Frequently Answered Questions

Yes, therapy can help you if you feel stuck. Research indicates that 70% of therapy outcome is determined by you. Simply put, whether therapy can help you depends a lot on YOU! Attributes, such as your ego strength, social support, alliance with the therapist, hope, and expectation are key predicators of therapy success. Your therapist accounts for the remaining 30% of therapy outcome, such as alliances with you and specific therapeutic techniques. Source: Lambert, Michael. (2010). The Heart and Soul of Change: Delivering What Works in Therapy. 2nd Ed. B. L. Duncan, S. Miller, B. Wampold, and M. Hubble (Ed.). Washington D.C: American Psychological Association.

It is hard to say because it depends on a number of factors: how hard you work, the type of issue, and the severity of the problem. Our goal is not to keep you for longer than necessary. We believe our role is to help you through a hump in your journey of life. Once you are over the hump, we can decide together whether you would need further help.

A registered psychotherapist (RP) is someone who has gone through vigorous training in education, training, supervision, and clinical experience in the area of psychotherapy. In Ontario, you need to be a registered psychotherapist or a RP (qualifying) to practice psychotherapy (http://www.crpo.ca/). A registered marriage and family therapist (RMFT) is someone who has met and exceeded the standard of a registered psychotherapist in Ontario. RMFTs are highly qualified individuals who are relationship experts and may have other specialities, such as sex addiction, depression, etc. (www.aamft.org).

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has a specialty in psychiatry. S/he can offer diagnosis, practice psychotherapy, and prescribe medications. Only medical doctors and psychiatrists can prescribe medications. A psychologist usually holds a doctoral level degree (PhD or PsyD) and can offer diagnosis and practice psychotherapy but cannot prescribe medication.

In general, the words “counselling” and “psychotherapy” (or “therapy”) are often interchangeable. You will see them alternate on this website. Technically, however, there is a distinction between the two. College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario (CRPO) states that “The practice of psychotherapy is distinct from both counselling, where the focus is on the provision of information, advice-giving, encouragement and instruction, and spiritual counselling, which is counselling related to religion or faith-based beliefs. … However, psychotherapy and counselling can be highly interrelated.”

It is of utmost importance for you to feel safe in psychotherapy – without it, therapy usually does not work. Everything you discuss in therapy is confidential. Your therapist is not allowed to discuss your case with anyone. There a few exceptions; usually have to do with the law of Ontario. For example, in situations where one or more of the following is present:

  • harm to self,
  • harm to others,
  • child abuse (Includes physical, sexual, neglect, emotional abuse, the witness of parents’ intense fighting)
  • a court order to release your record
  • a sexual abuse or harassment by a registered health professional, e.g. doctor, dentist
  • an extended health insurance claim via psychologist
  • individual therapy within couple therapy (The therapist may see each partner individually for a few times, whatever was discussed in the individual sessions will be summarized and brought back to the couple session)

You may run into your therapist(s) in public setting and you may wonder whether you should acknowledge each other or not. Since your privacy and confidentiality are most important to us, we establish the following protocol. If you make contact with us, we would be happy to connect with you in public or social setting. However, we would refrain from discussing any clinical issues, as we want to wait until we are back in the counselling office where there is privacy. If you choose not to acknowledge each other, we would assume you want privacy and we would not initiate contact. Please do not be offended if we don’t greet you.

No, OHIP does not cover our work. OHIP covers only medical doctors and psychiatrists (who are medical doctors with a speciality in psychiatry).

It depends. Each extended health benefit plan is unique and each psychotherapist may have different credentials, so you need to check the coverage of your own plan and ask your therapist about their credentials. For example, Herman Chow is a registered psychotherapists and registered marriage and family therapists, so if your benefit covers either one of these titles, then you will get reimbursed you based on its terms and conditions. Please always check with your benefit first.

Herman does not offer a sliding scale at this point. However, other therapists may offer it, please discuss with your specific psychotherapist.

A typical session is 1 hour long – consisting of 50 minutes talk-therapy and 10 minutes note taking plus administrative issues. However, you and the therapist can decide if you want to extend the session to 1.5 or 2 hours. The fee for the session will be pro-rated.

We need at least 24 hour notice for cancellation - otherwise, a full session fee will be charged. Exception is when there is an emergency (e.g. sickness or accident). Health insurance typically does not cover missed sessions.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short term evidence-based couple therapy created by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. The idea is that a couple often gets stuck in their dance (negative cycle) because of their strong emotions. By working through these strong emotions, the couple can change their dance and get unstuck. Research finds that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% shows significant improvement. See EFT for Couples for more information about Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a short term therapy that originated from Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck. It is an evidence-based model that has demonstrated good results, especially with mood disorder, like depression and anxiety. The idea is to help a client reinterpret their thoughts so their feelings and behavior will change. One research found that CBT achieved significant improvement in more than 75% of patients.

SFT is a strength-based short term model created by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg. The therapy focuses on the solution rather than the problem. The SFT therapist wants to help their client see the solution that already exists within the person. Research indicates average overall success rate at 60% in 3-5 sessions.