FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know who the right therapist is for me?
There is a difference between a therapist who specializes in couples therapy than one who does couple therapy. At Vaughan Relationship Centre we are professional couples and family therapists. The difference is that couples therapists look at the entire system and see all sides, even when one partner is not present in the room. Good couples therapists understand that teaching communication skills is not enough and it is important to look at how they couple system works at its core and work towards changing that. The same applies to a family therapist.
Not sure who the right therapist at Vaughan Relationship Centre for you may be? Contact us and we will help you connect with the best fit for you.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies and there is no formula. Every client, couple, and family is unique in their stories, needs, and receptiveness to working through their challenges and learning new tools. Generally, our experience at Vaughan Relationship Centre has been that clients who are implementing what is discussed in the therapy room between sessions in their everyday life tend to need fewer sessions. However, if there are layers and multiple situations to work through, it can take time. Most people coming in have been trying to figure out their circumstances for years and it can take time to work through these layers. At Vaughan Relationship Centre it is our goal to help you as effectively as we can and we do not encourage our clients to continue sessions when it is no longer necessary or therapeutic.
Can I afford therapy? What costs should I expect?
Counselling is an investment, just like we invest in our homes or our education. It is an investment in yourself, your emotional health and happiness, as well as an investment in your most important relationships. Therapy will enrich your life in the long run and create a healthy basis for future connections. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to get information about each of our counsellors’ hourly rate. To help with cost, look at your extended benefits package and see if you have money for counselling. This is the same plan that you use for dental and prescription. Look at how much money is allotted per person attending sessions and when your year starts and ends (we are happy to help you sort this out at Vaughan Relationship Centre). You can also consider attending sessions between 10 am to 3 pm when the rate is lower.
Are my sessions covered under OHIP?
No, unfortunately counselling sessions are not covered under OHIP. Only psychiatrists can cover therapy services under OHIP. However, most employees’ benefits plans (the one that also covers prescriptions and dental) has funds allotted for counselling. Look at your plan and see if your plan has coverage for a Registered Social Worker, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Psychologist or Registered Psychotherapist. Also see how much coverage you have per year per person and when your year starts and ends.
Do I need a referral to receive services?
No, you do not require a referral to attend counselling. However, some insurance companies do require a doctor’s note, so please confirm this with your insurance provider prior to attending sessions. Please call when you are ready to book your first appointment with one of our therapists at Vaughan Relationship Centre.
Who can have access to my information when I attend therapy?
The law and our own professional ethics require us at Vaughan Relationship Centre to keep everything you discuss here in the strictest of confidence. We will not release any information about you or about the content of our sessions to anyone without your consent. The only exceptions, according to which we are required by law to disclose information, occur if any of the following applies to you:
– There is risk of harm or violence to you or someone else
– Child protection concerns
– Issues of elder abuse
– Danger to public safety
– Your file has been subpoenaed by the courts
– You have been assaulted by a regulated health practitioner
Does going to therapy mean I am mentally unstable?
Absolutely not. Our clients are people who maybe going through a rough patch in their lives, a crisis in their relationships or are struggling with a family issue. Seeking help when you feel defeated, stuck, or out of hope does not mean you are unstable in any way. It simply means that you are taking healthy steps towards resolving issues in your life that drag you down and are looking for some guidance on the way. At Vaughan Relationship Centre we emphasize that we are invested in creating a space where you can feel at ease and open up in a perfectly safe and judgement-free environment.
Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, what is the difference?
No matter which professional you opt for in search of beneficial therapy, it is of paramount importance that you consider their experience and training in addition to their personality and relationship between the patient and provider. While it has been proven that a therapist’s relationship with the client can be more beneficial than their qualifications, it’s good to ensure that you are working with an adequately trained professional all the same. At Vaughan Relationship Centre, many of our clients report finding our sessions together more helpful than meeting with another therapy professional with different training. When searching for a professional therapist suitable for your needs, be sure to ask them specifically about their credentials, qualifications, and experience during the interview process.
Still, it’s helpful to understand the difference between these various professional designations, and whether they are the right fit for you.
Clinical Social Workers are mental health professionals with a Master’s degree. Though clinical social workers are most commonly associated with Child and Family Service agency, hospital, school board, correctional institution, and government department environments, they also work in private practice. They work to understand how social issues affect clients, and are generally the most affordable type of therapist, offering more sessions for your coverage. While they can’t prescribe drugs and services not covered under OHIP, social workers are covered under most employee health plans and don’t require a referral to work with you. Many social workers operate a private practice and are qualified to provide psychotherapy, which isn’t commonly known.
Marriage Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals specially trained in psychotherapy and family systems. They work to guide individuals and loved ones through strenuous or difficult situations that are threatening the stability or overall health of specific relationships. They work closely with individuals, couples, and families to address underlying issues, with the intent to repair relationship damage and bring people closer together, encouraging healthy bonds. In the province of Ontario, Registered Marriage and Family Therapists (RMFTs) undergo a comprehensive and meticulous training process entailing 1000 client hour meetings, as well as meetings with a supervisor for 200 hours. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy then must approve them. Not all clinicians (including FMTs) have gone through this rigorous process, so be sure to ask them about their training and qualifications when you meet with them to see if they’re ideal for your needs.
Psychologists are specially trained to analyze, address, treat, and counsel on the prevention of various behavioural and mental conditions affecting their patients. Typically, they work closely with children and adults, but also commonly do so with couples, families, or even entire organizations. Psychologists are able to accurately pinpoint, diagnose, and address neuropsychological disorders and dysfunctions thanks to their meticulous psychological training they’ve undergone. They strive to bring out the best in their clients, mending issues preventing clients from achieving their full potential and therefore enhancing their physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and interpersonal functions. Like Social Workers, Psychologists are not permitted to prescribe medication, but also bear in mind that their services are not covered by OHIP. However, they also don’t require a referral to work with clients, and most employee health plans compensate for their services.
Psychiatrists require a referral from your family physician, and the waiting list to see one is typically long due to their high demand and the fact that sessions can vary in length depending on each client’s needs. That being said, they can work wonders in regards to preventing, diagnosing, and treating various disorders. Whether you require alleviation of mental, addictive, or emotional issues, they are specially trained to help in these areas. Physicians are specifically trained in medical, psychological, and social components, and order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and practice psychotherapy to address and mend issues holding their patients back in life. To get a second opinion and gain a deeper understanding of a client’s needs, psychiatrists often consult with primary care physicians and psychotherapists including clinical social workers and psychologists. Many potential clients find that they can have their issues resolved with the services of a clinical social worker or psychologist, where waiting lists are shorter and sessions are more frequent.
For more information about different practitioners, please see our blog post Understanding the Different Types of Therapy Professionals.