Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy
Online and in person in London, Ontario
What You Can Expect
We start every relationship off with an 15 minute initial consultation. This is meant to be an opportunity for you to make sure your assigned counsellor is a comfortable match prior to incurring any financial cost. During this consultation we will ask you about your goals and previous counselling experiences. If you've been to counselling before, let us know what was and wasn't helpful.
You may wish to come prepared with some questions for the counsellor. Some common questions include:
Do you have experience with my primary concern?
Have you worked with people of my lived experience before?
What approach do you think would be a good fit for me?
What training have you had in this particular approach?
How long/frequently will you be able to meet with me?
Do you have any experiences similar to my own?
Don't worry if you can't think of any questions in the moment, you are always welcome to ask questions at any point along the way. If we are both confident its a good fit, you will then book a time for your assessment session(s). If you decide its not a good match, let us know and we will help you find an alternative.
Assessment and Treatment Planning
Your assessment will take place during your first session. Occasionally, to get a complete picture, the assessment needs to be spread out over 2-3 sessions. During this process we will ask you questions about your concerns, your goals, your life experiences and your relationships. This will help us make sure we have a complete picture of your circumstances.
Following the assessment we will collaboratively discuss approach, frequency of sessions, and planned duration of treatment.
Subsequent sessions are 50 minutes in length. Our clients typically meet with us either weekly or bi-weekly. Virtual sessions take place through our online client portal and in person sessions are held in our accessible office (equipped with gender inclusive washrooms and onsite parking). Sessions are spaced out to allow you to arrive early and settle in with a coffee or tea prior to your session.
If this is your first time attending counselling its natural to be a bit nervous. You might be worried the whole process will feel awkward or uncomfortable. Or perhaps you've been down this road in the past and it wasn't a great experience.
We believe the counselling process should feel comfortable and natural. We'll help you find a therapist you can trust and open up to and they will gently guide you through the process. If at any point it doesn't feel like a comfortable match, please let us know and we'll help you find a better fit either on the team or elsewhere. If you're joining us in person, we hope you'll find our office to be a warm and cozy space where you can safely share your thoughts and struggles.
Self-compassion is an essential component of mental wellbeing and yet the systems and structures that surround us inundate us with the message that we are incomplete, insufficient and insignificant. Our work is grounded in compassion in the hopes that through counselling you will be able to contradict some of those messages and relieve yourself of their associated beliefs and burdens.
We genuinely believe that everybody is doing their best to navigate our very imperfect and unjust world. Difficult choices can be understood within their context. You may have parts of yourself that you work very hard to keep hidden. We believe those parts have important roles and approach them with curiosity and compassion. Whatever you've done to cope and survive, you will be met with compassion and offered a space entirely free of judgement.
We take your privacy seriously. It's important to know that everything shared with your counsellor will be held in strict confidence unless disclosure of information is otherwise required by law (for instance if someone was at imminent risk of harm). For adolescents, this means you get to decide what information is shared with your parents and when.
We're happy to collaborate with your other providers (family doctor, psychiatrist, nurse practitioners... etc.) but require your consent to do so. Likewise there may be opportunities for us to help you navigate various systems (schools, child welfare, criminal justice, insurance) but this will always be at your request and with your in the driver's seat.
If you have any questions about how we protect your personal health information, please do let us know.
Autonomy and Self Determination
Paternalistic healthcare professionals have historically treated people with mental health concerns, people with substance use concerns, people of different abilities, and neurodiverse people as though they are incapable of making their own decisions and directing their own treatment. We believe this kind of treatment is both harmful and unethical.
Regardless of your struggles or your abilities, we believe that you are the expert of your own experience and have the indelible right to choose your own path in life. Along the way we may have ideas to share or skills to offer, but your judgement and choices will always be respected. We are also committed, to the best of our ability, to advocating for your autonomy within any systems you may find yourself entrenched.