FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Do you have LGBT2Q+ therapists at Transforming Emotions?

 

Yes. We do have members who self-identify as members of the LGBT2Q+ community providing services.  All therapists providing services through Transforming Emotions are committed to respectful and responsible service to members of LGBT2Q+ community.

Do you have therapists from racialized communities at Transforming Emotions?

Given realities of anti-Black racism, racism towards Indigenous community members, and the impacts on lived experience of systemic racism, racial microaggressions, and colonialism, we are committed to increasing the diversity of our counselling team. All therapists providing services through Transforming Emotions are committed to working in ways that are mindful, respectful, and validating of diverse and intersecting identities and that seek to explore and address the negative impacts of systemic racism.

Is Transforming Emotions an accessible space?

Our practice is entirely virtual at this time. If you require specific accommodation within a virtual setting, please notify our intake coordinator so that way may respond to your specific inquiry.

What do I look for in a therapist?

 

"Fit" is important any time you begin working with a new therapist. If you do not feel comfortable speaking frankly with your care provider in the first few sessions, the fit may not be right for you.  If, however, you begin to feel uncomfortable after a period of working well with your care provider, it is important to name and address this discomfort directly. Doing so is likely to create opportunities to identify and change patterns in how you manage emotions within relationships.

 

What should I expect in the first few sessions?

 

In the first few sessions, we will talk in depth about your current challenges, and the experiences that have led to this point in your life.  We will work with you to develop a shared understanding of your current experience, how it has developed over time, and our plan to help you to move forward. By the third or fourth session we will typically begin to actively address the concerns that have brought you into therapy, aiming to begin processes of transformation.

It is not uncommon for clients to experience an increase in symptoms or emotional discomfort prior to experiencing improvement - after all, facing difficult emotions seldom feels good. However, in our experience it is a necessary precursor to sustained change. As we explore the reasons that brought you into therapy, other issues may be identified which appear to underlie current difficulties. 

 

How many sessions will I need?

Duration of therapy varies widely depending upon an individual’s concerns, and desired outcomes.  Therapy duration can vary from a few sessions for challenges that have arisen recently, to one or more years for symptoms stemming from significant neglect or trauma earlier in life.  In research settings, treatments of 16 sessions have resulted in improvements in depression, anxiety, and trauma symptoms in the majority of clients.

 

How long is a therapy session?

Sessions are typically 50 minutes long. 80-minute sessions are available during periods of more intensive psychotherapy work.

 

How much does treatment cost?

Psychological care is not covered by OHIP.  However, fees to meet with a registered psychologist are typically covered, up to a defined limit, by extended health benefits offered by employers or private insurance plans.   Our fees are set in accordance with guidelines set by the Ontario Psychological Association. Please contact us at TransformingEmotions@gmail.com for information on current rates.

 

Payment is expected at each session and may be made by cash, cheque (to Transforming Emotions), or e-transfer to TransformingEmotions@gmail.com.  A $30.00 charge will be applied for returned cheques. 

 

You will be provided with a receipt that may be used to access extended health care coverage.  Please note that if you use up the amount of money allotted for psychological services by your plan, further therapy expenses may be eligible to be claimed on your income tax, as a medical expense.

 

Since alternative bookings are unlikely at short notice, our policy is to charge full fees for missed appointments and cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice.

 

 

How do you protect my privacy and confidentiality?

 

We respect your privacy and the confidentiality of all material that you share with your counsellor. We gather and store information related to your care, including identifying information and session notes describing our work together in order to provide you with the highest quality of care.  All personal health information is collected, stored, and destroyed in compliance with Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

 

In some situations, we may need to be in contact with your health care providers in order to establish a Circle of Care and provide you with coordinated services. In these circumstances, and in accordance with PHIPA, we will share with your care giver(s) only such information as is necessary for your assessment or treatment.  However, you may at any time expressly request that we not share specific information with a particular care provider.

 

There are exceptions when we may need to breach confidentiality:

 

1) If you intend to harm yourself or another person in the immediate future.

 

2) If there is a reasonable suspicion that a child (any individual up to their 16th birthday) is at risk of emotional and/or physical neglect or emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse, we are required by law to report this to the Children’s Aid Society immediately.

 

3) If you are involved in a court case and the judge thinks that counselling history is relevant to the case, your file may be subpoenaed.

 

4) If you have a complaint about a regulated health professional (including, but not limited to: doctor, nurse, psychologist, chiropractor, or massage therapist) with respect to inappropriate sexual behaviour towards you, and you provide us with that individual’s name, we are required to report this complaint to their regulatory body.

5) The Long Term Homes Act, Retirement Homes Act, and Residential Homes Act require mandatory reporting of all suspected physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, financial abuse of a resident.

6) The Missing Persons Act gives police the ability to obtain information about a missing person after reasonable efforts have not enabled them to locate the person. If the police present an Order or a Search Warrant from a judge or justice of the peace or an Urgent Demand in writing, a Psychologist is required to provide file information about that missing person. 

 

You have the right to access your own file.  Should you wish to do so, or should you have questions or complaints related to how your personal information is managed at Transforming Emotions, you may contact Dr. Sarah Thompson via welcome.transformingemotions@gmail.com to express your concerns, or to request a time to speak. You may also contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at https://www.ipc.on.ca/privacy-individuals/filing-a-privacy-complaint/.

To maximize your privacy during an online session, please consider the following:

- Situating yourself in a room with a closed door (e.g. office, bedroom, bathroom). 

- If others are present in your home, consider playing music or TV outside the room you are in to mask the sound of your voice.

- Using headphones will prevent others from hearing your therapist’s responses

- All counselling staff will be working from a space where your voice will not be overheard by others in their vicinity.

- While it is preferred for clients to have privacy and quiet for their sessions, this is not always possible if you are a caretaker to young children or an unwell family member. If you have dependents home during your session, please notify your therapist. Your therapist may recommend changes in your typical format or topics of discussion in order to support your well-being while taking into account the well-being of those in your environment.

We welcome any questions you may have about our policies and practices in maintaining your privacy and confidentiality.​​​​

 

How are sessions currently being conducted?

Currently all sessions are being conducted online or over the phone.  Online psychotherapy provides excellent opportunities to increase accessibility of high quality counselling for those with mobility impairments, who live in more remote communities, and during times of public health crises such as during COVID-19. Online therapy has been a subject of research for more than a decade and has been deemed to be an effective mode of service delivery. To assist you in beginning online therapy, please take a moment to review the information below.

What do I need for online sessions?

 

- A device with an internal or external camera.

- Access to an internet connection with sufficient speed to stream video.

- A quiet and confidential space from which you feel comfortable speaking to a counsellor.

Are my online sessions secure?

We currently use a platform called Owl Video Therapy, with servers located exclusively in Canada. Owl Video Therapy is compliant with PHIPA (the Personal Health Information Protection Act) and uses encryption to protect your data while it is being transmitted and stored.

To maximize your privacy during an online session, please consider the following:

- Situating yourself in a room with a closed door (e.g. office, bedroom, bathroom). 

- If others are present in your home, consider playing music or TV outside the room you are in to mask the sound of your voice.

- Using headphones will prevent others from hearing your therapist’s responses

- All counselling staff will be working from a space where your voice will not be overheard by others in their vicinity.

- While it is preferred for clients to have privacy and quiet for their sessions, this is not always possible if you are a caretaker to young children or an unwell family member. If you have dependents home during your session, please notify your therapist. Your therapist may recommend changes in your typical format or topics of discussion in order to support your well-being while taking into account the well-being of those in your environment.