Cobourg Psychological Services
905-373-1229
halpsych@distributel.net
Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services Cobourg Psychological Services
Therapy, Counselling and Assessments in Cobourg, Peterborough and Surrounding Area
FAQs

Mental Health Therapy, Counselling, and Assessments in Cobourg, Peterborough and Surrounding Areas

Can I self-refer?

Absolutely. When appropriate, coordination with other service providers (such as physicians, lawyers, teachers) can be helpful.

Who Needs to See a Psychologist?

Anyone who identifies that they have a need for services provided by a trained professional whose area of specialty is dealing with personal and interpersonal issues and problems from a psychological perspective. It is not uncommon for individuals to seek psychological services in order to better understand themselves or to work to become happier or to enjoy their life more. It is also not uncommon for individuals to seek psychological services for concerns such as abuse, trauma, injury, loss, separation, or various psychological symptoms, including depression or anxiety, that have risen to a level that interrupts their lives.

Why is it Important to See a Regulated Health Practitioner?

Protection and quality assurance. The role of the regulatory body is to protect the public by ensuring that its practitioners are properly trained and competent. An unregulated person does not have to meet any qualification or continuing education standards, and is not subject to regulation; therefore, patients have no regulatory body to contact if they have any concerns about the services provided.

Are Psychological Services OHIP-covered?

No. However, there are various third-party coverage mechanisms that can provide financial support to help access psychological services. These include Extended Health Coverage through an employer, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) or Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Benefits. Some people have coverage through Health Canada. Victims of a crime can apply to have psychological services covered through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). Individuals injured in a workplace accident might receive assistance through Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Are Psychological Services Private and Confidential?

Yes. However, there are legally-mandated limits to confidentiality. Under certain conditions, psychologists’ files are not "protected”, such as if these records are subpoenaed by a judge. Under certain conditions, psychologists have an obligation to report concerns to appropriate authorities or persons; these specific limitations include if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child (presently under 16 years of age) is being abused or neglected, that another registered health care professional (e.g., a physician, dentist, chiropractor) has sexually maltreated a patient, or that there is an imminent risk of self-harm or harm to others,

As well, clients can request or consent to information-sharing with other parties, when appropriate; in these cases, written authorization will be obtained before any information is released.

Do You See Children?

Yes. When we see children and adolescents, we keep the parent(s) informed of the child's progress and needs, and discuss information with parents which, in our judgment, is appropriate or necessary to share. Often, therapeutic interventions with children will include parents or other family members.

Why Talk About the Past?

The past cannot be changed, but you can change how it affects you.

Is Change Possible?

Absolutely. People can keep changing and growing throughout their entire lives.

How Long Does Treatment Last?

This is a "moving target", and depends on such things as the nature of the problem, personally-identified goals, level of change required or amount of support needed, extent of current stressors or the timing of anticipated stressors. Sometimes, a course of therapy is completed and another course begins at a later time due to changing life circumstances, readiness to revisit and continue working on some difficult issues, or the need for a psychological "booster shot".

How Frequently Should Sessions Occur?

That depends on a host of issues, such as complexity of the problem, emotional "pacing”, or practical concerns, such as financial or scheduling considerations.

Do Psychologists Diagnose Mental Health Problems?

Yes. Psychologists are trained to apply mental health diagnoses when appropriate, and are among the Regulated Health Professionals who are able to conduct the controlled act of communicating a diagnosis.

Do Psychologists Medicate?

No. Psychologists treat using psychological interventions. However, as well-trained mental health professionals, psychologists refer to other professionals, such as psychiatrists or physicians, when there is the need for complementary or alternative interventions, such as psychotropic medication.

Psychotherapy and Counselling: Do they differ?

Psychotherapy and counselling are terms that are often used interchangeably; despite some similarities, there are differences. Psychotherapy involves an exploration of problems within the context of a therapeuticrelationship, and generally focuses on gaining deeper insight into physical, emotional, and/or relationship problems. Gaining insight involves making sense of our thoughts and emotions, and figuring out their causes. Understanding that our core beliefs and reactions are connected to our lived experience can help us examine those beliefs and evaluate how they apply or do not apply to our present circumstances. Sometimes we are not aware of the beliefs we carry that shape our choices in life, and separating beliefs from reality can provide considerable relief, and alter our behaviour.

Counselling is used to assist in resolving problems that are being experiencing in our daily lives within a supportive environment, and can involve providing general advice or information. This type of treatment tends to be briefer and more focused on present-day considerations and solutions, and targets a particular concern or problematic situation, using more active strategies, and can involve providing general information and guidance.

Beyond the form of therapy, the therapeutic relationship is a key factor to effective treatment. Different from other significant relationships, friendships, family ties and workplace acquaintances, the therapeutic alliance involves trust and collaboration, with a focus on our issues and the changes we want to achieve, with no other agenda attached.

What is Trauma, and Can It Be Treated?

Trauma can be defined as any event that causes an unusually high level of emotional stress and has a long-lasting negative effect on a person. It is our own emotional experience of an event that determines whether it was traumatic, not the "facts” of the event itself.

Therefore, a traumatic reaction can result from experiencing a single event such as an assault, a car accident, a natural disaster, a crime, or the sudden death of a loved one. A traumatic reaction also can result from chronic or repetitively stressful experiences, such as child sexual abuse, abusive relationships, or neglect. At the same time, trauma also can arise from any situation that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope as you normally would, or that generates symptoms that get in the way of living your life effectively and with satisfaction.

Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will become psychologically traumatized; different people can react differently to similar experiences, depending on various factors, including early experiences, previous trauma, and felt support from others.

Trauma treatment can be very successful. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective psychotherapeutic technique, typically used in concert with other therapeutic interventions and experiences.


Dr. Anita Halpern, C. Psych.
Dr. Lauren Wysman, C. Psych. (Supervised Practice) Dr. Judy Johnson, C. Psych.
Dr. Charlie Menendez, C. Psych.
Linda Seppanen, M.A., C.Psych.
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Serving Cobourg,
Port Hope,
Colborne,
Brighton,
Newcastle,
Bowmanville,
Northumberland,
Clarington, and
Hastings Counties in Ontario

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Cobourg Psychological Services