Frequently Asked Questions
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a form of therapy that involves addressing social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral challenges that people may encounter. Most often psychotherapy will involve talking about experiences, setting goals with your therapist and working through emotional experiences with various psychotherapy techniques that you and your clinician decide on. Some therapy modalities are primarily talk based and involve exploring thoughts and feelings with logic and reason, are solution focused and aimed at changing thoughts, feelings and behaviors directly. Other therapies tend to focus on the root cause of difficulties in your life and may explore themes from your past, the meaning of your life (or life in general), understanding the human experience/struggle, and finding peace with your current circumstances. Interpersonal therapies might focus on the relationships in your life and address patterns that are causing you individual suffering and relationship difficulties. Many somatic therapies focus on exploring the more physical sensations of your emotional experiences. Most therapists use a combination of these different approaches to address your concerns. You and your therapist can discuss a plan together as well as adapt your approach as you discover more about yourself and what you need. Over time therapy should leave you feeling a sense of improvement in your mental health and well-being.
What can I expect from my first therapy session?
Meeting with a new therapist can be nerve wracking for some and can also be a little exciting. You might be looking forward to getting some things off of your chest or you might be dreading the experience of confronting difficult feelings. Many people feel a mix of emotions before they embark upon the journey of self-discovery. Whatever your experience, your therapist is trained to walk you through the process of understanding what to expect from therapy in detail in the first session. They will explain to you how the therapeutic relationship will work confidentiality, what treatments they offer, your rights as a client and what training they have, etc. They will give you a chance to ask questions and discuss any concerns you might have at this stage. Throughout all of your therapy, you will maintain the right to end therapy or change directions with your therapist for any reason. Your therapist’s job is to empower and support your autonomy throughout the process. After you feel comfortable and understand the nature of what you are agreeing to participate in, your therapist will listen to the reasons that you are seeking therapy in more detail and will prompt you to share more of your history with thoughtful questions. They may help you set goals for your time together and discuss a plan about how to best address your concerns with the various methods that they are trained to use. Your first session may hold enough space for you to release and process some difficult emotions, and could leave you feeling some relief. For some people, it might feel like they have just scratched the surface and that there is a lot to tackle in the coming weeks and months of therapy. Both experiences are totally normal and what you feel really depends on how you tend to cope as well what you are addressing in therapy.
How long is a therapy session?
Typical therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length and leave ten minutes for the therapist to document relevant information before their next session as well as book your next appointment. Your initial intake session is usually 80 minutes long in order to leave time for your informed consent process and questions, as well as some time to cover your history, set goals and move into some emotional processing if possible. Each client and therapist works differently and some clients find they prefer to do a shorter intake session. You may wish to discuss this with your prospective therapist before booking. If resources and time are a concern to you, you are certainly welcome to book a regular 50 minute session instead.
Where do therapy sessions take place?
SoulScape is a virtual clinic and therefore most sessions take place over the phone or by secure video platform. However, we do have clinicians who work in person in various locations throughout Ontario. You have a choice about whether you would like phone, video or in person sessions (for those in areas where in person is offered).Please let us know if you have any questions about where your session will take place. Our administrative team will be happy to assist you.
How long does psychotherapy take?
Therapy can be a short term or long term strategy for you to address your mental health and wellness. Depending on the severity and nature of what you are coming to therapy to address, you could see benefits with as little as a few sessions or you may require sessions for a longer period of time. While every person is different, you should begin to see some progress in how you think, feel or act, earlier on in the process, even if it is subtle at first. If you are finding that therapy is taking longer than you would have expected, it may be time to discuss the therapy approaches that you and your therapist are using together. For complex issues and trauma certain methods work much more quickly than others and this should be a conversation that you have with your therapist at the start of therapy or at any time that you feel your needs are not being addressed.
Are there any benefits of virtual psychotherapy?
For some people the idea of talking on the phone or being on video is difficult, especially at first. For other people, they actually feel safer and more relaxed when having difficult conversations if they can close their eyes and lay on their own couch. With video sessions, you are able to see your therapist’s expressions and they can visually assess how you are doing throughout the sessions. Many of our clients really enjoy the convenience of not paying for parking and commuting to the office for their sessions. For those that work from home, have children in their care, or have busy lives, virtual may be a great way to fit in therapy that you might not have been able to access easily otherwise.
While there is a lot of evidence to support that virtual therapy is as effective as in person therapy, it is not right for everyone. We encourage you to do your own investigating about whether or not this could be the best choice for you.
For clients that are unsure, booking a consultation can help answer any questions that you might have about working virtually, as well as give you a chance to feel what it’s like to interact with your therapist virtually.