Frequently Asked Questions

+ How Do I Book My First Session?

Call us directly or fill out the Contact Us form anytime. Physician referral is not required. We also accept referrals from: Family Doctor/Family health teams, WSIB case coordinators, Children’s Aid, School Counsellors, Community Social workers, Rehabilitation Clinics, Insurance Adjustors, Legal Representatives, Sleep Study Programs, Chronic Pain Clinics, Addictions Programs, etc.

+ What Happens When I Contact You?

Our Clinical Intake Coordinator will answer your telephone call or your Contact Us form submission during business hours. A brief telephone intake will answer your questions and match you with one of our therapists. A first appointment can be made during the intake call.

+ How do I pay?

We accept e-transfer, credit card, cash, or cheque. Many choose to pay for services out of pocket. Fees are paid at the end of each session. Some seek reimbursement from their insurer. We can bill direct to most insurance!

+ Will Fees for Services be Covered by Insurance?

Psychotherapy and psychological services may be covered by your extended health insurance, WSIB, or auto insurance. We can bill direct to most insurance!

We are registered with HCAI and WSIB for direct billing for auto insurance and WSIB funded assessment/treatment.

In addition to HCAI and WSIB, here is a list of insurers that we are able to directly submit claims to: Green Shield • SSQ • Blue Cross • Canada Life (formerly: Great West Life) • Des Jardin • CINUP • Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance • Cowan • First Canadian • Group Health • Industrial Alliance • Johnson Group • Manion • Maximum Benefit NB: Manulife and Sunlife Financial do not allow direct billing for Psychological Services.

If your insurer is not on our list, please ask your insurer if they will permit direct billing for psychotherapy or for psychological services, and we will do our best to set this up.

Ask your insurer whether they reimburse for services of a Registered Psychologist/Psychological Associate and whether they also reimburse for Registered Psychotherapists.

+ Are Psychotherapy Services Confidential?

You can trust your therapist to keep confidential the information that is disclosed in session. Your personal health information will not be disclosed to others without your consent, unless required by law (e.g., child protection, health professional sexual abuse, court order) or ethical/professional standards (e.g., risk of serious bodily harm).

+ What Is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychotherapist?

The similarity between psychologists and psychotherapists is that they both provide psychotherapy. However, there are differences between the two professions in terms of educational requirements, training/supervision, and qualifications/process for registration.

For those outside of the profession (the general public), two important differences are that psychologists can diagnose and can use psychological tests to aid diagnosis, assess impairment, guide treatment, and comment on progress and prognosis. Psychotherapists cannot render a mental health diagnosis, e.g., Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD, etc. and psychotherapists cannot use and interpret psychological tests that are restricted from use by those outside of psychology. They may use tests in the public domain. But they cannot use restricted tests that include not only clinical scales, for example, depression measures, but also scales to assess comprehension, magnification, under-reporting, personality, IQ/intelligence, etc.

Regulated psychotherapy is new to Ontario. Over time registered psychotherapists are becoming much more involved in the treatment of emotional/mental health issues, doing some of the work that has traditionally been done by psychology. If you have more questions about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us: info@advancehealth.ca. Dr. Ralph Lubbers, Psychologist

+ What is Anxiety? And How Do I Know if I Should Seek Professional Help for Anxiety?

By Karey Wilson

Most people experience anxiety to some degree at some point in their lives. In fact, anxiety is within the normal range of human emotions. For, example, worrying you might be late for the bus is not a problem. That is normal and in fact is helpful! What makes anxiety problematic is its severity, and how persistent or pervasive it is. To help determine whether your anxiety is a problem to solve, consider your answer to the following questions.

Does your anxiety:

Constantly prevent you from performing normal day to day tasks?

Often prevent you from obtaining a good night sleep?

Rob you of the ability to concentrate, to relax, or to enjoy the moment?

Inhibit or paralyze your functioning in important relationships?

Stop you from reaching your goals?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above, then you may benefit from at least an initial conversation with someone trained to recognize and treat your anxiety.

What is anxiety exactly? I’m glad you asked. I have spent years studying and treating people who struggle with anxiety. In short, anxiety is an emotional response to a perceived threat. Fear, in contrast, is the emotional response to an actual threat. Anxious thoughts and responses are future-focused: ‘What if I fail this exam?” “What if I have another panic attack today?” “What if I look stupid?” “What if my mother gets into a car accident?” The anxious response to these thoughts, whether we are conscious of that response or not, is something like “I couldn’t handle it.” Which gives rise to the perceived threat. The anxiety one feels is the emotional response to that threat.

At moderate or severe levels, anxiety can manifest as any one of or a combination of the following:

chronic worry,

physical tension,

panic attacks, or

obsessive-compulsive patterns.

Anxious thoughts can manifest in any number of different themes in different people, such as worrying about your health or becoming ill, how one is perceived by others, having another panic attack, or harm coming to oneself or loved one if a compulsion is not completed. Anxiety can result in concentration difficulties, low energy, changes in appetite, and poor sleep. It can result in avoidant behaviour, that is, avoiding situations that trigger the anxious response; or in safety behaviours – a behaviour that in the short term quells the anxiety but in the long term only maintains it. When anxiety is negatively impacting your job, relationships, or your personal quality of life, it has become problematic.

If you are still reading this page, chances are that you have been touched by problematic anxiety in your life. Maybe you have taken your own initiative to find a therapist after realizing you might need professional help. Perhaps your family doctor or someone you love has recommended that you find a therapist to help you manage anxiety.

This is a brief introduction to the topic of anxiety, with the goal helping you start to recognize the symptoms. I am an experienced therapist with expertise treating different kinds of anxiety. Please contact me to ask a question about anxiety, to book a consultation, or to provide feedback on this article. I would be pleased to help! karey.wilson@advancehealth.ca.