This page has information for you to get a preliminary idea about how I work (the top section), and also has information that helps you with terms + fees (the bottom section).
I find that people experience a feeling of ease and relief with me, because I am naturally engaged, authentic and direct. I am highly intuitive and tend to “get” what is going on with my fellow humans. There are many modes that I may offer to use in your session, but the main one is responding to what you share with warmth, empathy, acceptance and alternate points of view.
You will typically arrive a bit before your appointment to a comfortable waiting room. You will be able to relax and drink some water or tea.
If you come to see me at an integrative wellness center you might be in the waiting room with folks that go there for a wide range of things, so nobody will know you are there for psychotherapy. You may not see anyone except the staff.
After a short wait, I will come get you and we will meet privately for typically 50 minutes.
A session might start with a three-minute mindfulness practice that helps you focus and relax. It might start with anything else you bring. Or it might start by a review of any tasks we may have agreed for you to complete during the previous week.
During the session you have one kind of contribution and I have another. Your contribution to the session is to discuss whatever is in your mind to share in the session. My contribution to our sessions is to collaborate with you and provide a warm, safe and welcoming environment.
During our session, I use my expertise to help you through the process of figuring out whatever it is you need to figure out. I will listen mindfully, non-judgmentally, and with empathy.
I will provide comments as needed, reflecting back to you the patterns I notice. When you have doubts or questions, I will give you my feed-back generously and openly. You set the pace, I will facilitate the process.
Sometimes I might offer you to use expressive modalities when I see that talking might not help you as much. It is amazing how quickly your mind can process these images and help you gain insight!
I use humor, respectfully, and pointedly. As your therapist, I might also give you "homework" to support your process or might lead you in mindfulness practice during the session.
Also, you will notice that I am trained to track my intellectual and emotional responses to keep it about you and your goals. This is necessary for our process to be effective.
At the end of the session, I try to have a few minutes so we can go over what was useful to you and review what worked for you in that session.
Ideally, you will feel more understood and guided, and gain skills, insight and awareness. You can trust that I will take care of both of us in the process, and endeavor to maintain you as safe as possible.
I am very committed to confidentiality. Sessions are confidential as the law allows. I will discuss the limits and conditions for confidentiality before we start working, so you are informed and can give consent with the proper knowledge. In brief, I respect your confidentiality and will only disclose or share any information about our conversations when your life or someone else’s life is in danger, when a minor is being abused, or when you authorize me. Questions about this topic are always welcome.
PHIPA is the law that governs how your information is safeguarded. Questions about this topic are always welcome.
I provide a psychotherapy session option via video for those clients who might be on a trip and would otherwise interrupt their treatment, or whose schedule is different from my office hours. Our sessions would be provided through a user-friendly safe and secure Canadian platform for online therapy that meets Canadian privacy and security standards. The platform, called OnCall, complies with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and all equivalent personal health information protection legislation in Canada.
The platform allows for confidential and encrypted file exchange and messages. It lets us post documents and links during our conversation so I can review homework or other documents we might create or work from in our session, such as journals, CBT and DBT homework, and other handouts.
Once you make your appointment, you will receive a link. Prior to the first session, you will need to set-up your information and troubleshoot the system, if needed, with the 24/7 technical help from OnCall Staffers. It takes only a few minutes.
Once your appointment time comes, you will be able to click the link and start a session via video, much like FaceTime or SKype, but confidential and encrypted, from anywhere that you need to be.
After you take care of your emergency, and once you are out of danger, please contact me to let me know what happened. If I can, I will try to reach you to get updated and help you get the resources you might need to remain safe.
I suggest that you to pick a slot from my open schedule that will work for you from week to week and that you to commit to it. This works well in helping you avoid missing appointments, and lends some predictability to the process. It is also helpful when you can reserve those sessions a few weeks in advance so you can be guaranteed access to services at the times you need. It also helps me plan my chart reviews and organize my time effectively to serve you best. Of course, you can always change it if your schedule shifts or other slots become available.
If you are coming on time and as scheduled, this section does not apply to you.
Psychotherapy works better when there is continuity and you meet weekly, or as arranged. If you miss sessions, my attempts to help you will become sub-optimal. I do not like providing sub-optimal services.
When you miss a session you will be charged the fee for the missed session. I will call you to check-in. I strongly recommend you come to your session, even if you are late. It is better to come for a shorter session than to miss the rhythm.
