Q: What should I expect in a therapy session?
Before we even begin in sessions I offer free phone consultations (15 mins) where we can determine how I can help you. I will ask you a little bit about the problem, and whether this is your first time in therapy, and you can ask me any questions you like.
Sessions are typically 50 minutes held in my office on Metcalfe st. The first session is typically getting to know the problem, its frequency, duration, and intensity a little bit more in depth. This is a good chance to get a better ‘feel’ for each other. Furthermore, we will discuss therapy goals and expectations, and outline a plan.
I believe strongly in the idea that you are the expert on yourself, while I am the expert on techniques that might help you. This means you will typically be doing most of the talking, while I suggest techniques, and activities that can help uncover your problem and find solutions.
Q: Are you just going to stare at me and nod your head?
Short answer, no. While it’s important to provide a safe, comfortable space for you to listen, I believe it’s my role to help shine new light on your situation. There are times when empathy, compassion, and active listening is required but therapy is usually a give-and-take relationship.
Q: How does therapy work for depression (anxiety, relationship issues)?
There has been extensive research done on cognition (cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT), and how our thoughts can affect our feelings and in turn our actions.
It’s important with any problem that we first take a magnifying glass to the issue to study it in depth. You will be the researcher and together we will look at the findings. Once we’ve hashed out the problem I have some techniques and activities we can do together in session (and at home) that may help you with your problem.
Specifically to anxiety and phobias, there is strong literature to suggest exposure techniques work most effectively. We can talk about how to implement this for you.
For depression, it might include something like a daily mood or thought log.
Q: How long does depression/anxiety/relationship therapy take?
Short answer: it depends. I usually see clients for 3-5 sessions, but it can be much longer if necessary. I ask clients to do some work at home which can really solidify our work in sessions. I understand the conception that therapy can be long and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
Q: How much does therapy usually cost?
That is hard to answer as every client is different. You can see my fees on my policies/fees page.
Q: Can you recommend any readings?
Definitely. Some recommendations:
Feeling Good, by David Burns. That is a landmark book for treatment of anxiety/depression. D. Burns has many other great works too.
Mind over mood by Christine Padesky and Dennis Greenberger. Another great CBT resource.
A guide to rational living, by Albert Ellis. Ellis was a founder of CBT in the 1950’s.
The Mindfulness and acceptance workbook for anxiety, by John Forsyth and George Eifert.
Love Sense, by Ottawa’s very own Sue Johnson. Great book on attachment in couples. Also, Hold me Tight is an excellent couples resource.
The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. Great for understanding different love communication styles.