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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist?

Psychologists are licensed and registered by the College of Psychologists of Ontario to ensure appropriate graduate level education and training. While both psychologists and psychiatrist have the ability to make diagnoses and provide treatment for mental health issues, doctoral level psychologists have several years of graduate training focused on psychological treatment and assessment. Psychiatrists hold a medical degree (M.D.) and complete additional specialized training in psychiatry. Psychologists do not prescribe medication and instead focus on evidenced-based (i.e., based on research) non-pharmacological treatments for psychological difficulties. Registered psychologists with a specialization in neuropsychology receive additional training in the administration and interpretation of standardized tests for the purpose of conducting comprehensive cognitive assessments. The terms “therapist” or “counselor” are not regulated titles and have no requirements attached to them for relevant education or training.

What should I expect at the first treatment session?

At the first treatment session, time will be spent gathering information about you and your background, your current reason for seeking treatment, and your goals for treatment. We will discuss issues related to privacy and confidentiality and discuss a possible treatment plan to address your goals for treatment. Time permitting, the first session will also include some education related to your presenting problem(s) and/or an example of the types of exercises/techniques that treatment will involve so that you might leave with a concrete idea about how treatment can help you. Therapy sessions last 50 minutes, with the remaining 10 minutes of the hour reserved to complete required documentation related to your treatment. For more information about how the treatment process might work for you, please contact us.

 

What is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence based treatment, meaning that the treatment techniques are based on research findings. CBT is a short-term and time-limited type of psychotherapy (usually 12-20+ sessions) focused on helping people to develop practical skills and strategies to accomplish their treatment goals. CBT is a collaborative treatment where the therapist and client work together in a structured format. The premise of CBT is that our thoughts, behaviours, and emotions are all connected and that we can change the way we feel (i.e., our emotions) by altering our perceptions (thoughts) and/or actions (behaviours). For more information about CBT and how the treatment process might work for you, please contact us.

What should I expect at an assessment?

This depends on the type of assessment. Psychological assessments typically last 3-4 hours and focus on gathering background information and details about current emotional, social, and occupational functioning in order to provide a psychological diagnosis, if appropriate. Clients completing a psychological assessment should expect the majority of time to be spend in an interview with the psychologist, with some time also spent completing questionnaires and possibly some brief tests of cognitive functioning. Neuropsychological, psychoeducational, and baseline cognitive assessments typically take a full day or more and include an interview with the psychologist, questionnaires, and a comprehensive battery of cognitive and/or academic achievements tests. Dementia screening assessments are shorter (usually 3-4 hours) and involve an interview with the client and their family member(s), as well as questionnaires for the family member(s) and selected cognitive tests for the client. For more information about the assessment process and/or which type of assessment might be right for you, please contact us.

What are your fees? Who pays the fees?

Our hourly rate for assessment and treatment services is consistent with the Ontario Psychological Association’s recommendation for psychological fees. Psychological fees are not currently covered by OHIP, although many extended health care plans cover some amount of psychological services. Please contact your plan administrator for your specific coverage. Individuals may also receive some level of coverage from automobile insurance claims or the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

What is your cancellation policy?

For cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice, there is a $225 cancellation fee which is not typically covered by insurance. Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis. Cancellations made with more than 48 hours notice do not incur a fee.

Do I need a referral from my physician?

You are able to self-refer for psychological services. However, some extended health plans may require a physician’s referral for coverage of services. Please contact your plan administrator for your plan’s specific requirements.

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