After you miss two consecutive sessions, or any three sessions within a month, I will consider that you have ended our therapeutic relationship. Your time slot will become available and any appointments you have made will be cancelled.I will proceed to discharge you (see below).
Please let me know if you need to cancel an appointment, or if you cannot show up for your session. It is nice to know your patients show you consideration. If you do not cancel your appointments, you will be responsible for the fee, whether the service is provided or not.
If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment for any reason, please cancel or reschedule with at least 48 hours notice. If you make an appointment, and If you don not cancel with 48 hours notice before your appointment, you will be charged the full fee.
If you cancel twice in a row, whether in advance or not, I will consider that you have started to end our therapeutic relationship. I will put future appointments on hold, until we can come to an understanding about the situation, on the phone or in person. If you commit to a pattern of attendance, I will gladly reinstate your time slots and appointments. The second time this happens I will consider you have ended our relationship and proceed to discharge you (see below).
I understand that occasionally you may be late. Life happens. I will not be angry at you and you have no reason to feel embarrassed. You will be charged for the full fee, since I was there, and the ending time will not be adjusted. I strongly recommend you come to your session, even if you are late. If you build a pattern of late arrivals, I will offer to change your time to one that suits your needs better.
Sometimes you may be using lateness to parse or avoid the session. I get it. This is not unusual, especially when you are getting into “important” stuff. When you are late, I invite you to come anyway, to make the best of the situation, and so we can work on any feelings of avoidance you may be having.
When you make an appointment, you reserve the exclusive use of my services. If you miss a session you will be charged for the session, unless you follow the cancellation procedures stated below. If you are late, you will be charged as stipulated in the LATENESS section below.RETURNING AFTER A DISCHARGE
Sometimes people start psychotherapy and any number of obstacles emerge. I may be put in the position to discharge you due to poor attendance (see above). No worries! Once you feel ready to return and to commit to a consistent attendance pattern, you are welcome to call me to make an appointment, and I will be delighted to restart work with you in more optimal conditions.
I am not set-up to deal with phone emergencies. See EMERGENCIES below.
If you are on a cell-phone click here: CALL ME.
If you need to contact me by phone during regular office hours, please call the reception staff at any of my offices (you can find the contact information on the APPOINTMENTS page), and let them know you are trying to get in touch with me.
The staffers will attempt to relay the message and, once they reach me, I will attempt to contact you as soon as I finish with my current patients.
I am not set-up to deal with emergencies via text. See EMERGENCIES below.
I do not normally text with clients. If you prefer me to text you, I can do so after you sign a waiver of confidentiality. I have nothing against texting but I am bound by laws that require confidentiality. Unfortunately, texting is not confidential.
If you authorize me to text you, I will not be able to reply to you immediately. If you send me a text, you will receive my answer within 2 working days. This means that when you send me a text late in the evening, you might not get a response until two days later. Of course, I try to respond to them sooner, when I can.
I am not set-up to use email for urgent or confidential matters. See EMERGENCIES below.
I am pleased to communicate with you through e-mail. However, you should know that communication via e-mail might not be secure. Because it is not confidential, I never conduct any therapeutic work over email. E-mail should not be used to communicate emergency or urgent health matters. Email is optimal for short messages and not a good medium for dialogue or exchanging vital information.
I take my free time seriously, so I will not usually respond to emails during my time off, when I am relaxing and recharging.
• If you send me an email, you will receive my answer within 2 working days. This means that when you send me an email late in the evening, you might not get a response until two days later. Of course, I try to respond to them sooner, when I can.
I follow the Code of Ethics of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. The OCSSSW is organized to protect the public from unethical practices on the part of service providers.
Click here to read the OCSWSSW Code.
Generally, gifts are not accepted as part of clinical practice. The intention behind gifts is appreciated, but giving and receiving gifts is an area where conflict of interest may interfere with professional conduct. The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service workers recommends that its members do not accept gifts from our patients, unless they are token gifts, such as card or item of negligible monetary value.
Only gifts required by the patient’s cultural customs will be considered.
My fees are aligned with the fees suggested by the OCSWSSW for my level of training, effectiveness, location, and experience. I ask that each session’s fee be paid in full, in advance or immediately after the session.
Initial Session (60 minutes): $200
Individual sessions (50 minutes): $180
Individuals interested in more than six weekly sessions can request an adjusted fee, as long as they keep their appointments at the same time week-to-week. Discuss this with me if you are interested in this option.
