Frequently Asked Questions
What is therapy?
Therapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a therapist that uses scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective life habits. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who is objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You and your therapist will work together to identify and change the thought and behaviour patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best. Therapy aims to teach new skills sets so that you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.
When should you consider therapy?
Everyone can benefit from therapy because we all have trouble coping with certain problems and unproductive behaviour patterns that hold us back from being our best selves. Some people seek therapy because feelings like worry, anxiety, sadness, depression and anger interfere with the quality of their lives and their ability to function well in the home or at work.
Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:
You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
Your problems don't seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
Your behaviour and actions are negatively impacting your family.
What is the difference between a Psychologist, a Psychotherapist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists are colleagues and often work collaboratively.
Psychologists in Canada have masters level or doctoral degrees in psychology, years of supervised work experience and have passed provincial exams for licensure. In Ontario, Psychologists are registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario to provide psychological services.
Psychologists specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, care planning and treatment of impairment in cognition, emotion, thought, personality, and behaviour. The fees for psychologists in private practice may be covered by extended health plans, employee assistance programs, government services and agencies and/or self-pay.
Psychotherapists in Ontario are formally registered through completion of supervision hours and a registration exam process with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Psychotherapists primarily provide talk-based therapy to help people improve mental health and well-being. They work together with clients with the goal of bringing about positive changes in the client's thinking, feeling, behaviour and social functioning.
Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine and advanced training (internship, residency) in their area of specialization. They focus on the biological aspects of mental health. In Ontario, their practice is largely focused on medication management and consulting with family physicians, psychologists and other health professionals. Psychiatrist services are covered by OHIP.
What are the different kinds of therapy?
There are many different approaches to therapy. Therapists generally draw on one or more of these. Each theoretical perspective acts as a roadmap to help the therapist understand their clients and their problems and develop solutions. The kind of treatment you receive will depend on a variety of factors: current psychological research, your therapist’s theoretical orientation and what works best for your situation. Your therapist’s theoretical perspective will affect what goes on in his or her office. Therapists who use cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, have a practical approach to treatment. Your therapist might ask you to tackle certain tasks designed to help you develop more effective coping skills (e.g. log your reactions to a particular situations as they occur, practice new skills between sessions or engage in reading assignments so you can learn more about a particular topic). In contrast, psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches typically focus more on talking than doing. You might spend your sessions discussing your early experiences to help you and your therapist better understand the root causes of your current problems.
Your therapist may combine elements from several styles of therapy. In fact, most therapists do not tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client’s needs. The main thing to know is whether your therapist has expertise in the area you need help with and whether your therapist feels he or she can help you.
How are psycho-educational assessments useful?
Psycho-educational assessments are designed to clarify an individual’s cognitive abilities, information processing skills, academic aptitudes and behavioural style. The assessment process can identify gifted level abilities, learning challenges, developmental levels and behavioural assets/obstacles.
Based on the information obtained during the assessment, clients receive comprehensive results and recommendations to optimize the assessed individual’s success. For students, we provide the documentation required for Individual Educational Plans and access to College/University learning centers. For adults, we can help to illuminate previously undiagnosed learning and behavioural difficulties and assist with strategies to enhance daily functioning.
What services do you offer in French?
Therapy for adolescents and adults
French Immersion psycho-educational assessments (the academic portion of testing is administered in French and the rest of the assessment is administered in English).
What is Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
Why Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is uniquely based on principles derived from behavioural science, social psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience. It appeals to many people because it is problem oriented and is more focused on moving forward to solve problems than going over the past to determine why the problems exist. In cognitive and behavioural therapy, you can learn to identify the connections between your actions, thoughts and feelings in order to develop healthier patterns.
When is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy used?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is widely used in the area of mental health. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been found to be one of the most effective treatments for anxiety and depression but is also used to treat other issues. The principals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can also be useful for individuals who do not have a particular mental health issue but require guidance to manage everyday life stressors.
Do I need a referral for services?
You can make an appointment and participate in services at Westboro Psychology without a referral. However, your insurance company may request a referral note from a medical doctor (e.g. family doctor/physician) in order to cover costs for therapy and/or assessments.