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What to Expect

Purpose of the sessions: We meet with clients for a number of reasons, to assess the nature of difficulties, provide treatment for a specific difficulty or problem, to provide feedback to clients about the results of an assessment, or to provide a second opinion to a client about a diagnosis, assessment results or treatment plan that may already have. 

Booking appointments:  As a new client, we will initially schedule 3 appointments, (a) the intake appointment, (b) a second follow up appointments, and (c) a third follow-up appointment which are all usually scheduled a week apart. We schedule 3 appointments in order to ensure that you have dates and times that are most suitable for you as our schedules fill up rather quickly.

As you continue with your appointments,  we encourage you to always book at least 3 appointments ahead of time as the schedules can fill up very quickly. This ensures that you are scheduled in for the date and time that is most suitable for you. You can schedule these with anytime by contacting us, or with your doctor at the end of your session. 

Before your first session:  At or before your first session, we will ask you to fill out a 2-page questionnaire about who you are, how to contact you, who your family doctor is and a little bit about the kinds of difficulties you are having. You can download the form by clicking here. Or you are welcome to fill out the questionnaire in our offices before your appointment. When you arrive, you will see copies of the form on the table in the waiting room. You will need to arrive about 20 minutes earlier to fill out the form before your first meeting. Filling this out before we meet will leave us a bit more time to get to know you, but we are happy to fill this form out together when we meet.

intake

     
In the wating room:
When you arrive, you will notice some music and white noise playing in the waiting room. We use the white noise to ensure that conversations in our offices remain confidential. 

Washrooms: Washrooms are located on the second floor just as you pass through the door to the second floor. The washrooms are locked.  The access codes to the washrooms are posted on bulletin board in our reception room. 

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Your first session: Part of your first session will be devoted to reviewing how counselling works, what we do as a licensed psychologist, what our credentials are, how confidentiality works and what the limits on confidentiality are. The other part of the first session is devoted to understanding the nature of your difficulties and concerns, how we can be helpful and how we will proceed.  

Length of sessions: A single session typically lasts 50 minutes, after which we will spend 10 minutes writing a note which documents your visit and what we did.

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After the first session:
After your first session, we will ask you to fill out a more detailed questionnaire about a wide range of health difficulties, sources of stress, thinking styles, and unmet needs. The goal of this questionnaire is to get a snapshot of how you are doing right now. We will use this to evaluate how you do over the course of counselling and psychotherapy, and we will review the results with you once you have had a chance to fill it out. You will need an access code to start the questionnaire which we will provide you at your first meeting. 

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Further sessions:
Whether or not you require additional sessions will depend on what you would like to achieve in treatment. Questions about parenting can often be addressed quickly. Other difficulties, such as clinical depression or workplace stress, for example, may take several weeks to address or in some instances even longer. However, most people can expect to achieve some degree of real improvement in about 4 to 6 weeks. Again, depending on the difficulties you are experiencing, a full recovery can take much longer, but some degree of improvement should happen quickly.

After your first session, we will be able to give you a general idea of how much treatment may be necessary. No matter how severe your difficulties are, we will always work towards very clear goals that can be achieved in four week blocks of time. At the end of four weeks, we'll evaluate how things have progressed and add additional time as needed or desired. 

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Keeping your family doctor up to date.
It is advisable to keep your family doctor informed about how you are doing. But this is entirely your choice. With your written consent, we will provide your family doctor with a brief progress note on how you are doing, so that your family doctor remains informed about your treatment and progress.

Scheduling: We try to schedule clients into fixed times from one week to the next. This means if we meet at 4PM, well try to always meet at 4PM as long as you need to. Occasionally, conflicts occur that make this too difficult to achieve. But we will do my best to keep the schedule straight forward.

Session notes: The purpose of the note is to document that we met on a certain day, record the nature of your visit, to briefly describe what we discussed and what type of assessment or treatment was provided, and to record any risks or concerns that may have been present. Not everything we discuss in a session is recorded on the essential information.

Fees: Our fee is $185.00 per hour, payable by cheque, cash, or credit card, for which a receipt is issued. We will be introducing payment by credit card by the end of this year, and interac in the new year. Please read more about the cost of our services, including the costs of assessments, and any letters that you may need for your employeer or insurance company by clicking here.

Cancellation policy: In case of an unexpected situation where you may not be able to attend your scheduled appointment, we require 48 hours (2 business days) notice so that we may be able to offer the time to another patient. We have patients on our waiting list wishing to book an appointment, therefore last minute cancellations are only accepted in the case of an emergency. A $50.00 fee will be applied to your account for any cancelled/re-scheduled/missed appointments without the required 2 business days’ notice. 

Office location: We see our clients at our offices located at 900 Greenbank Road, Suite 207, in Nepean.

To download a map of where our offices are located, please click here. There is plenty of free parking. 

Monitoring progress: It is important to monitor your progress throughout treatment. We typically do this through the use of standardized questionnaires, which were designed to assess the severity and duration of a number of difficulties.  After a few weeks, we will ask you to complete a brief set of follow-up questions once again.

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Confidentiality: The information you provide during any consultation, meeting or session is private and confidential. That means that we are not allowed to talk to anyone else, unless we have your written permission to do so.  Even the fact that you have consulted us as clients is confidential.  That means we are not even allowed to tell someone else that you have consulted us, unless we have your permission to do so. There are however some exceptions to confidentiality. Whether or not confidentiality can and should be broken is governed by a number of federal and provincial laws and by the regulatory body, the College of Psychologists in Ontario, which governs how we practise as psychologists in the Province of Ontario. There are five situations in which confidentiality can be waived, without your permission.

1. 
Harm to Self. If you are at immediate risk for ending your life or committing suicide, we (as registered psychologists) are expected to and will take all appropriate steps to ensure your safety and reduce the risks of your harming yourself.

2. 
Harm to Others: If you are at immediate risk for harming or injuring someone else, we (as  registered psychologists) are expected to and will take all appropriate steps ensure the safety of others. This could include informing that person of the threat to his or her well-being as well as informing the police of that risk.

3. 
Abuse: As part of your assessment, we may ask if you have ever been physically, emotionally or sexually abused by someone. If you are under the age of 16 and say that you have been abused by a specific person, then we are required by law to report that abuse to the Children's Aid Society, which will then determine whether or not any further investigation or action is required or needed.

4. 
Court Order: Although extremely unlikely, there is the possibility that your record, chart or file containing information about you or your visits can be requested to be reviewed by a court of law. In the event that we receive that request, our response will be to deny the request, arguing that your record is confidential and that the information cannot be released. This will allow you the opportunity to hire a lawyer to grant us time to negotiate what information (if any or all) should be released to the court.

5. 
Audit: Although rare, there is the possibility that your record, chart or file containing information about you or your visits can be audited by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Each year, the College of Psychologists of Ontario audits the files of registered psychologists to ensure that psychologists practise psychology in a responsible and ethical manner. The auditors are bound by law to respect your confidentiality and are in fact not interested in you as much as they are interested in us. 

Privacy policy: Our privacy policy was developed in accordance with guidelines of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. You can download and print our privacy policy here. We would be happy to discuss any aspect of this policy.