I am “paying forward” the lower fees I was offered by my therapists in the past by having a limited number of sliding scale slots. If you are going through a time in your life when you cannot pay my full fee, it is possible that one of the sliding scale slots might be open. If a slot is open, I will offer to negotiate a fee tailored to both of our financial capacities. We will re-visit this fee arrangement periodically to make adjustments.
In any case, should I not be able to work with you due to financial reasons, I will be happy to help you find someone that fits your budget. I can even help you find agencies that provide FREE or sliding scale services for individuals who do not have supplemental benefits or cannot afford treatment.
Psychotherapy and counselling are not covered by OHIP.* Most people pay out of pocket for psychotherapy, or use the supplemental insurance programs offered as benefits by their employers or company. Please let me know if you have any questions.
If paying for sessions does not seem possible for individuals that do not have supplemental benefits, I am happy to help connect you with agencies that provide FREE or sliding scale services.
*NOTE:There are exceptions where services are provided by a psychiatrist (a medical doctor with specialized training in mental health) and prescribed by your physician. This might be for serious cases, as far as I understand. Check with OHIP for information.
There is so much variation that I do not know the answer to the question whether your particular plan or insurance covers you. Only they know. Every Insurance plan has different coverage, so I encourage you to call your insurance company before you start services with me. I
It is ALWAYS a good idea to give your plan a call or send them an email before you come to your first session, so you know what your budget is.
NOTE: Some EAP plans only cover clients for three sessions knowing very well that six sessions is the average number needed in short-term solution focused therapy. Many insurance programs allow for a very limited number of sessions, which tend not to be enough for most people’s concerns. You might need to figure out a plan to use your own funds once these moneys are spent. I do not mind discussing these matters at all. Questions are welcome.
You will need the receipt we will provide you after the session to claim your reimbursement. Please ask your insurance company what information they you need to provide on the receipt so you can get it from us.
You will need to call your plan in advance of your first session with me to make sure you understand if they will re-imburse you and what process they follow. Most plans require you to submit a receipt, such as the one we provide you, for reimbursement.
When you pay for my services, the reception staffer or OnCall will provide you with, or email you, a clear receipt that will indicate the type of service, provider, credentials, Registration number, contact information, and the fee paid. If you need any other specific information on the receipt, please let me or the reception staffer know before you pay, so the information you need can be included.
You must then submit the receipt we provide you for payment to your insurance for reimbursement as per their instructions. Please let me know if you have questions.
I am a Master’s level Registered Clinical Social worker, with a Master in Social Work degree (MSW) from New York University, in New York. Social Workers are one of the professions allowed by law to practice psychotherapy, which is a regulated profession.
I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers to practice Social Work. My registration number is RSW # 830915.
I am also licensed in the State of Connecticut as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). My license number is LCSW #010211.
It is always possible I may not be the right person to work with you. Psychotherapy works best when the relationship works. I don’t expect to work right for everybody, since there are many different ways of being in the world. Please let me know so we can do something about it!
Please let me know when you sense the fit is not right, so I can direct you to someone else that can help you the way you need to be helped. My goals are to help you improve your life, so helping you find the right fit is better than watching you stay stuck.
Now, sometimes you may not feel right with me because of a very particular reason: the discomfort you may be feeling comes out of unfamiliarity or resistance. Lack of familiarity is a good thing to pay attention to, when you need to change your life and behaviours. If it feels familiar, then it might be possible that it is the same old stuff you are trying to get rid of, so a feeling of newness might actually indicate progress.
Resistance can be a natural response to someone that might move you away from a place of comfort. On the other hand, you may know for sure something is not working so it is a great idea to address it. Please let me know either way so we can set you on the path to success.
Are you feeling that my services are not working out for you? Please let me know if it is so!!! In the event that things are not going the way you hoped, I would like to know, so I can change the way I work with you and optimize our sessions. I am very caring, engaged and empathic, yet it is always possible I may miss something. I am human, like you!
I am very flexible and very comfortable with many strategies and techniques, so feel free to share whatever you are feeling or thinking, so that I can customize your experience and make it work for you. I promise I will not get bent out of shape!
On the contrary, knowing that you feel comfortable enough to tell me that things are not working out for you shows me two things: we have a relationship that allows you to share in confidence, and you are feeling empowered enough to advocate for yourself. Please let me know when you have questions!