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PSYCHOTHERAPY FAQ

psychotherapy faq toronto

1. General Psychotherapy FAQ

How do I know I need therapy?

The decision to enter into therapy is a highly personal one. People seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes a crisis or trauma has provoked intense and overwhelming feelings.

Many people want to enter into therapy for relationship problems, on-the-job stress, self-doubt, and other emotional problems.

Some people feel a more general need to talk about the gulf between what they imagined their lives would be and the circumstances in which they actually find themselves.

Some use therapy and life coaching to enhance and get more out of their already high functioning lives.

We all want to be heard and listened to, and often just talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive person makes you feel better.

Does therapy work?

Only you can determine if it works or not. Most people who enter into therapy report feeling an overall sense of well-being.

It’s important to recognize that therapy is not a fast or easy fix. It’s a process that can be full of surprises and there may even be setbacks. Sometimes, even if your issue seems straightforward, it can turn into something more complicated. It’s important to be patient and trust that things are progressing as they should be.

You should be able to tell within a few sessions if you and your psychotherapist are a good fit, and if you are benefiting from therapy. You won’t be a new person overnight, but you may find that in time your overall mood is improving, you feel more connected to family and friends, and less overwhelmed by the issues that were bothering you.

Which school are you affiliated with and what are your credentials?

I completed my diploma program in psychotherapy in March 2016 from the Transformational Arts College (TAC), based in Toronto. Read more about the school and the program here. I currently have the designations of RP(Q) – Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and CH – Consulting Hypnotist (from the National Guild of Hypnotists).

The RP(Q) designation is regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). The Qualifying tag means that I am licensed to practice, as long as my clinical work is supervised by an experienced Registered Psychotherapist. I need to achieve a certain number of client contact hours, supervision hours and write an exam to drop the Qualifying tag, to become a Registered Psychotherapist in full.

To review my page on the CRPO psychotherapist public directory – click here.

To contact CRPO for any questions or complaints – click here.

What is Holistic Psychotherapy?

Holistic Psychotherapy theory holds that a person’s consciousness is not housed in any one part of the person but is instead an integration of the mind, body, and spirit. Practitioners of holistic psychotherapy, who believe viewing each person as a whole being is an essential first step in providing care, typically collaborate with those in therapy to help them gain awareness of the connections between their emotions, thoughts, physical experiences, and spiritual understandings. Therapists can help individuals realize each of these components work together in harmony to support typical daily function. This deeper understanding of the whole self can often lend itself to greater self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-acceptance.

My own style of delivering therapy is of an eclectic nature, while being firmly grounded in holistic psychology. I have added body psychotherapy, hypnosis, applied mindfulness, NLP, Gestalt exercises, EFT Tapping and other techniques to my toolkit and that list is constantly growing.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a psychotherapist?

It can be confusing to know the difference between these titles.

The suffix “-iatry” means “medical treatment,” and “-logy” means “science” or “theory.” So psychiatry is the medical treatment of the psyche, and psychology is the science of the psyche (more theoretical). A psychiatrist can prescribe drugs, and a psychologist cannot.

A psychotherapist is not a medical doctor, nor a scientist and they do not “treat” patients. Instead, psychotherapists are trained to work specifically through talk and experiential therapy, which is proven through years of practice to help people live open, honest and satisfying lives.

Is psychotherapy different from counseling?

Yes. Psychotherapy can sometimes be confused with counseling therapy, and often the words” psychotherapy” and “counseling” are used interchangeably, but as a course of treatment, they are different.

In general, counseling is a more directive approach, which means a counselor will often give advice to help you solve a problem or deal with a personal issue.

Psychotherapy on the other hand, is working with a therapist to talk through your issues so that you come to a point where you are better able to make your own decisions.

How is this different from talking to a friend?

In its essence, the therapeutic conversation is very different from the one you would have with a friend. Most importantly, this is all about you.

This offers a safe place to drop into your most personal inner world without having to fear that you’ll be thought “crazy”, and without concern for a friend’s fragility or judgment. In the therapeutic setting, all thoughts and feelings can be explored; your therapist is professionally trained and bound by confidentiality.

What is my past and my childhood have to do with my present day issues?

Studies have shown, that you learn most of your core behavioural patterns by the age of 7. Which means that the way you react to current day situations is greatly biased by the kind of experiences you had as a child.

Please be aware that issues from the past will only be explored if they have a perceived connection with your present day issues. Also it is never too late to have a healthy childhood.

How long does it take to see results?

The therapeutic process is different for everyone. Its direction and duration will vary, depending on the individual and his or her goals and intentions.

