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Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I talk to a counsellor instead of a trusted friend or family member about my problems? 

Therapy is different than simply talking to a friend or family member about a problem. Counsellors use their expertise and specialized training to direct conversation and ask questions in a way that may allow you to gain a greater understanding of yourself, your environment, and what changes may be helpful in addressing the problem area. Counsellors offer a confidential and non-judgmental space to explore how you are feeling, why you might be feeling that way, and how you can move forward.   

Is distance counselling as effective as in-person counselling? 

Many studies have found that distance counselling is as effective, and in some cases more effective, as in-person counselling for a variety of issues. Distance counselling offers several benefits including reducing travel time and expense, convenience in scheduling, access to therapy for those in remote areas, and being able to complete sessions in a location that is comfortable and familiar to you.  Distance counselling may not be the best fit for those who are uncomfortable using technology or those with some severe mental health disorders.  

How long will I need to see a counsellor? 

The number of sessions a person needs to address their goals varies greatly depending on their unique circumstance. Some people see a counsellor over many years, while others engage in brief therapy that lasts for a shorter period of time. Your counsellor will work with you to identify your goals and make recommendations regarding the treatment plan. It is important to note that treatment plans evolve over time, which could lead to a need for continued counselling or termination of service.  

I don’t have extended health benefits and I cannot afford to pay out of pocket. What are my options? 

Rooted Thistle Counselling offers a limited number of reduced rate sessions that you may be eligible to apply for. These sessions are reserved for those with a lower household income or extenuating circumstances that make it difficult to pay the full rate. Please contact Rochelle to discuss whether or not you are eligible. If you do not qualify, or there is no availability, Rochelle will make every effort to refer you to a counselling agency in your community that may better suit your needs.  

What happens in a counselling session? 

Individual sessions with Rooted Thistle Counselling are 50 minutes in length. Counselling will look slightly different for each person, as everyone has their own unique set of challenges they are working through. Generally speaking, a person in counselling can expect to discuss the current challenges they are dealing with, personal history, and to note progress that is being made as the sessions move forward. The counsellor may recommend various activities (ex. Journaling, charting, books to read) to complete outside of the sessions. People who fully engage in the counselling process are more likely to experience positive results.  

How does confidentiality work? 

Rooted Thistle Counselling takes your privacy and trust very seriously. As a custodian of your personal health information, the counsellor must abide by the terms set out in the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Information you provide in session will not be shared with anyone without your informed written consent. There are, however, a few limitations to confidentiality that allow your counsellor to share your information without your consent: 

  • Situations where you are thought to be at risk of harm to yourself or others 

  • A request from a legal authority (ex. Subpoena) 

  • Situations of suspected or reported child abuse or neglect or elder abuse within a long-term care facility 

  • Abuse by a Regulated Health Care Professional 

What is the difference between a Social Worker, Psychologist and Psychiatrist? 

All of these licensed professions have the ability to offer psychotherapy services, however there are some key differences. Social Workers with a master of social work (MSW) degree are trained to provide psychotherapy services for a variety of mental health concerns. They are also skilled in connecting clients with supports and resources in their communities. Social Workers are not able to diagnose a mental health condition or prescribe medication. Psychologists typically hold a master or doctoral degree in psychology. Psychologists are able to assess and diagnose mental health disorders. They use psychotherapy methods to support people in managing symptoms. There are many different practice areas a psychologist may choose to specialize in. Psychiatrists are medical doctors that are able to diagnose mental health disorders and prescribe medication as a form of treatment. In Ontario a patient must receive a referral from their Family Doctor in order to see a psychiatrist.