"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last."

- Charlotte Bronte
English novelist
(1816-1855)

Taking Part in Psychotherapy

Does OHIP pay for your services? Can you prescribe medication?
You need to work with a psychiatrist or a medical doctor (GP) with psychotherapy training to have your sessions covered by OHIP or to receive prescriptions. Some of my clients work with me for their psychotherapy, and also see a psychiatrist or their family physician for the medical portion of their treatment. As required, I collaborate with your physician for your medical care.

How long can I expect therapy to last? How often do I come to see you?
The length of time you spend in therapy depends on 'where you are today' and what you hope to achieve. This is something we can discuss in a first consultation. Your ability to devote time, attention and resources to the therapy , as well as your budget, may also impact the length of your therapy. I recommend weekly sessions as the ideal frequency (it's like exercising — working out infrequently may make us feel better in the moment but does not effect lasting change).

I've never been for therapy before. What can I expect?
First, you can be assured that what you talk about in our sessions is kept confidential. Second, you can be assured that the work is about you (as an accredited practitioner, I adhere to professional guidelines around what is appropriate behaviour for both you and me). Third, you are encouraged to ask me about fees, education and training, the techniques I use and any other questions you have that can make the process more comfortable for you. Lastly, you can feel confident that I will direct and guide the therapy to help achieve the goals we have previously established and agreed-upon.

How will I know if I have found the right therapist, or if the therapy is actually working?
Techniques vary from one therapist to another and some forms of therapy will feel more comfortable for you than others; there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution! Feeling genuinely heard, understood and cared-for within the session is more important than the actual technique itself. The relationship 'fit,' along with the feeling that change is occurring, is the best indicator you've found the right therapist. As the 'consumer' of this service, it's your right to feel you're receiving the best care possible.

I'm in therapy and I'm feeling worse rather than better. Is this normal?
Entering into therapy is often a complex and difficult decision, and one that's not to be taken lightly. Since most clients have already tried to 'fix' their issues on their own, they often wait a long time before getting the professional attention they need. As a result, the work of therapy often uncovers old wounds that may cause you to feel worse before you start to feel better, or at least experience change or improvement. As uncomfortable as this process is, I encourage my clients to keep going since change is occurring, and we often need to 'go through it to get through it.'


Susan Stephenson, R.P. M.Ed. Toronto, Ontario
586 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 809, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1P2
Phone: 416-964-8271 Email: susan@susanstephenson.ca