Private Matters Psychotherapy Logo


Last Updated : 02-Oct-2022
Here are the answers to some of the most important questions you might have for us.  Of course if you do not find what you need here, please book a free phone consultation  and we can go over everything you'd like to ask.

Questions About Appointments

How often should I have therapy?

That is a difficult questions as it depends on so many factors. To name a few:

  • the reason for therapy,
  • the work you have done prior,
  • your commitment,
  • and finances.

Some people only need a couple of sessions, whereas other people choose to schedule in maintenance sessions after our work is done.

How long do appointments last?

All appointments take 60 minutes.

How long will I wait for my first appointment?

At Private Matters Psychotherapy we do not work with a wait list. This means that we will do our best to schedule you in as soon as possible, taking into account your schedule and our schedules.

I work during the day. Can you see me in the evening?

Yes! We understand that working late, or working out of town may mean that some people prefer to schedule appointments in the evenings. We reserve several evening slots for those who work late and are unable to make a daytime appointment. Often these slots get filled up fast, so please make sure to call in advance to make sure your time is available.

Do I have to make a commitment to therapy?

Yes. One of the most important factors in making sure therapy is successful is your commitment to the process: showing up to the appointments on time, following through with the assignments we discuss in our sessions, and a commitment to yourself to be open and honest with your therapist.

Could I come fortnightly or less regularly if I want to?

We always advise to schedule the first three sessions weekly, as this is when we lay the foundation and we get the ball rolling. After these initial sessions we can discuss to keep our meetings weekly or switch to every other week or every three weeks.

It is not advisable to schedule in sessions once a month to start with, as this becomes a catch-up session and no real work can be done at that point.

Do you offer a free initial consultation?

Yes, we offer a free 20-min phone consultation. Please visit this page to book it at a date and time convenient to you.

Can I have online therapy appointments?

We offer both in-office and online therapy through video and telephone. During the COVID pandemic, all sessions are held by video and/or phone.

What is your cancellation policy?

In the event that you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, please contact us at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.

When you book an appointment with us, that time is allotted to you – and ONLY you. We do our best to always be ready for you when you arrive.

In return, we ask that you keep your promise to us and show up for your appointment on time. If you do not show up for your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified us at least 24 hours in advance, you will be charged the full cost of the session as booked.

Questions About Treatments

Do I need an assessment before I begin therapy?

You do not need an assessment before starting therapy. As Registered Psychotherapists, we do not offer any kinds of psychological assessments or diagnosis.

Your therapist might ask you to will out a mental health questionnaire that will help to objectively see progress in your therapeutic treatment.

Are my concerns serious enough to seek professional help?

We often see clients come in thinking that they “should” not be feeling a certain way because there is someone out there with more serious mental health concerns. Whether this might be factually true or not, therapy is not about comparing yourself to others to feel better.

There are different reasons why someone might reach out for therapy, such as dealing with stress, relationship issues, building up coping skills for panic attacks, or recovering from a traumatic event.

Whatever the presenting issue is, if you feel you need to talk to a professional, therapy is right for you.

Will you talk about me in public or use our sessions as source material for other projects?

Because our office is located downtown Burlington, it might be that you bump into your therapist outside of your therapy appointment. As a rule of thumb, our therapist will not be the first person to reach out and say “hello”. We will wait for you to approach us to start a conversation.

As for using our sessions as material for other projects; absolutely not. Everything we talk about is confidential, with a couple of exceptions outlined in the question above.

Is what I say confidential and will anything be put on my medical records?

Yes, everything we talk about in our therapy sessions is confidential, with the exception of a few things. Your therapist will have a legal and ethical obligations to disclose certain kinds of information you reveal during our therapy session. This information includes:

  • If you have the intent to physically harm yourself or someone else
  • If you have the intent to end your own life
  • If your therapist receives a court order to release your file
  • Inform the Children’s Aid Society if there is suspicion of a child being at risk or in need of protection due to neglect, or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Report a health professional who has sexually abused a client
  • If your therapist receives a notice from the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario for an audit
What can I expect in my first therapy session?

The first session after an initial phone consultation is called an intake session. This session is about forming the foundation from which we base our further therapeutic work.

This session will focus on the presenting mental health concern, but also on who you are as a person, what hobbies you like, where you were born and raised.

Finally, we will also spend time on figuring out what the goals are for our next therapy appointments.

Can I call you at any time for help?

