Do I Need A Referral?

In most cases a referral from a family physician is not required. The process is similar to seeing any other professional such as a dentist, lawyer, or accountant. All you need to do is call, talk a little bit about why you want to be seen, the cost, and whether the therapist has had experience dealing with your particular problem.

How Quickly Will I Be Seen?

Client are usually seen within a week or two of the initial contact. 

What Should I Expect From The FIrst Session?

The first session is usually spent trying to get to know you and the problem you have. Most psychologists will take a history of the problem, discuss why this problem is severe enough now that you want help, and perhaps ask you to fill out some questionnaires to better understand the problem if there is any doubt as to what the problem is. Subsequent sessions focus more specifically on treatment.

How Long Does Treatment Take?

How long treatment takes depends on the type of problem you have and how much effort you are willing to put into solving the problem. A session is 50 minutes and people usually attend between 5 and 20 sessions. Sometimes just one session is enough.

Finding a therapist is perhaps the hardest part of the treatment process. You need to find someone with whom you feel comfortable, someone you can trust. Talk to the therapist on the phone to get a feel for whether or not there is a connection.

Is This Confidential?

Psychologists are required to keep your information confidential and secure. If I think that it would be helpful to share some of the information you give me with another individual or agency, such as your family physician, your lawyer, your insurance company, or your partner I will ask for this permission and explain the reasons for this. If the referral comes from your family physician it is often helpful, with your consent, to let your doctor know what we are working on. You consent can be withdrawn at any time and you may ask to have certain information not disclosed.

Psychologists are required to disclose information if there is a risk of harm to yourself, others, or children. We are also required to disclose to the appropriate college information regarding another health care practitioner if you have been sexually abused and provided his or her name. Records may also be disclosed if they are ordered by a judge during a criminal or civil trial.

© Robert Schnurr 2012