Everyone is unique, so I do not offer any cookie-cutter solutions. Generally speaking, however, my services tend to fall into one of three categories: diagnostic assessment, counselling, and therapy.
Diagnostic assessments are often required when someone makes an insurance claim. For example, someone who has severe anxiety from a motor vehicle accident might qualify for automobile insurance benefits if I assess them and give them a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. Other people might qualify for sick leave or Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits if an appropriate diagnosis is warranted. Still others might need a diagnosis for legal reasons.
Counselling is the help I offer to people who do not have a psychological problem or a diagnosed disorder. For example, some people who feel fine come for counselling because they want to discuss an important decision with someone who is objective and impartial. Others seek counselling because they want advice regarding an issue such as how to deal with a teenager or an ailing relative, or how to cope better with stress at work.
Therapy is very similar to counselling. The main difference is that therapy is a treatment which I offer to help someone deal with a serious problem such as anxiety or depression. I am most helpful when I tailor the treatment to the particular needs and preferences of my client. That is why I offer such a wide range of therapies: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), experiential therapy, interpersonal therapy, client-centred therapy, psychodynamic therapy, schema therapy, and hypnosis.
I work with individual teenagers, adults and seniors. I often help people who are dealing with couple or family problems, but I work with that individual, not with the couple or the whole family. If you need someone who can work with the whole family or with the couple, then I can help you find a couple or family therapist.
I am not always the best person for the job. No one can be an expert about everything, so sometimes another psychologist or some other professional will help you better than I can.
Here are some of the issues with which other professionals can serve you better.
I do not do psycho-educational assessments. For example, if you need a psychologist to assess yourself or your child for giftedness, a learning disability, or an attention deficit, then I will be happy to refer you to someone who provides that particular service.
I do not do custody and access assessments. These are highly specialized assessments, which are used in divorce cases to decide which parent should have custody of the children. Because these assessments are so important, only psychologists with special training and qualifications can do them.
I do not work with children who are twelve years old or younger. My style of therapy just is not suited to anyone who is that young.
I do not do couple or family therapy. Working with both members of a couple or with several family members at once is a specialised skill, so I leave couple and family therapy to those who specialise in that kind of work.
Some disorders are best treated by other specialists. For example, I am not an eating disorders specialist, so I do not treat clients with anorexia nervosa or bulimia. For the same reason, I do not treat clients with autism spectrum disorders or Asperger’s disorder.
If your issues are outside my areas of expertise, then I can help you connect with the person who will give you the help you need. Alternatively, you could check out the Ottawa Academy of Psychology’s website. It lists hundreds of psychologists with a wide spectrum of specialties.