Psychotherapy: What Can I Expect in Psychotherapy?
In the first session, contact and other basic information as well as informed consent will be obtained (this information provided online in advance of your first appointment if you wish). Your therapist will ask you about your presenting issue and as well as your background to understand the context of the issue you present (e.g., physical and emotional health history, important relationships, and current school/work/family status). This first session reviews practical matters such as payment for sessions, cancelation policy, and session length/frequency. By the end of the first session you and your therapist will have discussed initial goals for working together, how therapy will look in future sessions, and any questions you have.
After the first session, you will meet regularly (usually once weekly) to address the goals of therapy, using the treatment modality set out in the first session. In each session the therapist will check-in with you to discuss your progress/feedback from the previous session, review any homework (if relevant), and continue to work on the presenting issue. Therapy is provided in a supportive and non-threatening manner, designed to help you gain the maximum benefit from the sessions. If something is not working, this is discussed in the session to guide future sessions.
In the last one or two sessions time will be taken to summarize the work that was accomplished during the sessions as related to the initial goals of therapy, including your satisfaction and expectations for therapy. Time will be taken to discuss how to ensure the insights/skills/growth acquired in therapy can continue to help you after therapy has ended.
Psychotherapy: What Types of Psychotherapy/Treatment Do You Offer?
Our clinicians provide effective evidence-based psychotherapies, including Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavioral (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment (ACT), Interpersonal (IPT), Solution-Focused, Hypnotherapy, Guided Imagery, Depth Therapy, Humanistic, Brief Psychodynamic, and others. If you are looking for a specific type of therapy, ask our clinical intake coordinator.
Psychotherapy is a transformational process that occurs in the context of therapeutic relationship (a “connection”) between the client and the therapist. Sessions are in-person, in-office, one-on-one with your therapist. Thus, online/remote therapy (e.g., video-conference, telephone) is only provided in rare instances for a single session (e.g., illness, severe weather, temporary long-distance travel). Unless otherwise arranged, sessions are 50 minutes in length (with the remaining 10 minutes of hour for formulation and note taking).
Our clinicians provide effective psychotherapy to those who have not responded well to other approaches, that is, when online or other self-help methods, coaching, or medication alone have failed.
Psychological Assessment: What is Psychological Assessment?
It is difficult to provide simple answer to this question. The nature of an assessment varies greatly by the purpose and type of the assessment. A formal psychological assessment involves at a minimum a clinical interview, psychological testing, and observation in order to make relevant conclusions and recommendations. However, other aspects may be involved, such as collateral interviews, document review, and in situ observation. The time to complete a formal assessment varies, depending on the complexity and purpose of the case, but it may be possible to complete an interview and testing one week, and receive feedback the following week. Preparation of a written report may require additional time.
More informal assessments occur when an individual is seeking answers about their personality or about a specific clinical issue and/or mental health functioning. An informal assessment may simply involve a thorough interview and testing, followed by a session booked to discuss the findings.
The requests for formal assessments often stem from issues/questions raised by employers, schools/teachers, lawyers, and/or insurance companies. A formal assessment typically involves a written report with a psychodiagnostic formulation that responds to specific questions about clinical diagnosis, impairment, disability, prognosis, treatment/recommendations, need for/types of accommodation, planning, etc. There are many different types of psychological assessments. Some of the more common psychological assessments address issues related to Academic/Vocational Planning, Disability, Medical Rehabilitation, Return-to-work Planning, Immigration/Refugee Claim, WSIB/Workplace Injury, Motor Vehicle Accident Injury, and PTSD/Vicarious/Secondary Trauma.
Finally, the psychological assessments discussed above are not to be confused with the baseline and progress evaluation in psychotherapy, particularly with the first therapy session obtaining a description of the presenting issue and a review of pertinent background information. You can ask your therapist about objective assessment of progress over the course of your sessions, for example, measuring changes in anxiety or depression, or whether your relationship with your therapist is working. Ongoing progress evaluation allows you to see change over time and helps us adjust treatment to gain maximum benefit.
We provide psychological consultation (typically an initial briefing, e.g., a review of file material, followed by a teleconsult or brief written summary) to physicians, employers, teachers, and lawyers/legal representatives third parties when requested to aid in answering questions about mental health, including diagnosis, impairment, prognosis, treatment, and related questions. For example, we provide consultation for:
Physicians seeking diagnostic clarification to guide their prescription and monitoring of psychotropic medication and/or to guide specialist referral/treatment.
Employers concerning mental health issues related to disability, treatment planning, and workplace absence/return to work planning.
Teachers/schools asking questions about mental health factors impacting on a student’s wellbeing, academic success, and accommodation and/or treatment needs.
Lawyers/legal representatives/third party insurers who wrestle with issues related to diagnosis, impairment, etiology, prognosis/permanence, and treatment needs.
If you have questions about these topics, please do not hesitate to contact us: email@example.com.