Frequently asked questions
What is Therapy?
Therapy also called Counselling and Psychotherapy is a collaborative effort between you, as a client, meeting with a therapist/counselor to work on your goals towards changing/resolving what you have identified as problematic behaviours, beliefs, feelings and/or relationships.
Therapy plays an important role in helping improve our overall mental and emotional health and wellbeing. During therapy sessions, clients will talk about their feelings, reflect on their choices and/or behaviors, learn new strategies for coping and communicating and gain an awareness of themselves – all of which contributes to making positive changes in their lives.
As your therapist, my responsibility is to use my education, training, and experience to address your treatment needs and concerns and to serve you in the most ethical, professional and effective manner possible.
My goal is to help each client achieve and maintain their optimal mental and emotional health and wellness.
What are online video therapy sessions?
Online video sessions are an alternative to a traditional office visit. Having access to Online Video Counselling is especially beneficial if you have:
Lack of Childcare
Difficulty accessing a licensed therapist in your community
Frequent travel for work – you can still have our regular therapy sessions even when traveling
Anxiety and/or worries about attending an office appointment
All online sessions use a Virtual Care (online Video) web based program. This program means we meet online using a program similar to Skype/FaceTime except the program I use is created for healthcare providers to ensure that we are meeting using a secure connection and to ensure that we are meeting Privacy Requirements for Health Care in Canada.
How long is a therapy session?
Sessions are 50 minutes
Many clients prefer to schedule longer sessions especially for their first appointment.
75 minute and 100 minutes sessions are also avaialble at client’s request
What topics might we discuss during counselling/therapy?
Topics discussed in therapy can vary greatly from person to person depending on the concerns being addressed. Focus is directed towrads enhanced emotional and mental health and wellbeing for the client.
Some specific examples include:
What To Expect During A Therapy Session
In your first therapy session, I will ask questions about you and your life so as to gain an understanding of which concerns you would like to address. This can lead into deeper issues and a discussion of your personal history and current situation.
Throughout your sessions, it could feel challenging to talk about difficult situations and experiences. However, I am there to help guide you through these issues and help create strategies which assist you with your emotions. At times you could feel sad, frustrated, upset, even angry, but that can be part of the process. At other times you may feel relieved, as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and excited about new awareness and changes you may be noticing.
It is important to remember that therapy is not a quick fix; it is a process. Also it is a team effort between you and I (your therapist). It is important for us to have open and honest conversation about how you feel. If you are not sure of something, please ask questions. As your therapist, I am here to help – the more information you provide, the more guidance I can offer.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions that are required to help resolve a specific issue depends on your individual needs. This will be discussed during your first appointment.
Some clients may benefit from 2-3 sessions while others may require 10-12 sessions. We will also discuss the frequency of your sessions.
I do recommend committing to at least 3 sessions to allow yourself time to fully explore your goals of therapy. However please remember that you are never required to commit to a minimum number of sessions.
Is client information confidential?
All information pertaining to your situation will be kept confidential. There are, however, some limitations to confidentiality, including:
• If you pose an immediate and grave threat to your life and safety or to that of other individuals, confidentiality may be broken in order to prevent harm.
• If you become involved in a legal case, the judge has a right to subpoena information pertaining to your treatment.
• There are mandatory reporting laws for abuse of children and dependent adults.
I always review these limits to confidentiality during our first appointment.
Will I have to pay HST?
No, therapy is considered a health service and is tax-exempt.
Will I be charged if I miss a session?
I ask that you provide 24 hours notice if you need to cancel or change your appointment, this way I can fill the appointment time with someone from my waiting list. Of course, I understand that mistakes and emergencies do happen. I always waive the fee for one missed appointment. However, missing future appointments may lead to being charged a late fee.
Will my insurance cover your services?
Most private insurance companies provide some coverage for services. It is a good idea to review your policy with your insurance provider before your appointment to determine how much coverage you have per year and if your insurance provides coverage for Social Work Services.
Do you bill my insurance company directly?
I currently provide direct billing for Blue Cross
I am also an approved Blue Cross provider for Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces
All other insurance companies are not direct billing so the balance of your session is due at the end of your appointment with me. You will be provided a receipt that you can submit to your Insurance Company if you have Insurance Coverage.
Ready to begin?
Contact me for a free 20-minute telephone consultation
© Copyright 2017 | Heidi Sturgeon, MSW, RSW, RPC, MPCC | Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada | B3M 3N3 | All Rights Reserved.