No, it is not necessary; you can contact me directly. However, your extended health benefits plan may require a medical referral (re being reimbursed for my fees)… check your plan.
Certain challenges are best addressed by clinicians working in a multi-disciplinary team, and/or with specialized training. As such, I do NOT work with:
- children and teens (under the age of 18)
- people on short or long term disability, WSIB or MVA clients
- people who have been abusive/violent
- people diagnosed with personality disorders
- people struggling with:
- drug and/or alcohol overuse, abuse, addiction
- anorexia and bulimia
- active cutting/self-harm
- active suicidality
No, although that is a very common fear when people are coming to talk about very personal, bothersome and potentially embarrassing issues. I think people are doing their best, and while sometimes that ‘best’ isn’t working well for them or others, it usually comes from not knowing what else to do. I think people are brave and constructive to seek outside support and guidance. I am also open to complexity, like when a client loves and resents someone, or wants to change and is comfortable with the familiar — very normal! One of the best things about seeing a trained professional like myself in a safe confidential setting is being able to talk about matters that have been unexamined, and often, really stuck. Clients find me open and nonjudgmental –– that is certainly my goal, especially with sensitive issues like sexuality, trauma, and harmful habits.
It is very normal and common for people to experience and express tender and painful feelings in sessions, especially as I provide a safe and private place to cry, be angry, etc. Clients can feel stirred up or somewhat upset after talking about their difficulties — it can be a good idea to schedule sessions at a time that allows for not having to get back to work or duties immediately. We also can work on our pacing and ways of containing, self-soothing and regrouping. Certainly some discomfort comes with change, but overall, in my opinion and experience, the long–term benefits of therapy far outweigh the pain of staying stuck.
If you are meeting me in person in my Ottawa office, have a seat in the waiting room, and fill in the information sheet (address etc.) on the clipboard there. I will come out for you at your appointment time. We will sit and talk about what has brought you to my office. I will ask questions to help you tell me about yourself, your life circumstances, and what you would like to accomplish in working with me. You can decide how much or how little you want to tell me right away. My goal is to have a beginning sense of who you are, what matters to you, and how I might be of service. In addition, I am open to your questions, and overall, seeing if we are a good match (if I think someone else would serve you better, I will refer you). You pay me, I give you a receipt, and if we agree, we book your next appointment.
If we are meeting via secure video conferencing, please see the details under that tab in Available Across Ontario for setting up for our first session.