How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, trauma, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counsellors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you're at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
What is therapy like?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.
It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as reading a pertinent book, journaling on specific topics, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking counselling are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.
What about medication vs. counselling?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.
Do my benefits cover the cost of counselling?
To determine if you have coverage for counselling through your extended health benefits, read the information book, contact someone in your Human Resources Department, or call your carrier and see if you have coverage for Social Workers who have a Master of Social Work (MSW) and are Registered Social Workers (RSW). Some helpful questions you can ask them:
- What are my counselling service benefits?
- What is the coverage limit?
- Is approval required from my family doctor before I start?
Do you offer a free first session or consultation?
No. We do not offer a free first session or consultation because the work that you and your counsellor will do together begins the moment you walk into the room. If you really believe that your counsellor isn't the right fit for you after the first session, please call us as we can set up an appointment for you to meet with a different counsellor and we'll work with you to ensure you don't feel you have to repeat yourself again.
How much is counselling going to cost?
Our regular rate for counselling is $125/hour, which is slightly below the suggested guidelines for social workers in Ontario. We also have some flexibility with our rate, and are able to try to work with you to ensure that you can afford counselling services, even if you don't have extended health benefit coverage. We accept cash, Interac Debit, Visa and Mastercard in an effort to help make payments easier. Also, you can use your receipts on your personal income taxes as a part of your medical expenses for the year.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please let us know at least 24 hours ahead of time. We reserve the right to bill a half session fee for the first late cancellation or missed appointment and a full session fee for following incident. In the case of illness or emergency, please contact us as soon as possible and we'll work on rescheduling your appointment for you. We may choose to waive your fee in these circumstances.
For bad weather, we will cancel appointments based on the Waterloo Region District School Board's decision to close schools (not buses).
I attend university, are your services covered by my student benefits plan?
Students at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are covered by their student benefits to see one of our counsellors. A receipt will be issued which you can then submit for reimbursement.
Wilfrid Laurier University
Full/Part-time Undergraduate Students are covered $800/policy year and 80% per visit is covered. Plan details can be found here.
Full-time Graduate Students are covered $500/policy year and up to $30 coverage per visit. Plan details can be found here.
University of Waterloo
Full-time Undergraduate Students are covered $400 per calendar year and up to 80% coverage per visit. A physician referral is required and must accompany first claim. Plan details can be found here.
Full-time Graduate Students are covered $400 per calendar year and up to 80% coverage per visit. A physician referral is required and must accompany first claim. Plan details can be found here.
Unfortunately Conestoga College does not offer coverage for Social Work at this time.