Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when we meet?
We will meet for an initial consultation that will last 60-90 minutes. This is an opportunity for us to meet each other, to discuss why you are considering psychotherapy at this time, and for us to decide if we want to continue working together and for how long. We will explore what is going on for you now as well as looking at your past and childhood so that we both start to understand how you got to this point in your life. Finding the right person for you is vital for the treatment to be effective and I will understand if, at the end of our initial consultation, you feel I am not that person. If this is the case I am happy to recommend other practitioners in the area.
A similar process happens for those seeking clinical supervision.
What are eating disorders?
Children, teenagers, and adults of all ages can develop issues around food, exercise, and compensatory behaviours for many reasons. Typical behaviours include:
An eating disorder is a serious psychological and medical condition that progressively worsens over time. With this in mind I will work with you at a pace you can manage to not only change your thinking and behaviours around food, your body and exercising, but also find healthier ways to manage underlying difficulties with thoughts, feelings, or issues from the past. I will also encourage you to work with a registered dietician and a medical doctor to ensure that all aspects of your recovery are professionally supported. Eating disorders affect not only the individual concerned but also those around them, so we may also need to discuss family therapy so that parents, siblings and partners can be included in your recovery.
Please note that I do not endorse dieting and am happy to explain why dieting is not an effective strategy from both psychological and physiological perspectives
What counts as an addiction?
Addictions broadly fall into two categories:
Either way, addictions develop as a way of managing difficult thoughts and/or feelings or unbearable past experiences, so recovery involves dealing with both the addictive behaviours as well as the underlying issues. Addictions also affect those closest to us so we may also need to look at some family therapy sessions to include your parents, siblings or partner in your recovery.
What is 'expressive arts therapy'?
Expressive arts therapy is a form of psychotherapy that integrates traditional talk therapies with the use of the arts (visual arts, music, drama, dance/movement, writing, sand play, etc) to support self-expression, self-exploration, healing, and growth. It is a highly effective treatment option for people recovering from trauma, grief and loss, eating disorders, addictions, and mood disorders. No previous experience of the arts is needed, just a curiosity and willingness to explore and experiment. Typically, part of a session will be devoted to art-making, and part of the session to processing the experience and the art-work that has been created, although there are no absolute rules.
How long does therapy take?
This depends on what issue or issues you are seeking to work on. Short-term work can be very helpful for dealing with a specific issue or a current crisis. Longer-term work enables you to work with more deeply rooted issues or to explore issues more slowly and freely without the pressure of time.
All sessions last 50 minutes (for psychotherapy) and 60 minutes (expressive arts therapy), and will start and end on time. We will meet on a regular day and at a regular time as agreed at the end of our initial consultation.
I normally see people once or twice a week for therapy, although am willing to look at other options that may suit you better. Supervision may be offered on a different basis to meet your needs.
Where is your practice based?
I am based in downtown Vancouver.
Is it confidential?
Yes. I will explain exactly what this means during the initial consultation.
Do you hold professional insurance?
Yes, I carry full professional liability insurance.
Payment for the initial consultation is required at the end of the session (cash or cheque). This is a one-off payment that is payable whether or not we ultimately contract to work together.