Psychotherapy Q&A

1. Can you tell me what to expect if it’s my first time in therapy?

Typically, once you phone or email we can set up a first session at a mutually convenient time. I can answer any questions you might have on the phone or when we meet. Sessions are about one hour. The fee may be covered by some private health insurance plans but is not covered by OHIP.

The psychotherapy session provides a safe and confidential place for you to talk about your concerns, reflect on them in a meaningful way, and explore new perspectives and directions.

After our first session you can decide if you would like to set up another session.

2. Will you tell me what to do so that I can get past my issue and feel better?

I believe that the answers to life questions and the potential for healing come from within the client. Psychotherapy provides a way to learn how to listen to our inner wisdom.

Clients sometimes feel better with a few sessions.

When a client feels that thoughts and emotions are unresolved it is an indication that continuing therapy would be a good choice. Sometimes we feel pressure from others or ourselves to get on with life, but if we ignore an important issue we might find that we are destined to return to the place where we feel most wounded. Psychotherapy can provide a place for healing though sometimes it can take more of a commitment of time and energy than we imagined.

3. I have been told by my family doctor/psychiatrist/employee assistance program (EAP) that I would benefit from psychotherapy, but I’m not sure who I should see. Can you tell me why I should consider seeing you?

I have worked with many clients who have a variety of experiences in psychotherapy—perhaps they had brief psychotherapy sponsored by their employee-sponsored EAP, they wanted to work with a psychotherapist at the same time that they were seeing a psychiatrist or a family physician, or they were in therapy at another time in their life.

My background is in the psychodynamic tradition called Jungian Analysis. My extensive training and on-going professional development has allowed me to provide psychotherapy to clients who have a range of personal concerns and issues.

I am a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and a member of a number of professional associations. 

FYI: On April 1, 2015 psychotherapy became a regulated profession in the province of Ontario. Only registered members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario are allowed to use the title “Registered Psychotherapist” or claim to offer “psychotherapy”. Regulation protects the public by ensuring that psychotherapists meet standards of competency and professional practice throughout their careers.

You can read some of the issues clients have brought to sessions on the “Home” page and more about my professional qualifications and activities on the “About” page.

4. How is your psychotherapy practice affected by your training as a Jungian Analyst?

Depending on a client’s needs, psychotherapy can be short-term with a practical and solution-based focus or it can follow a more traditional Jungian Analysis. Over the years my work as a psychotherapist has evolved though my training as a Jungian Analyst often informs my approach to working with clients.

5. Can you tell me more about Jungian Analysis?

Jungian Analysis is based on the work of C.G. Jung who wrote that the potential for healing exists within each individual. Analysis is suited to many people and is influenced by the client’s interest and curiosity in working with symbols from their unconscious. The direction and unfolding of analytic work is unique to each individual and is ultimately about developing one’s full potential as a person.

Our healing potential can be explored by looking at the unconscious material that comes to us through dreams, imagination and creative work. The work of analysis explores how to best understand the symbols that emerge in the context of the individual’s associations and outer life experience. As a client we are necessarily unconscious of certain aspects of ourselves; the analyst can assist the client in coming to know what a symbol might mean. This process is particularly important since a symbol has the potential to carry different meanings depending on when and how it appears.

In the classical tradition of Jungian Analysis, I encourage clients to keep a dream journal and to bring one or more dreams to their session each week. I ask these clients to bring a copy of the dream they would like to discuss so that I can read along as they tell me their dream. We know that dreams can seem short, long, or fragmented, so whatever is recorded is the best starting point. I ask clients to make a note in their dream journal of associations to images in the dream and to record what was going on the day before.

While some clients do not remember their dreams, they find that as analysis progresses they tend to remember at least some of their dreams. When a client does not have dreams we can look at events of everyday life as our starting point.