Our office hours are from 9am to 9pm from Monday thru Friday. You can always call us, however we might not always be able to answer right away. In that case, feel free to leave us a voicemail and we will call you back as soon as possible.

In case of emergency, please dial one of the following numbers:

  • 911
  • Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) 905-972-8338
  • Assaulted Women’s Helpline – 1-888-364-1210
  • Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6888
  • Ontario Poison Centre – 1-800-268-9017
  • Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team – 1-800-668-6888
Can therapy work for me – I find it difficult to talk about personal things?

Opening up about personal issues is difficult, especially if it is to someone you have not met before. We pace our therapy sessions to your needs. The alliance you create with your therapist is an important factor in a successful therapy session. Spending some time to get to know each other is part of creating this alliance.

Questions About Therapists

How do I choose a therapist?

After your initial phone consultation, we will recommend you a therapist based on your presenting mental health concern and the type of therapeutic treatment you would benefit most from.

Alternatively, you may have read our therapist’s bios on our website and might have a preference for working with a specific therapist. We will always try to honour your request depending on therapist availability.

What if I don’t click with my therapist?

It is important to have a good connection with your therapist, after all, you won’t only be discussing the weather or your upcoming vacation plans. Openness and honesty are important aspects of creating a healthy therapeutic relationship.

As within any form of communication, miscommunications and misunderstandings can happen in conversation with your therapist. We are always open to feedback and are more than happy to help you find a good therapeutic fit.

Why should I choose your practice?

When it comes to choosing a therapist, you have options. We offer a non-judgemental and client-centered approach to therapy. Here are a few things that have made Private Matters Psychotherapy thrive.

Openness And Honesty

These two concepts are not only important in the client session, but also when it comes to client care. We operate from a perspective of “what you see is what you get”. No hidden fees, no hidden policies, and no hidden agenda. We like to walk the talk, making sure that both you and us have clarity of what working together looks like and what to expect from each other.

Care And Commitment

The process of becoming a professional and well-rounded therapist does not stop after graduating from a University Program. We pride ourselves in attending workshops and courses, and keeping up with the latest psychological research articles. We believe that learning more and enhancing our therapeutic knowledge allows us to be able to help you better.

Personalized Psychotherapy

There is no one-size fits all in therapy. We tailor the therapy sessions to your individual needs and take a genuine interest in you. We don’t just see you as just another client. Instead, we value the therapeutic bond that gets formed between client and therapist and we will check-in with you from time to time.

Which professional organizations do you belong to?

In addition to being a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, our therapists may also be a member of a professional association such as Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists (OSRP0), Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals (OAMHP), Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), EMDR Canada or equivalent.

What licenses and certifications do you have?

All our therapists are Registered Psychotherapists and members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. They all hold a Master’s Degree in either Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, or equivalent.

What are your therapist’s qualifications?

All our therapists are Registered Psychotherapists with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

All our therapists hold a Master Degree in either Counseling, Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, or equivalent.

What makes PMPTherapy so special?

Open and honest communication are at the foundation of any good therapeutic conversation.

Our therapists like to hold our clients accountable for their words and actions, we follow through with goals that we have laid out for our work together, and we don’t sugar coat the things we talk about.

Questions About Payment

Do you offer direct billing to insurance companies?

Unfortunately we do not do direct billing.

After your payment for your session is received, we will email you a receipt that contains your therapist’s credentials and registration information.

Submit this receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement, if this is applicable according to your insurance policy.

How do I pay for my sessions?

Prior to your first appointment, you will receive an email with information on how to make your payment. You can pay either by sending an e-transfer or by credit card.

Can I use medical insurance to pay for my therapy sessions with you?

That depends on your insurance policy. Every policy is different, so we would advise you to check with your insurance company whether they cover for psychotherapy by a Registered Psychotherapist / Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying).

Questions About The Profession

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

This get’s so confusing! So here is the simplified answer.


psychiatrist is a medical doctor, and therefor their services are mostly covered by OHIP. A Psychiatrist can prescribe psychiatric medication, clinically diagnose a patient (i.e. assess whether a patient fits the diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or another mental health illness) and sometimes they will also offer psychotherapy.


psychologist usually has a PhD in Psychology and is covered by (most) insurance companies in Ontario. They can clinically diagnose a client, but cannot prescribe psychiatric medication. A Psychologist usually offers psychological assessments and psychotherapy.


psychotherapist may be covered by personal insurance benefits. They treat people using different psychotherapeutic techniques.

Social Worker

social worker can also use psychotherapeutic techniques to help a client and use a biopsychosocial approach in their sessions.

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