I am not afraid of storms as I am learning how to sail my ship.
— Louise May Alcott

Q: What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

A: psychiatrist is a licensed physician with specialized training in the medical management of depression, anxiety, panic, and other disorders of mood and mental functioning. Psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medications such as antidepressants, stimulants, and anti-anxiety agents.

psychologist holds a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in Psychology or education and is licensed to practice by a provincial psychology board. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication.

Psychologists work with thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and behaviors. They are trained to assess the specific nature of a client’s psychological difficulties and to explore a variety of factors that may contribute to them; for example, individual differences in biological makeup, learning experiences, and current life stressors.

Psychologists are also trained in teaching clients new skills to use in responding to stressors in their environment.

Q: Are your fees covered by insurance?

A: MSI does not cover the services of psychologists in private practice. However, many supplemental health insurance plans offer some coverage for these services. Your insurance provider can inform you about your benefits. Fees for health-related psychological services are deductible as medical expenses for income tax purposes.

Counselling is available without charge at community outpatient mental health clinics. Services at these clinics may be provided by a psychologist or by another mental health professional with training in social work, nursing, or a related field. Your physician can provide a referral to a clinic near you.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: We require at least 24 hours notice of cancellation/rescheduling. Monday appointments must be cancelled/rescheduled by Friday at 12noon.  Appointments scheduled on the first day following a holiday must be cancelled/rescheduled by 12noon on the last business day before the holiday. Voicemail or email messages left after business hours or on weekends or holidays do NOT count as sufficient notice and will remain your financial responsibility. 48 hours’ notice is required for extended appointments (appointments scheduled for 2 hours or longer).

Please note that although reminder notices are sent via text/email/phone (depending on your preference), they are a courtesy only. Once an appointment has been scheduled, it is the client’s responsibility to attend or cancel with sufficient notice.

Q: What is a Clinical Therapist who is a Registered Social Worker?

A: Clinical Therapist / Registered Social Workers will have specialized training at the Masters level and have been approved by their provincial regulatory body to provide therapeutic services. They have likely learned how to help people work through psychological difficulties from a number of approaches and will carefully select the most appropriate interventions for each individual client’s situation. They are governed by a specific set of standards for practice and Code of Ethics. Social workers are also trained to explore a person’s context and recognize environmental influences that may be contributing to their struggles. Human rights and promotion of social justice are at the core of their practice, as is respect for individuals as the experts of their own lives. According to the Canadian Association of Social Workers, “The uniqueness of social work practice is in the blend of some particular values, knowledge and skills, including the use of relationship as the basis of all interventions and respect for the client’s choice and involvement”.

Q: What are your fees and payment options

A: Unless otherwise agreed upon in advance, our fee is $175.00 – $190.00 per 50-minute session, payable by the client at the end of each session. Cash, cheque, debit card, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted. (However, debit card facilities are not currently available at our Fall River satellite office.)

Q: What is a Family and Marriage Therapist?

A: “A family's patterns of behavior influences the individual and therefore may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn't just the person - even if only a single person is interviewed - it is the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded.

Marriage and family therapy is:

  • brief

  • solution-focused

  • specific, with attainable therapeutic goals

  • designed with the "end in mind."

Marriage and family therapists regularly practice short-term therapy; 12 sessions on average. Nearly 65.6% of the cases are completed within 20 sessions, 87.9% within 50 sessions. Marital/couples therapy (11.5 sessions) and family therapy (9 sessions) both require less time than the average individuated treatment (13 sessions). About half of the treatment provided by marriage and family therapists is one-on-one with the other half divided between marital/couple and family therapy, or a combination of treatments.”

- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy