Does everything I share remain confidential?
You might already know that you want to share sensitive information about yourself or your loved ones and you don’t want others to find out what you’ve said. You can rest assured that I take confidentiality very seriously and unless I’m absolutely required to do so, everything you share stays in strict confidence. This applies to all communication starting right from the first time you contact me. And, even if an accidental run-in were to happen in the community, I don’t initiate contact in order to maintain your privacy.
I want you to know that unless you are at imminent risk of hurting yourself, someone else is at imminent risk of harm (including someone at risk of sexual abuse by a health professional), someone under age 18 being is at risk of abuse/neglect, or I’m mandated by law to disclose information (e.g. subpoena by the courts), everything you share remains confidential.
Even if we find ourselves in one of these situations, know that I am 100% committed to being transparent and collaborative, and offering you as many choices as is possible.Your privacy and trust are of utmost importance even in these situations.And, we’ll discuss this in more detail in the first session.
Lastly, it’s important to know that you also have the option to give permission for recording therapy sessions for the purpose of receiving specific feedback from highly trained consultants, which can inform or enhance our therapeutic work together. This is completely voluntary and not required to receive therapy. But, if you opt for this option, know that your confidentiality is maintained by the other therapists as they are held to the same standards.
If you have any questions about confidentiality you can ask them during your free phone consultation or anytime during our work together.
What if I don’t want to talk about something?
If something feels overwhelming or even terrifying to discuss, that’s actually very normal. It can often feel difficult to talk about some things. During our sessions, if you don’t feel ready to talk about something, I will respect that and you will not be pushed to do so. You can take your time as building trust takes time.What ever you do share, is my privilege to hear about. It’s my job to give you space to slowly start to work through the tough stuff. And when you’re ready, I am happy to sit with you, support you through any discomfort and make sharing the tough stuff as safe and comfortable as possible.
You can also share with me that you are nervous to open up about something and we can talk about that too. Your feelings are welcome, as are your feelings about how you feel. I’m here to help you with whatever is going on for you.
How long will therapy take?
You might be asking about how long therapy will take because you are worried that therapy will be a long and difficult process.
If this is true for you, I want you to know that on average, my new clients can start feeling a sense of relief, can feel like they have had a ‘light bulb’ moment,or can begin to feel hopeful after the first 2-4 sessions. Therapy doesn’t have to feel painful, most of my clients find that they look forward to coming and enjoy the conversations and while finding their way to feeling better.
With a few more sessions, they often tell me that they have a deeper understanding of themselves and feel motivated to work on healing the root issues so they can continue to feel better long term.
The total duration of therapy varies from client to client. Because therapy progress is affected by many factors, it is difficult to predict or guarantee any particular results in a particular period of time. Some of my clients find 4-5 months to be enough to focus on a specific goal like tolerating their emotions or relating better with each other and can make significant improvements with this. While other clients feel more supported by longer term therapy. Similarly, some couples are satisfied with 8-10 sessions and some find it supportive to have 20+ sessions.
Regardless, we’ll work together, check in regularly about how therapy is going and as the process unfolds, we’ll develop a better sense of the approximate length of time needed to make the changes you’re wanting to make.
Will online therapy really work for me?
I understand the initial hesitation as people can be worried about its effectiveness. The research shows that online video therapy can be equally effective as in person therapy, and often comes with additional benefits when you’re healing and learning in your home environment.
While some were hesitant at first, all of my clients have shared that they have been able to build rapport and feel that I am right there with them, even over video. I have also been seeing my clients improving, sometimes even more quickly via video therapy because it can feel easier to open up and share (this is also based in research). What I notice is that as clients learn these skills in their home, it is a lot easier for them to practice these skills in between sessions, whereas this is a common reason in person therapy would otherwise slow down. Now, they can remember to practice what we discussed because they were in their safe and confidential space at home that reminds them of what we discussed.
Even for couples, online therapy is effective. And even with trauma therapy, like EMDR therapy, online therapy is effective. So, save the commute, especially if you have a busy schedule ????
What are some good things to know about online therapy?
You will receive your link to the virtual therapy session in your email on the day of the appointment and will log in using the Jane platform.
How to set up your space for online therapy:
- Make sure that you have a safe and confidential space where you won’t be interrupted for the session (door closed, notifications turned off). You can use headphones, turn on a fan/white noise machine or play quiet music in the background to increase the confidentiality of your space.
- Please make sure that there is proper lighting and when possible use a larger screen for a better experience with virtual therapy.
- Please make sure that you are using a secure computer with secure, password-protected high speed internet connection, rather than public/free Wi-Fi. If possible, connecting directly to the ethernet cable offers greater reliability and security. You can check your connection at com and a result of 15Mbps or higher is needed for the video to work.
- Please use Chrome or Opera browsers to log into Jane. If you are using an iOS device you can also download the Jane Online Appointments app which is available on the Apple App Store.
- It is important that you maintain security for your device, including password protection, regular use of anti-virus/malware software and installing regular updates for your computer and browser.
- If there are technical issues, I might call or email you to resolve this, so keep your phone handy but on silent.
- It can also help to have some water or warm drink, tissues, pen/paper and/or stress ball available to you, so if you need it, it’s there
- If you are attending couples therapy, know that both partners are required to attend together on one device (I know, you will have to sit closer together, but hey, it might help).
I use the secure JaneApp platform for the video sessions because its compliant with the privacy laws in Ontario. The video therapy feature is built exclusively within the platform’s secure infrastructure, so no 3rd party solutions are used to facilitate virtual sessions. JaneApp provides ‘peer-to-peer audiovisual communication’ which means that all the traffic flows directly between each user’s web browser and completely bypasses the JaneApp servers and the traffic is also encrypted in transit and no data is stored anywhere at any time. Because of all these features, the online virtual therapy appointments are PIPEDA compliant and address the major privacy concerns around tele-health in Ontario.
Why am I receiving an encrypted email response via Hushmail to my request to contact you?
This is a good question and important one to understand. As a therapist, it is my responsibility to protect your personal health information because of the sensitive nature of what you share with me. When people reach out for therapy, they can share sensitive information and it should be protected with the utmost safety and confidentiality, in the same way as when it’s shared in a session.
Regular email is not encrypted, if this information is intercepted, it can create challenges that we don’t want to have, and this can also potentially erode your trust with the therapeutic process. So, I do my best to use the most secure systems available while understanding technology is constantly changing and security can never be 100% guaranteed. And this is where hushmail comes in.
How to use Hushmail:
As well, please ensure that you are replying to any encrypted email response I send you and are not starting a new email chain. Any email response I send you will be encrypted.
Alternatively, you can choose to book a free consult and ask your questions there if you are not comfortable with using hushmail. I would be happy to chat with you and answer your questions about therapy and see if this feels like a good fit for you.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is a word that in the therapy world, refers to any experience that stays with you and continues to have an affect on you. Big T trauma is usually things like sexual, physical or emotional abuse, emotional neglect, assault, bullying or witnessing violence. Little T trauma, feels like ‘a thousand paper cuts’ and can be a situation where many emotional injuries happened over a lifetime, on their own, not so bad, but all together, do have an impact on us. Things like a car accident, relationship break ups, loss of friendships, parents’ divorce, can be examples of Little T trauma for some people.