Sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey. They don't need to, it's not for them.
How do I make an appointment and is a referral required?
The Cohen Clinic does not require a physician’s referral. To schedule an appointment, contact the clinic at 416.588.7546 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Clinic Coordinator will provide you with a free phone consultation to assess your needs and match you with the right therapist.
Additionally, most extended health care coverage, does not require a physician’s referral to ensure coverage; however, it is always best practice to check your insurance policy.
What should I expect from a first session?
Reaching out for support is difficult. We often struggle to confide in friends or family, never mind meet with a stranger to discuss our thoughts and feelings. Therapy holds a lot of unknowns for people who have never had any interaction with the field of mental health. This is what you can expect from an intake appointment:
The initial session is about the therapist gaining an understanding about you and your needs. The point is to make sure the therapist and client are the best fit for treatment. They want to gain an understanding of what is bringing you to therapy, your current symptoms and your background history. If the therapist believes you are better suited to a different course of treatment, they will connect you to a treatment provider who specializes in your needs.
This appointment is also an opportunity for you to assess how comfortable you feel. Research shows, rapport between client and therapist is a significant factor in treatment success. The therapeutic relationship is like any relationship – sometimes it’s a match and sometimes it’s not. If you do not feel the therapist is the right fit for you, then they will provide you with referrals for someone who meets your needs better. This being said, it also takes time to build comfort, so if you feel your relationship can grow, give it some time.
If you and the therapist determine you are a good fit, then you will spend time identifying what your treatment goals are. You should feel free to ask questions. Some things to think about asking are: their qualifications and experience, the possible treatment plan, and the therapist’s treatment style. If you do not understand something, don’t be shy, ask them to clarify. Your active participation in treatment is key to success, and this starts in the first session.
It is important to note, you are free to leave treatment at any time. You do not have to commit to a course of treatment or particular therapist. Making a commitment to therapy can feel daunting and overwhelming. If these feelings come up for you, remember: you are committing to an initial appointment and then you can decide about the next!
How long are sessions and how frequent are sessions?
Sessions are 50 minutes in length. Frequency is dependent on the unique needs of each client. Factors taken into account when establishing session frequency are the client’s: symptom severity, level of distress, availability, and financial constraints. Your therapist will discuss these factors with you in order to inform the treatment plan.
It is usually best practice to have sessions once per week or every two weeks at the start of treatment. This allows you to establish rapport with your therapist and build momentum toward your treatment goals. Once you start to see progress, session frequency can be tapered.
How many sessions will I need?
While this is a rational question for anyone to be asking when they start treatment, it is a difficult one to answer. Research shows therapy duration is extremely variable and is impacted by many factors: therapeutic interventions used, therapeutic goals, symptom severity, symptom chronicity, types of symptoms, complexity of difficulties, level of social support available, other life events that are co-occurring, and level of active engagement in therapy.
Short or long-term goals can be established based on your needs. Short-term goals are usually for a very specific difficulty. Short-term models are approximately 4 to 10 sessions. Long-terms goals are usually for recurring life patterns that require more in-depth exploration and deeper change. Longer-term models are approximately 12 to 20 sessions.
Session frequency and duration is a discussion had in the intake session, and are topics revisited throughout treatment. You will work collaboratively with your therapist to identify a treatment plan that fits your needs.
Do you prescribe medications?
We are Registered Clinical Psychologists and therefore, do not prescribe medication. We respect each client’s decision to use or not use mental health medication. Your Family Doctor or Psychiatrist are health practitioners who can prescribe medication. We are always happy to consult with your Family Doctor or Psychiatrist to provide them with information that may be useful when prescribing you mental health medications. This consultation is only done with your expressed written consent.
Do you offer video sessions?
Video and telephone sessions are possible for those in need. A PHIPPA compliant video conferencing application is used. Please note, as per the guidelines of The College of Psychologists of Ontario, we can only treat clients residing in Ontario.
Do you offer workshops?
Workshops are a wonderful way to introduce and educate people about mental health information. In a non-threatening, approachable environment, Dr. Amber Cohen works to provide attendees with education on mental health concerns and concrete coping skills they can utilize personally and professionally. The sessions are skills-based and interactive. Workshops are offered in Toronto and the GTA.
Things to note regarding workshops:
Attainment of concrete strategies in under an hour.
No need to share personal information.
Power point presentation, handouts and worksheets provided by Dr. Amber Cohen.
Evening and weekend sessions available.
Stress Less: Freeing your Creative Potential
The Confident Professional: How to Manage Networking and Workplace Anxiety
Presenting your Best Self: Skills to Increase Confidence and Motivation
Self-Care Skills: How to Manage Stress and Care for Yourself
Mindfulness Mastery: Techniques to Increase Feelings of Contentment and Success.