Below we have listed a number of questions people commonly have about our services.
If you would like any further clarification, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.
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What are your operating hours?
While the centre does not have any fixed operating hours, there are therapists who are available weekdays, evenings and weekends. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule, although evening and weekend hours are in highest demand.
What are your rates?
Our fees range from $125 to $165 per 50-min. session, depending on the practitioner. We do not offer a sliding scale. We realize that therapy is an investment, and we can discuss the financial resources you might have available to you to make this happen.
People often don’t think twice about spending significant amounts of money on trips, cars, and electronic devices, but they are not accustomed to the idea of investing money into their own well-being. This is a reflection of the materialistic values of our society, which does not value personal growth and emotional health. Therapy is an investment that requires not only your time, energy, and emotions, but also a financial commitment. We ask you to consider the costs of not pursuing therapy; not seeking help can cost you continued emotional suffering; financial costs associated with taking medications, loss of productivity at working including needing to take sick days and missing opportunities for promotion; and costs to your health associated with binge eating, smoking, drinking, or taking drugs to reduce stress.
Do you take insurance?
We don’t take payment directly from the insurance company. You will be provided a receipt at every session, which you can then submit to your insurance company to get reimbursed. We suggest that you call your insurance company to find out whether they cover the services of a psychologist (or psychotherapist or social worker, depending on practitioner’s professional affiliation); there are many different “types” of mental health professionals and every insurance company determines which one(s) they cover.
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept cash or cheque, payable to Healing Tree Psychology and Wellness Centre, LLP. Fees are payable at the end of every session. For online sessions, we also accept email money transfers. Please send payment to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the following security question and answer:
“What’s the name of the clinic?”
How do I know therapy is right for me?
Quite frankly, almost EVERYONE can benefit from therapy. However, some people NEED therapy more than others. If you feel your life is not going the way you would like, want to make some changes that you know you need to make but aren’t sure how, would like the support of a qualified professional to guide you, want to grow as a person or feel that you’re in a crisis, you would most certainly benefit from therapy. Many people assume that only “crazy” people go to therapy, whereas in reality, we all struggle with issues and those that are self-aware, want more out of life, or have the strength to admit they need help are most likely to go to therapy. There is no need to have a mental health diagnosis to receive psychotherapy; in fact, getting help before something becomes clinically significant is often a wise choice. That being said, if you have a diagnosis, getting therapy can not only help you manage but also heal at least some of the root causes. Finally, pursuing therapy is also probably right for you if you feel that you are having trouble managing in life or other people have expressed concern for your well-being.
How do I know therapy will work?
Like most things in life, there are no guarantees. However, whether therapy works depends on two important factors: first, how much you commit to the process and focus on doing the work both inside and outside the session; and second, on the relationship between you and your therapist. When the match is good, it creates a positive therapeutic relationship that keeps the work moving forward. Therapy is a process, and not all change is linear, and you can and should always feel free to discuss how therapy is going with your therapist. However, we can say that once the match is established, for the clients that stick it out, we generally see good results, with clients making good progress and seeing real change in the issues that brought them to therapy.
How long will therapy take?
There are no hard-and-fast rules about how long therapy will take. In general, it will depend on the type of issue(s) you’re bringing to therapy, the complexity of the situation, the severity of the problems, how long you’ve been struggling with them, and the resources you have available to you. These resources can include financial resources, social support systems, internal/emotional resources, and your motivation and commitment to the process.
Because the type of work we do is depth-oriented and focused on truly healing the problems at their roots, rather than just “managing symptoms,” it is not short-term work. While it is often possible to feel better about a particular problem in just one session, or by using the techniques we can teach you to manage your emotions better, making lasting change in your belief systems and coping strategies can take months or even years. This does not necessarily mean you will be in therapy for 20 years, as clients sometimes take breaks to practice the skills they have learned and return when they are ready for the next phase of their work. The duration and course of your therapy is something you can and should discuss with your therapist so that you have realistic expectations.
How long are the sessions?
Sessions are generally 50 minutes in length, the industry standard known as a “therapy hour.” Your therapist may be open to other session durations, from 75 min. or 100 min., for example during the initial intake sessions, if you’re struggling with a particular crisis, or have planned a couple or family session that may require extra time, as long as their schedule allows it.
How often does therapy take place?
