FAQ

01. What I can expect in therapy?
02. What will my therapist expect from me in therapy?
03. How frequently will I see my therapist and how long will therapy last?
04. How do I pay for services?
05. What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?
06. How do I choose a psychologist?
07. What can I do to get ready for therapy?
08. What about confidentiality?
09. Cancellation policy
10. How will I know if I am getting better?


Q: What I can expect in therapy?

A: During your initial meeting, Dr. Hart will ask you about the problems that brought you into therapy. The initial session or two will be an opportunity for you to judge whether you feel comfortable with Dr. Hart and he will assess whether his skills match your needs.

Once treatment has been commenced, you and Dr. Hart will work together to develop a therapy plan that addresses your most significant concerns. Cognitive-behavioural therapy often involves setting goals for yourself between therapy sessions.

Dr. Hart believes that the success of therapy is best measured by the occurrence of positive changes in your day-to-day life. The between-session goals you set with your therapist might include scheduling activities, tracking your thoughts and moods, challenging negative thoughts, and attempting new types of behaviours and coping skills.

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Q: What will my therapist expect from me in therapy?

A: Effective treatment requires you to regularly attend your sessions and for you to be willing to complete self-help goals between sessions. These goals will be mutually agreed upon by you and your therapist.

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Q: How frequently will I see my therapist and how long will therapy last?

A: Typically, therapy sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis. Sessions are generally 50 minutes in duration. Usually the decision regarding to terminate therapy is made cooperatively between you and Dr. Hart.

For some individuals with less severe symptoms, therapy may last only a short time (8-16 sessions). Individuals with more long-standing problems may choose to stay in therapy for a longer period.

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Q: How do I pay for services?

A: Psychological services are not covered by OHIP. Check with your employer to see if your extended health care benefits cover some, or all fees. You will be provided a receipt after each session that you can submit for re-imbursement. Payment can be made by cheque or cash at the end of each session.

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Q: What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A:A psychiatrist has a medical degree and then completes a specialized training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists prescribe medications and typically emphasize medication management in their treatment of individuals.

Psychologists receive a doctoral degree in psychology and are registered by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. A psychologist receives specialized intensive training in psychological interventions. A psychologist, having a PhD, is also trained in the integration of scientific knowledge of psychology with clinical practice.

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Q: How do I choose a psychologist?

A: It entirely acceptable to interview your potential therapist about his or her treatment approach and ask whether he or she has had experience in dealing with your type of problem.

Research has found that one of the important determinants of the success of psychotherapy is the strength of the relationship between the therapist and the client. You should feel comfortable with, and understood by, your therapist.

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Q: What can I do to get ready for therapy?

A: Envision what changes you would like to see after you have completed therapy. What type of changes you would like to make in your work, family, and social life? What symptoms or problems have been bothering you that you would like to reduce?

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Q: What about confidentiality?

A: Everything you tell a psychologist is confidential and no information is released without your consent. The only exceptions to confidentiality are: situations in which breaking confidentiality is required to protect yourself or someone else in immediate physical danger, to inform the Children's Aid Society if a child is in need of protection, in the case of a subpoena from a court of law, and to make a report to a health professional regulatory body if information comes to light that a health professional has sexually abused a client/patient.

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Q: Cancellation policy

A: Once you begin psychotherapy, a regular session time will be reserved for you. If you are not able to attend your appointment please call at least 24 hours beforehand so this time can be offered to another patient. You will be charged for appointments that you do not cancel 24 hours beforehand; however this fee will be waived in case of illness or emergency.

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Q: How will I know if I am getting better?

A: You will identify specific goals early in therapy with Dr. Hart. As therapy progresses, you can evaluate if you are becoming less depressed, anxious, or distressed, and/or whether your social relationships are improving. Dr. Hart will frequently obtain feedback from you regarding your progress. He also regularly uses questionnaires that are specifically designed to assess progress toward your specific goals.

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