Women Matters

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a social worker?

Social workers are regulated health professionals who work with individuals, families, groups, and communities to improve individual and collective well-being. Registered social workers have specialized university education and must participate in continued professional learning and skills development. Social workers assess client’s needs, situations, strengths, and support networks to determine their goals and help clients navigate the challenges and complexities of life.

2. What are the risks/benefits of counselling?

Benefits of therapy may include an increased capacity to live more effectively by improving the ability to cope with life stressors and challenges. You may also gain a better understanding of yourself, which will assist in personal growth. You may experience relief or resolution of mental health struggles by developing coping skills, increased resiliency and a healthier relationship with yourself and others. Therapy involves discussing personal information which may sometimes be uncomfortable or distressing. You may experience periods of increased discomfort. Therapy involves facilitating change according to one’s goals and desires, which may affect a persons established system. You may experience resistance from other people in your life because of the changes you make. As well, you may experience changes in existing or new relationships.

3. What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?

Your appointment is reserved for you. For this reason, I respectively ask that you give 24 hours' notice if you cannot attend your appointment. If you miss a session or cancel without 24-hours notice, you will be charged the full fee for the time that was set aside for you.

4. What happens if I am late for my session?

If you are late, please contact me right away to let me know if you are on your way. If I have not heard from you within the first 20 minutes of your session, I will assume that you are not able to attend and your session will be forfeited, and you will be billed at your full rate (even if there is time remaining in your session). If you let me know you are running late, the session will take place when you arrive and will end at the time originally scheduled. It is best to arrive on time to reap the maximum benefits of your session.

5. Are my sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is always respected. There are circumstances where the therapist has legal and ethical obligations to break confidentiality. These circumstances include:
- If there is reason to believe that a child is being harmed.
- If you disclose that you are a harm to yourself or another person.
- If ordered by a court of law or the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers to break confidentiality.

6. Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, I offer a 15-minute complimentary initial phone consultation in which you can have an opportunity to ask questions and share your present concerns. If we decide we would like to work together, we can then book a session.

7. How many counselling sessions will it take? How often will I need to attend?

The number of sessions is determined collaboratively with the client with regards to frequency and duration. Each client has unique needs. Where some clients may benefit from more frequent and ongoing sessions for more complex concerns, others may benefit from brief, solution focussed therapy for less complex needs. On average, most clients will receive therapy on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for 50 minutes for a duration of 8-12 weeks.

8. Are your services covered by OHIP? Do you direct bill insurance?

While OHIP does not cover counselling services, many extended benefits and insurances do. Counselling services may also be tax deductible as a medical expense. Different benefit plans offer diverse types of coverage. It would be best to contact your benefits provider to determine if you have coverage for a Registered Social Worker and the type of coverage you have. All clients are provided with a receipt within 24 hours of the session. Clients are responsible for submitting their receipt to their insurance provider.

In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.

Andrea Dykstra