In general, we recommend weekly sessions to ensure a good pace to the work. Less frequent sessions make it difficult to keep the momentum going, as sessions are often focused on “catching up” rather than processing the issues that present themselves between sessions or building on the last session. That being said, if finances are a concern, and your therapist feels it is clinically appropriate, biweekly sessions can be a possibility once the work has gotten off to a good start. In addition, when a client is nearing the end of their work, it is common practice to begin reducing the frequency of the sessions to wind down.
Do sessions have to be in-person?
In general, given the deeply intimate nature of therapy, in-person is recommended. However, your therapist can also offer telephone or online sessions as the primary modality for any number of reasons – please see our “Teletherapy” page for more information.
What happens in a therapy session?
This can vary widely from session to session, therapist to therapist. In general, you can expect to do a lot of the talking, especially at the beginning of therapy when you and your therapist are getting to know each other and formulate a treatment plan. There are some sessions where you will need to “vent,” and a supportive listening ear is what you need. However, in general we take an active approach in our work, jumping in to ask questions to clarify the meaning of what you’re saying or to guide you toward finding the answers within yourself, or providing “psychoeducation” to help you better understand your difficulties. Your therapist may also guide you through various experiential exercises, such as guided meditation or visualization, breathing exercises or healing processes to access deeper emotion and release it. Most sessions will start with a discussion about how you’re doing and what you’d like to focus on in that particular session, and you will be guided from there. If you ever have questions about how therapy is progressing, you can feel free to raise these with your individual therapist.
Is what I say confidential?
Confidentiality is a key principle upon which safety is established in the therapeutic relationship, and it is your legal right to have what you disclose to your therapist kept private. Licenced psychologists are required to keep files for each client, which includes identifying information, brief notes on therapy sessions, and an evaluation report. These files are kept strictly confidential. That being said, there are some exceptions to this confidentiality. Psychologists are required to report any imminent threat of danger to self or known others, as well as any known abuse of vulnerable populations (children, elderly or infirm persons). In addition, files may be subpoenaed by the court if a client is involved in legal proceedings. Any communication between your psychologist and another individual, such as a physician, parent (if the client is 14 or older), or insurance company representative, requires your signed consent. Psychologists may on occasion seek supervision or consultation to help them provide better treatment; in this case, any identifying information will be minimized to keep your identity confidential.
I’m not sure I like therapy, what should I do?
Therapy, which can be enormously satisfying, isn’t always “fun.” It may require you to delve into difficult memories or emotions, hit occasional snags or impasses, and some sessions may feel more productive than others. In addition, because of the emotional intimacy that can develop in a therapeutic relationship, miscommunications and poorly timed interventions can provoke a strong reaction in clients. No matter the reason, we urge you to discuss your concerns, feelings and reactions with your therapist. A well-grounded therapist will be able to hear your concerns without taking them personally, and will attempt to repair any breaches in the therapeutic relationship. In fact, this can be enormously healing if you struggle with interpersonal issues outside the therapy room (e.g., fear of confrontation). If you are not happy with the way the therapy is progressing, you and your therapist can reevaluate your goals and approach to the work to get it back on track.
That being said, if your attempts to communicate with your therapist are not working, you don’t feel the fit is good, or you feel the work has become stagnant, we suggest that you contact the administration to discuss the possibility of being reassigned to another practitioner, or referred outside our centre if no one else on our team can help you. It is important that you get the care you need and deserve.
Do you offer emergency/crisis services?
We are not a crisis centre. This means that for individuals who are not currently being seen by one of our practitioners, we cannot guarantee services with an immediate or short delay, either by phone or in person. If you are completely emotionally overwhelmed or in danger of hurting or killing yourself, we recommend that you present to the ER of your nearest hospital, or call one of the following numbers:
- Suicide Action Montreal: 514-723-4000
- West Island Crisis Centre: 514‑684‑6160
- Tracom (crisis centre): 514-483-3033
That being said, sometimes a crisis presents itself while someone is already in therapy; in this case, we urge you to use the services listed above in the short-term, but to also contact your therapist as soon as possible. While he or she may not be able to respond right away, he or she will attempt to contact you to assess the situation and direct you to the right resources, and if appropriate and possible, offer you a session sooner than your next scheduled appointment. Treatment goals may be re-evaluated at this point, and if your treating professional cannot meet your needs given the severity of the crisis, may refer you to another service either in addition to or instead of the work you are currently doing.