Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP, Psychotherapist
FAQ: Facts and Questions
FAQ: Facts and Questions
How often should I see my Psychotherapist?
I prefer to see my clients weekly for one hour sessions. I find this makes it a regular, scheduled appointment that you will rarely feel the need to miss. I also find the therapy process is slower when we meet less often and it takes longer (and therefore more money) to meet your needs. However, it also depends on what you want to work on in therapy. If you want to decrease anxiety symptoms, you may find bi-weekly sessions are enough so you can learn new skills and give them a try. If you are coming to therapy because you have a trauma history and long-term symptoms and related concerns, you will find you need weekly sessions to heal in a timely manner and get the support you need. If finances are an issue, then by going bi-weekly at least you are able to get help. Just ensure you do not cancel often, as this can result in scheduling difficulties and possibly not getting the results you want.
Will I feel awful after a therapy session?
Sometimes discussing difficult issues can result in them being on your mind more often during the time you are in therapy. The benefit is that you are bringing them up to heal and create new patterns. However, if you feel intensely down or agitated please tell your therapist. Pacing in sessions is important and can be tailored to meet you needs. I also find Sandtray can decrease this therapy “hangover”.
What do I do if I feel angry at my therapist?
Simply put: Tell them. An example may be that your therapist said something in a way you did not like and it has stayed with you. Your therapy sessions are a chance to learn to be healthier so please tell your therapist so you can work it out. While it may seem easier to simply cancel and not reschedule, it is a missed opportunity to work on interpersonal goals.
Therapy is so expensive! Why?
Psychotherapists in private practice are only paid for the time they spend in sessions, approximately 20-25 sessions weekly. But they work 40 hours a week. Therapists must write client notes, attend consultation/supervision groups and get further training to support you. They are also highly trained and specialized to help you. Toronto is an expensive city to rent office space in and your therapist has to pay high rents to use their office. 30% of these rates are for taxes and another 13% for HST. Unfortunately, therapy is not covered by regular healthcare and benefits through the workplace are limited.
Does therapy help?
If you choose a trained therapist that specializes in the issues you bring, yes absolutely. Please ensure a good fit so you are comfortable. If counselling is not helping, discuss this with your therapist. There are many approaches out there to help you. I find people get as much out of therapy as they put into it. The more effort you put into transforming your life, the more you will see results.
How do I know I need help?
It is possible your relationships are not satisfying for you. Maybe there is a lot of conflict or withdrawing in them. You may find you are feeling anxious or sad a lot more than usual. A general feeling of agitation or irritability may be present.