What can I expect for the first session?

You can expect a one-hour meeting consisting of gentle exploration and conversation at your own pace. The first few sessions are often guided by conversations aimed at developing a good understanding of who you are and/or your presenting concerns. You (or your caregiver(s)) might be asked to fill out various scales and questionnaires to aid in assessment and the development of a counselling plan. Although it can be difficult to identify specific goals at first, a conversation about your wishes can help guide the type of counselling we engage in together. 

Does insurance cover counselling?

Many insurance companies and workplaces cover a certain amount of counselling provided by registered social workers and psychotherapists. You will receive a receipt after each payment that you can send to your insurance company for reimbursement, or use for tax purposes. Unfortunately, counselling is not covered by OHIP.

What is the fee range for private psychotherapy?

Private psychotherapy in the Hamilton area ranges from approximately $130-$160 per hour session.

what is your cancellation policy?

As per private psychotherapy practice standards, a full 24 hours notice is required for cancelling all counselling appointments. If you cancel with less than 24 hours before your appointment time, or if you miss an appointment, you will be billed the full cost of your appointment. Twenty dollars from each cancellation payment will be donated to Ladybird Animal Sanctuary – an animal rescue agency in Hamilton, Ontario. Thank you for your kindness and understanding.

what if my youth is involuntary?

Sometimes it is the wish of the caregiver(s) that their youth engage in psychotherapy and not the wish of the youth her/himself. Taken from the Canadian Mental Health Association's website,

"Treatment, such as counselling, medication, or psychotherapy, cannot be provided to a young person without consent. If the young person is capable, they can decide if they want to give or refuse consent to treatment. In other words, as long as a young person understands the treatment, why it’s being recommended, and what will happen if they accept or refuse treatment, the health care provider and family must respect the young person’s decision."

There is no age of consent to treatment; instead, the youth is seen to be able to consent if she/he is capable of consenting. Capacity to consent depends on whether the youth can understand the information about the treatment proposed and appreciate the potential consequences of consenting or refusing consent.

If the youth is ambivalent about counselling, they are welcome to phone or video chat with their therapist at VCC for a brief introduction and to ask any questions they might have about the counselling process.

how long will i (or my youth) be in therapy?

Everyone is different. Some individuals will feel ready to close after 12 to 20 sessions, while others may stay in therapy for months or even years. Therapy length depends on many factors such as one's goals, developmental history, symptoms and symptom history, and so on.