Offered by: Karen Guitman

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is sometimes known as “talk-therapy.” It is a technique that can support you in your search for emotional health and balance by helping you create emotional intelligence. This is accomplished through a process of understanding and changing behaviours and cognitive patterns that may no longer be working for you. The psychotherapist creates a safe space in which dedicated listening and simple tools are used to help you explore your life and learn skills that will help you to hear your own inner wisdom. These skills will support you long after the present situation has passed.

A puzzle may be a fitting analogy to use for psychotherapy. Sometimes our lives can feel like a jumbled jigsaw puzzle and we need someone who can help us take a close look at the pieces and figure out where or whether they fit into our lives and how to put them in the correct place. At times it is very helpful when more than one person is looking at those pieces, as we all tend to see them a little differently.

Some forms of psychotherapy last only a few sessions, while others are long-term, lasting for months or years. Sessions are usually for 1 hour, once a week, with the content being based on the collaborative work of you and the therapist. My approach is integrative, holistic and based in client-centred humanistic and transpersonal theory. As such it includes not only techniques that are generally accepted in modern healing approaches, i.e. talk-therapy, anger-management, cognitive or behavioural adjustments, but extends — to the extent that the client is comfortable with that approach — through the imagination into less common tools, such as…

  • guided imagery
  • mindfulness
  • biography work
  • relaxation and stress-management
  • focusing
  • prayer and meditation
  • body-psychotherapy
  • use and training of intuitive abilities
  • movement

The Benefits of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is called a “talking treatment” because it uses talking, rather than medication. I believe that we all have within us the wisdom and knowledge we need to lead a satisfied and successful life. However, sometimes this knowledge gets buried and lost in the struggles and wounding of life. Individual psychotherapy offers a safe space to re-discover this deep inner wisdom and the tools to reconnect with your intuition and inner knowing.

What can Psychotherapy Help?

Psychotherapy is a method which can help a broad range of issues. Individuals who are experiencing any of the following may find psychotherapy helpful:

  • becoming overwhelmed by their feelings (sadness, helplessness, anger, etc.)
  • an inability to cope with daily problems and tasks
  • an inability to concentrate much of the time
  • a sense that problems are not improving, even though help is being received
  • often feeling worried or unable to relax
  • feeling lost or unsure of who you are

What Can You Expect During Your First Psychotherapy Visit?

During the initial free half-hour consultation, the psychotherapist will ask you to describe what has brought you to therapy. The therapist will then deeply listen to your story and give a brief picture of what you can expect from therapy. There will an opportunity for both you and the therapist to ask questions so that together you can decide if this is a good fit for both of you. This is essential so that a therapeutic relationship can be formed, out of which the therapeutic work will proceed.

As a Spiritual Psychotherapist my approach is based on client-centred and transpersonal approaches (both evidence-based). These work out of and with the client’s immediate experience. Therefore, while I offer my expertise, ideas and experience to guide the process, my clients inform and determine which path may be best for them.

What Are Registered Psychotherapist’s Qualifications?

Being a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) means that I have completed a master degree and practicum, as well as the required direct client contact and supervision hours, at an institution recognized by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

According to the CRPO, “psychotherapy is primarily a talk-based therapy and is intended to help people improve and maintain their mental health and well-being. Registered Psychotherapists (can) work with individuals, couples and families in individual and group settings. Psychotherapy occurs when the Registered Psychotherapist (RP) and client enter into a psychotherapeutic relationship where both work together to bring about positive change in the client’s thinking, feeling, behaviour and social functioning. Individuals usually seek psychotherapy when they have thoughts, feelings, moods and behaviours that are adversely affecting their day-to-day lives, relationships and the ability to enjoy life” (https://www.crpo.ca/what-is-psychotherapy/).

Is Psychotherapy Covered By OHIP Or Extended Health Care Benefits Policies?

While psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP, psychotherapy is usually covered by most extended health programs. I am able to provide a receipt for sessions, as well as a letter which outlines my qualifications, which individuals can submit to their insurance companies for reimbursement.

As I do not work directly with the insurance company, it is advised that individuals speak with their insurance companies prior to booking a formal session in order to understand their coverage. As many of the rules and guidelines for coverage of psychotherapy have recently changed it can be helpful to ask direct questions of your insurance carrier and even suggest to your employer that registered psychotherapy be added to your plan, as sometimes it is simply a question of updating an older policy that is out of date.