Frequently Asked Questions

photo-1422544834386-d121ef7c6ea8Where do I find you?

You can get in touch with me via email or phone (see the contact page for more information). My office is at Transense Healing Arts and Holistic Centre, at 344 Bloor St. W., Suite 610, Toronto (at the corner of Bloor and Spadina). I am accepting new clients. Here is a link to my contact page: http://shannonfreudcounselling.com/contact/

How can I tell that you’re the right counsellor for me?

Finding the right counsellor can take some shopping around… think of how many pairs of pants you try on before finding the one that fits you best. Connecting with the right counsellor is even more individual than that, since we’re talking about personalities fitting with each other. When you’re in the market for a counsellor or therapist, consider how you feel talking to them. Can you open up to them about how you’re feeling? If you’re not comfortable opening up right away, we can talk about what you might need from me to open up more about yourself. Please keep in mind that the more information I have about you, the more I’ll be able to help. I offer a free 20-30 minute phone conversation, in which you are welcome to ask me any questions you have about counselling, my practice, and how we can work together. After that conversation, you will have a better sense of whether or not we are a good fit.

How do I find the right fit?

Trying to find the right fit with a helping professional can be a task in itself! Then, to consider that you’ll be opening up to this person, and probably feeling more vulnerable with them than with anyone else you have in your life, finding the right fit is crucial. So, how do you do that? Start by asking yourself the following questions…

• What are the issues that I want to work on? Which therapists are familiar with these issues?

• Do I have special considerations? For example, I am trans, and I want my counsellor to be familiar with the nuances and struggles specific to the transgender population. Or, I am Jewish, and I want my therapist to at least know that Channukah is not the biggest holiday of the year for Jewish people. Or, I have children, and I want a therapist who knows about the struggles of having children, trying to manage a career, and relationship with my partner.

• I have mental health challenges; is the counsellor familiar with these mental health challenges? For example, some counsellors are specifically familiar with treating trauma , or grief, or working with the senior population. What specific training does my counsellor have?

When treating a traumatic history, it would help to look for a helping professional who is trauma-focused. I am trauma-informed, so I can recognize a traumatic past, and help you to sort through your feelings about the trauma. Someone who is trauma-focused is able to do the same as me, and they have some other strategies and resources to support you in moving past it.

Most importantly, it is really about how you feel in the conversation with the helping professional. Do you feel at ease in talking to them? Keep in mind that it might take some time to feel comfortable to open up to them. If you’re struggling with this part of things, what might the therapist be able to do to support you through this process?

Speaking of rights…

I found a great article on the Psych Central website. It captures everything I think is important when considering your rights as a client. Check out the link https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/10/15/your-patient-rights-in-therapy/ Note that counselling and therapy is an interchangeable term. You can find out more information about the difference between the two, and the differences between social workers and registered psychotherapists on the following websites: College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario crpo.ca, Ontario Association of Social Workers oasw.org, and Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers ocswssw.org

Is counselling confidential?

I am a Registered Social Worker; as such, I am bound by ethical standards to maintain confidentiality. This means that what you tell me in counselling, I will not disclose to anyone else. Additionally, any records I keep on our counselling sessions will be kept in a confidential and locked file, which you may have access to upon request. There are some circumstances in which I would be bound by law to disclose information; this includes, in my assessment, an imminent risk for suicide or homicide, a concern that the client would hurt themselves or someone else, or child protection concerns. I may also break confidentiality if the client consents to this disclosure, such as a situation in which the client is accessing services with another organization.

The only other time I would disclose information about the client’s situation is in my own supervision with a professional supervisor or during group supervision. I value the input and support of my colleagues to ensure that I am practicing with quality. In this case, I maintain confidentiality about identifying information, and all of the group members and supervisor have an obligation to maintain confidentiality, too.

How many counselling sessions will I need?

That depends on you and what you want to work on, your goals, and the pace at which you’d like to take with counselling. There is no set amount of time, and I am available as long as you’d like to work with me. I aim to be productive and focus on what you need most from counselling.

How much does counselling cost?

My rates for counselling are $110-150 per hour session. I leave it up to you to decide where you sit on that sliding scale. I am covered by most employee benefits companies, too. If money stands in the way of you seeing me, I’d like to see if I can help you find the support you need. I would much rather you get that, regardless of your circumstances.

What is your cancellation policy?

Please notify me as soon as possible if you are unable to make your appointment. If it’s less than 48 hours before your appointment, I will still need to charge you the full fee of the session. To cancel an appointment, you can email, call or text me.