The decision to see a therapist is a very personal one. People realize that therapy can involve looking closely at yourself, your situation and the people around you. For some people, this can be very difficult at first, but the rewards are immeasurable. Having a trained psychotherapist to work with you in this process is an invaluable asset. Therapy helps people to enhance and maintain their physical and mental health, and promote honesty, intimacy and fulfilment in their lives.
It is important to understand that counselling is different from friendship. As a psychotherapist, I am not there to be your friend, but rather to guide you to insight and solutions to problems that are keeping you from reaching your full potential. During a session you and I together will do the hard work that will lead you to the answers that are already inside of you. My clinical training enables me to challenge and support you in ways that your friends cannot. Often just telling someone who is not otherwise involved in your life about the pain or challenges you have can be very liberating, especially in the context of a therapeutic relationship.
Everything you say in our sessions will be kept confidential. The only exceptions are when there is a danger that you may harm yourself or someone else, or in active cases of abuse. If you are involved in the abuse of someone in your care or if you are being abused, I am obligated by law to disclose that information to the appropriate authorities. However, those types of situations are rare. Most people find it a great relief to have a safe space where they are able to share whatever they like without being judged and rest assured that it will remain confidential.
What Happens in a Typical Therapy Session?
What happens in your therapy session will be shaped by your particular needs. There are two main ways to have psychotherapy. Sinthia will work with you to determine the best approach for your situation.
Open-ended Therapy Sessions: Some people work towards the solutions best by having a weekly appointment and sharing whatever is on their mind in an open-ended way. This facilitates awareness and personal growth. Sinthia will provide space to explore whatever you are experiencing in the moment, and provide guidance to consider your thoughts and feelings in ways that foster insight.
Structured Therapy Sessions: Some people find the solution lies in highly structured sessions. In structured sessions, a clear plan is always in place and you will know exactly what is going to happen at every session. You might be guided to practice particular skills or review certain types of interactions with specific, targeted goals for improvement.
Sinthia has training and experience in both open-ended and structured approaches. She is also skilled at combining them or toggling back and forth between them as well. In your initial sessions, Sinthia will work with you to determine the best approach for your needs.
When, Where and How often Does Therapy Happen?
When: Sinthia is able to see you at a variety of times, including evenings and weekends. Because sessions are a manageable amount of time (45-50 minutes), she is usually able to find a time that works in your schedule.
Where: Sinthia will be happy to see you in her office, in your home or over the phone. Sinthia recognizes that many clients lead busy lives and are not always able to come to the office due to travel or other issues, and she will work to fit with your needs.
How Often: The frequency of your sessions will depend on your particular needs. Some clients prefer to come more frequently while they are addressing a problem in the early stages and then schedule less frequent appointments to maintain gains or even just have occasional “booster” sessions. Sinthia supports clients who want to work best in this way. Sinthia is also happy to accommodate clients who can benefit from short-term therapy which is generally about 8-10 sessions, as well as clients who benefit from ongoing standing appointments on a weekly basis. There are also some clients who occasionally want to be seen more often when they want additional support. Sinthia will offer you her professional opinion about what frequency is best for you, and she will always respect your right to decide about how often feels best for you. Sinthia will see you up to three times per week if necessary.
Types and Duration of Therapy
Sinthia’s approach to therapy is a combination of the genuine care, empathetic skills, and a non-judgmental psychodynamic and person centred approach coupled with several evidence based strategies such as meditation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy. The duration of treatment is highly variable and depends on many factors, including the goals you have, your experience with therapy and the challenges we are managing. You may benefit from a number of different therapeutic strategies and techniques.
Please try to be on time for your sessions as Sinthia tries to end all sessions on time so as not to cause unnecessary delays for others who have appointments. If you are late Sinthia may not be able to provide you with extended time due to other patients she has scheduled that day. If you need to cancel or change an appointment, Sinthia will do her best to accommodate your schedule. Please provide at least 7 days notice, if possible, so that Sinthia may schedule another patient in your place. If less than 7 days notice is given Sinthia will still make every attempt to reschedule you at a more convenient time but you will be charged for the cancellation if she is unable to fill your appointment slot. If the weather conditions have made travel too hazardous, then you may cancel without penalty or a phone session may be conducted.
No charge will normally be made in respect of sessions cancelled at least one week in advance. However, if a client repeatedly cancels sessions, even with notice, we reserve the right to charge the full session fee for all missed or cancelled appointments and to require prepayment for future appointments. No monetary refund is given for any sessions including prepaid ones. Prepaid sessions expire 3 months after the date of purchase.
Very occasionally, emergencies may make it impossible for me to deliver a session as agreed. Normally I would have advised you in advance if this is likely, but in any event I would let you know as soon as possible if a session needs to be cancelled. If I cancel a session, no charge would be made and an alternative time would be offered.
We recognise that emergencies can happen to anyone, at any time. if you need to cancel an appointment at very short notice for reasons of genuine emergency, we will endeavour to be understanding and may waive the cancellation fee so long as you contacted us as soon as reasonably possible. Sessions missed without giving appropriate notice will remain chargeable in all but the most extreme circumstances.
Fees and Insurance
Fees represent payment for Sinthia’s professional knowledge and experience. They also support between-session consultations and outside work done to support the therapeutic relationship.
Sinthia will be happy to check your insurance benefits for you to determine your out-of-network benefits. Sinthia can submit claims directly to your insurance company once the contract has been agreed. This means that if you have out-of-network benefits, you will likely not even have to send in any paperwork to your insurance company in order to get your reimbursement because Sinthia takes care of submitting the claim / invoice directly to your insurer. This streamlines the process and makes things much easier for you.