific research.  All of the treatments I use (CBT, EMDR, Mindfulness) have strong research support backing them up.  It is perfectly ok to ask your therapist why they are asking something in therapy, or why they are assigning a particular piece of homework.  

Is therapy confidential?

Therapy has the same level of confidentiality as any other medical appointment.  Trust is an important part of a therapeutic relationship and you need to be able to trust that your personal information is going to be safe.  You can expect that what you share in therapy is not going to be shared with anyone else.  There are three legal exceptions to this confidentiality.  Your therapist is required to intervene and/or seek additional resources if: 1. they suspect imminent risk that you are going to harm yourself or someone else. 2. you disclose that vulnerable people are being abused (children, elderly, people with disabilities). 3. A therapist can also be subpoenaed by the courts if you are on trial for a crime.

What type of therapist should I see?

There's a lot that goes into this decision and frankly most people struggle with even knowing what kinds of questions to ask.  My first thought is always "fit matters."  Therapy is a relationship based treatment.  If you feel like the person you are talking to doesn't understand you, doesn't know what they are talking about or doesn't care about you, then it is time to find a new therapist.  After that, issues of cost, geography, and specialty come into play.  Psychologists can provide an official diagnosis and have the most training in talk therapy, but they are also likely to be more expensive than a social worker or psychotherapist.  Likewise, if you need medication, you may choose to see a psychiatrist who may also do therapy, or who may work in partnership with your therapist to try and help you reach your goals.

How often do I need to see a therapist?

Appointments are typically 50 minutes long and usually occur once per week to start.  Frequency can vary depending on the nature and severity of the issues being worked on.  Weekly appointments for 2 to 3 weeks are helpful in order to build a clear treatment plan, establish a good working relationship and build therapeutic momentum.  After that, frequency depends on need and resources.  I'm aware that therapy can be expensive and I really want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem!

How long will therapy last?

This is typically up to you as the client.  Some people make significant gains towards their goals in 3-4 appointments. Other more complex challenges may use 12-20 appointments before noticing changes.  A therapeutic relationship can be short-term or longer-term.  I love that in private practice, I can potentially maintain an ongoing relationship with my clients.  You may see me three times this year and then go about your life.  The next time you need a psychologist, our existing relationship lets us pick up quicker and hopefully move forwards towards resolution more quickly too.  My aim is to become obsolete. I do my best to be there for people when they need me, but my ultimate goal is to get to a place where they don't need me anymore.  

Will therapy work for me?

The whole point of doing an evidence based therapy is being able to say that scientific research has demonstrated that this treatment is helpful! At the same time there are a lot of other factors at play to predict treatment outcome.  Motivation, external circumstances, and the therapeutic relationship are all important.  There is no single type of therapy that has a 100% response rate.  If therapy doesn't seem to be working for you, it is ok to ask questions of your therapist and explore whether something needs to change.

Do you prescribe medications?

As a registered psychologist I do not prescribe medications.  I am completely respectful of my client's individual decision to use or not to use medications and am happy to work together with family physicians and psychiatrists to maximize your treatment outcomes.

Can I do therapy online?

I offer both virtual and in-person visits to clients located anywhere in Manitoba. Research supports that on-line therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for many issues. Online therapy can be a great option if geography or travel time is an issue.  For others, in person meetings can be an important part of having a safe place to talk, and/or pushing yourself back into the community.  

Do you direct bill?

At this point in time, we only direct bill for insurance claims that are actively managed with a case manager like WCB or HEB.  People who are using normal work benefits typically put a credit card on file or pay by e-transfer.  A digital receipt is emailed immediately at the time of service and this can be used to file for re-reimbursement from your benefits provider. 

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