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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer in-person counselling services in Barrie?

Yes! Some of our therapists offer in-person counselling & psychotherapy services in Barrie, while the rest of our team offers virtual therapy across Ontario. To view our entire team of both virtual and in-person counsellors in Barrie, as well as to check therapists' availabilities, specialities and to book online, please visit our Team Page.

 

How much does therapy cost?

All of our fees include HST:

  • Individual Counselling Session (50-minutes): $160

  • Couples or Family Counselling Session (50-minutes): $190

  • Couples or Family Counselling Session (75-minutes): $260

Payment is required at the time of service in the form of e-transfer or credit. You may add a credit card securely to your account ahead of time. A receipt will be issued at the time of payment.

Sliding scale rates may be offered on a case-by-case basis depending on financial need. If you do not have benefits or are limited financially, our Affordable Therapy Program may be a good fit for you.

 

Counselling sessions are offered by Therapist Interns at a rate of $75/session. 

Is therapy covered by insurance?

Counselling/psychotherapy is unfortunately not covered under OHIP. However, many extended health benefits cover psychotherapy services from a Registered Psychotherapist, but please check with them to determine your coverage. We are not covered by Psychologists.

 

Please note that we do not direct bill so payment is still required at the time of service regardless of your coverage. If psychotherapy is not covered by your benefits, it can be written off as a medical expense for taxes.

Laryssa is a registered mental health provider for NIHB (Non-Insured Health Benefits Program).

What is the difference between a psychotherapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist?

This is a very common question! Psychotherapists are trained mental health professionals who typically have a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology or some related profession (e.g., Social Work) and belong to the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Psychotherapy is a controlled act in Ontario, meaning that you need specific training to practice it and that you must follow certain ethical and legal requirements. Psychotherapists often are referred to as "counsellors" or "therapists" and use various therapeutic modalities and interventions to support a wide array of mental health concerns. Importantly, psychotherapists cannot make formal assessments or diagnoses, or prescribe medication. 

What is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)? Great question! This is an often confusing and misleading title. RP (qualifying) psychotherapists are licensed psychotherapists registered with our regulatory College and are legally authorized to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy. They are required to receive clinical supervision until they obtain enough clinical hours and pass the registration exam. This process can take up to 5yrs post-graduation!

It is important to note, however, that some psychotherapists in this tier of registration may not be completed their education and training. License to practice psychotherapy is separate from education credentials.

 

At Inner Growth Counselling, our clinical interns are licensed psychotherapists who are completing their practicum as part of their Masters degree in Counselling Psychology, and are therefore authorized to practice psychotherapy (under supervision), but have not yet obtained their degree, whereas our team of associate counsellors in Barrie are licensed and graduated.

Psychologists, however, have their PhD in clinical or counselling psychology and belong to the College of Psychologists of Ontario. They are also trained to perform psychotherapy and counselling, but have additional training and licensing to be able to provide diagnostic assessments. If you are looking for a formal diagnosis, a psychologist is one avenue you can explore, but you should note that (just as for psychotherapists), services are not covered under OHIP so a fee is required. Extended health benefits typically cover services by a Psychologist. 

And finally, Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have training in psychiatric conditions. As MDs, they can prescribe medication and provide formal assessments and diagnoses. Services are covered under OHIP, but wait times are generally several months. Seeing a psychiatrist is a good option if you are someone with an official diagnosis (or looking to be assessed) and are considering medication. Psychiatrists do not typically provide counselling/psychotherapy.

How long does therapy take?

Standard 50-minute appointments are booked for 1hr and 75-minute appointments are booked for 1.5hrs to allow your therapist time to finish case notes, take a small break, and prep for their next client. Depending on your counselling needs, shorter or longer sessions may be scheduled at a prorated rate. 

The total number of sessions will vary across individuals, with many needing 6-12 sessions depending on presenting concerns, and others remaining in therapy for 20+ sessions. In general, we recommend starting counselling weekly for 3-5 sessions, then transitioning to biweekly then monthly appointments for "maintenance". That said, we will work together to discuss your specific needs and develop a treatment plan that will be assessed on a continual basis.

What techniques do you use?

Our team of therapists in Barrie and Ontario have experience using a range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions and techniques, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT),  Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Solution-Focused Therapy. We all practice from a trauma-informed and strength-based lens. To learn more about our training and therapeutic approaches visit Our Team page.

How do I find the right therapist for me?

Finding a therapist that you feel comfortable with is of utmost importance, in addition to making sure that they are equipped with the set of skills and knowledge required to competently help you through your specific concerns. This is why all of our therapists offer free 15-min consultations so that you can chat with them ahead of time to ensure it's a good fit. Book here

Should I try therapy or take medication to help my mental health?

The answer to this question really comes down to your personal preferences/beliefs about medication; it is best you choose a treatment option that you feel comfortable with and that works for you. That said, research generally supports that a combination of both medication and therapy is most effective, although both are effective as standalone treatments, and that therapy even has longer lasting effects than medication alone. This makes sense given that counselling can help you process past traumas, unearth and relearn unhelpful thoughts/behaviours that contribute to mental health issues, and learn effective coping skills to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Medications cannot do that work for you, but they can help stabilize your physiology so that you are in a better state to be able to take in what therapy has to offer.

What if I have to cancel or reschedule a session?

We kindly ask 48 hours notice for cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. In the event 48hrs notice is not provided or you "no-show", you will be charged the full session fee. In unforeseen circumstances, such as medical emergencies or illness, please contact us to discuss as we may waive or lower the cancellation fee on compassionate grounds.

Note: If you are accessing in-person counselling services in Barrie and need to cancel due to weather or sickness, please contact your therapist to discuss if switching to a virtual appointment is suitable. We will aim to work with clients through remote measures (phone or video ) as a backup plan whenever possible.

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