Providing safety and confidentiality, the process of psychotherapy involves self-reflection, recollection and the mindful exploration of deeper feelings and motivations. It is important to allow the process to evolve in whatever way works for you and fulfills your particular requirements.

Will I become dependent on my psychotherapist?

Therapy provides long-lasting benefits, and gives you the tools for transforming your life – for relating better to others, building the life you want for yourself, and coping with whatever challenges come your way.

Over time, increased consciousness helps you to help yourself and minimizes or eliminates your need to continue therapy.

Is psychotherapy a regulated health profession?

Psychotherapy is regulated in Ontario by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), which was proclaimed in April 2015. The Registered Psychotherapist (RP) title would be awarded to practitioners who meet the ministry registration requirements. For detailed information, you may go to http://www.crpo.ca/

What level of privacy can I expect?

In general, all communication between us is confidential and I will only release information about our work to others at your request and with your written permission. I will also be discussing our work with my supervisor, however I will do everything possible to keep your identity confidential. My supervisor’s focus will be on how I am doing as a psychotherapist and is there to offer suggestions and input on my work with you. My supervisor is also bound by confidentiality.

There are certain situations, however, where I am required by law to reveal information obtained during therapy to other persons/agencies, even if you do not give permission. These are the situations:  If you threaten grave bodily harm or death to yourself or another I may inform medical or law enforcement personnel. If you report to me knowledge of physical or sexual abuse of a minor child by an adult, or of an elderly or disabled person I am required to inform the appropriate agencies. If you report the sexual misconduct of a mental health professional I am required to report it to the appropriate College. If you become involved in a legal case (child custody, civil suit, etc.) I may be required to produce records or testify. I will do everything I can to keep your records confidential but sometimes it may be out of my control to do so.

Is psychotherapy in Toronto covered by OHIP?

Unfortunately no. Psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP or the Ontario Health Insurance Plan as psychotherapists are not medical practitioners. However, psychotherapy fees may be covered by your personal healthcare plan through your workplace, or a separate health insurance plan that covers psychotherapy.

Can you dispel some common myths surrounding therapy?

Please follow the link given below to know the truth behind some common myths surrounding psychotherapy –

Therapists Spill – 11 Myths About Therapy

2. E-Therapy FAQ

Do you conduct therapy over the internet? If so, then what software do you use and what hardware do I need?

Yes, I do provide e-therapy through the video conferencing software called Zoom (https://zoom.us), to potential clients residing in Canada. You will need a computer with a fast internet connection. You will need a webcam and many modern laptops have inbuilt webcams. Also you will need a good mic and speakers/headphones. Ideally the mic and speakers on your laptop should be fine.

Please test your hardware before the session and be online 5 minutes before the session. I will not be extending the length of the session due to technical issues on your side. If the issue cannot be resolved easily, then we will have to reschedule the session, after paying for the current session.

Do I need to install Zoom and create an account, to work with you?

You don’t need to create an account to work with me via Zoom. Just before our session, I will be sending you a meeting invite via email. The invite will include this link, which will enable you to join my virtual meeting room – https://zoom.us/j/3728331978. Once you click on this link, you need to do the following –

  • Click on the meeting room link and it will open in a new tab
  • It will show a popup for you to download the Zoom launcher application. Click OK to download
  • Start the Zoom launcher application, which will install Zoom on your computer
  • Then the software will launch the video conferencing application and if everything works correctly then you will be connected to my audio-visual feed and vice versa
  • For further assistance, watch this video tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzk4vdTIi0c
Does Zoom provide enhanced privacy and is it HIPAA compliant?

Yes, Zoom video conferencing is end-to-end encrypted using AES-256 bits session encryption that is sufficient for non-government providers, to protect sensitive information. For more information on how Zoom keeps its clients information private, please visit and review the information at the links given below:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362723-What-is-End-to-End-encryption-

http://d24cgw3uvb9a9h.cloudfront.net/static/9383/doc/Zoom-hipaa.pdf

What modes of Payment do you accept and what is the payment and cancellation policy for e-therapy?

I accept Interac Email Money Transfer and Paypal (use this link to make a payment – https://www.paypal.me/AyanMukherjee). The payment needs to be received 24 hours before the e-therapy session. Cancellations need to be made more than 24 hours before the e-therapy session, otherwise the full fees for the session will be charged.

Any other e-therapy policies that I should be mindful of before the session?

All other e-therapy policies are shared with you via the Remote Services Consent Form, which you can download here.

About Ayan

Ayan Mukherjee is a Toronto-based, Registered Psychotherapist (Q) and a certified hypnotherapist, who practices holistic psychotherapy, with an empathetic and non-judgmental attitude, to support you in your growth and transformation. To start working with him – Click Here