Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book a therapy/counselling session?
What if I'm not living in Toronto/North York?
How much will I pay for each session?
The typical fee for each 50-min session with me is $100 for both "in office" (at the Better Life Counselling Center) and the "online" sessions. No HST will be added to the fee as psychotherapy is considered a health service in Ontario.
Are your services covered by OHIP?
No, my psychotherapy and counselling services are not covered by OHIP.
Are your services covered by extended health care plans?
Yes, I am a registered psychotherapist and my services are covered by many extended health care plans. We will check together to make sure about your insurance plan coverage.
Do I need a referral from my family physician?
No, I don't necessarily require referral from your family doctor. However if you have an extended health plan, your insurance company may require that to accept your coverage.
What if I cannot afford the therapy fee?
If you have a health insurance plan, then that usually covers some part of your fees. However, if your insurance plan does not cover your fees and the fees seem not to be affordable, please let me know. In some cases, some sorts of discounts could be considered for in office clients.
How long does the therapy process take?
Compared to other types of psychotherapy like psychoanalysis, CBT is a brief treatment. It cannot be said exactly how long a successful therapy will take. Some people already feel considerably better after a few sessions, while others need treatment for longer. This depends on the kind and severity of the problems. By average, the CBT process takes 8-20 sessions (Usually one session per week, which translates into about 2-5 months). In some cases, the process may take less than 8 sessions, while in other cases involving problematic personality traits, we probably will use schema therapy instead of CBT and the process may take 1-2 years.
What is CBT?
CBT stands for 'Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy', and is one of the most effective and popular approaches used in psychotherapy. CBT is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective in hundreds of clinical trials for many different disorders. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive therapy is usually more focused on the present, more time-limited, and more problem-solving oriented. In addition, patients learn specific skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. These skills involve identifying distorted thinking, modifying beliefs, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors.
What is Schema Therapy?
Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to treatment that combines aspects of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies into one unified model. Schema Therapy has shown remarkable results in helping people to change negative ("maladaptive") patterns which they have lived with for a long time, even when other methods (including CBT) and efforts they have tried before have been largely unsuccessful. This method specially works for people who have long-standing patterns or themes in thinking, feeling and behaving and helps them to address and modify these deeper patterns or themes, also known as "schemas" or "lifetraps."
How will I know if therapy is working?
In CBT, many patients notice a decrease in their symptoms within a few weeks of therapy, or even sooner, if they have been faithfully attending sessions and doing the suggested assignments between sessions on a daily basis. In schema therapy however the changes require more time, as deep-seated patterns are the main target in this approach.
Is it confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components in counselling. Whatever you tell me will be kept totally confidential with me unless it is the matter of serious harm to yourself or someone else.
What about medication?
Many patients and many problems are treated without medication at all. Some disorders, however, respond better to a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In these case, we will discuss whether you should have a psychiatric consultation with a specialist (a psychopharmacologist) in this regard. If you do not want to be on medication, you and I will assess, after four to six weeks, how much you've progressed and determine whether you might want a psychiatric consultation at that time to obtain more information about medication.
In what languages counselling/therapy is offered?
I offer therapy/counselling in English and Farsi.
Do I need to pay double, if I come with another person (e.g., a partner)?
No! The fee for each 50-min session is always the same, regardless of how many clients attend that same session. However the ideal time for a couple/family therapy session is 90 minutes which the fee would be $150.
Can I take my child/teenager for therapy?
My psychotherapy and counselling practice is for adults, and I do not work with children/teenagers (under 18 y/o) directly. However, I can work with you to provide consulting on parenting and how to help your child/adolescent.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you cannot make it to a counselling session, I require 24 hours cancellation notice. Otherwise, due to the policy of the Better Life counselling center, half-fee would be payable by you.
Is there parking?
Nearby street parking and paid parking in the immediate area are available.
What is the difference between Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors and Social Workers?
How do i pay the fee for my online sessions?
It depends on where you live, but typically you can pay via e-transfer or using a credit card to pay for your session(s) on this very website.