CONFIDENTIALITY
Clients are assured that everything they discuss or disclose in counselling will be held in the strictest confidence, and will not be revealed to anyone else without their expressed consent.  The only exceptions involve disclosures or significant risk of child abuse/neglect, expressed intention or imminent risk of harm to oneself or others, and written court orders.  Client information and records are kept secure under lock, and un-needed documents containing client information are cross-shredded prior to offsite waste disposal by the counsellor.  Client files are typically retained for seven years and are then destroyed securely.  Clients will be contacted by the counsellor with maximum discretion unless permitted otherwise by the client. 

INFORMATION and POLICIES:

treatment modalities & Models used

Treatment is provided to individuals, couples, and families, and typically consists of talk therapy using Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques.  Treatment often combines elements of other popular models, including Brief or Solution-Focused Therapy, Person-Centred Therapy, Family Therapy, Rational-Emotive Therapy, Reality Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and others.  Inter-session assignments are sometimes recommended to optimize clients' progress.

LENGTH of sessions & treatment

Sessions are typically one hour in length.  The frequency of sessions depends on the severity of problems, client preferences, and therapist recommendations.  The standard frequency recommended is every two weeks.  Clients with significant difficulties may be seen weekly.  Clients with less pressing concerns or who are progressing well may be seen once a month, and clients in crisis may come two or more times per week.  The length of treatment depends on many factors.  Some clients can be successfully treated within a few sessions, others require longer-term therapy.  You will not be encouraged to come longer than necessary.  Clients are free to withdraw from treatment at anytime.  Just inform your therapist so that your case can be properly closed.  Clients with difficulties that are not responding to treatment, or are beyond the scope of the therapist's expertise, will be provided with an appropriate referral.

child care

Parents of infants and young children are encouraged to arrange child-care while they attend counselling sessions, as no on-site supervision is available.  Children are welcome if they are not disruptive to the counselling process, however some topics discussed in session may not be appropriate in their presence.  Parents are encouraged to bring their children for counselling if they are having problems of their own, or if family issues involve them and would benefit from their participation in therapy.

ABOUT THE counsellor

Steve DeGraaf, M.Ed., RSW has over 25 years of experience in the human services field, as a clinical social worker, case manager, family therapist, and professor.  He is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers, and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers.  He has a Master's degree in Applied Psychology and a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Toronto, and a Post-Diploma in Human Resources Management from Seneca College.  View a profile on Psychology Today: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/226800


  HOURS OF BUSINESS

                      Monday to Thursday: 1:00pm to 9:00pm

Fridays: 1:00pm to 6:00Pm

   Saturday afternoon sessions are also available

Referrals

Clients may self-refer at anytime on their own initiative, or on the recommendation of their physician, employer, attorney, family member, or other helping professional or agency.  There is no waiting period, and clients in crisis, or those wishing to enter service immediately, may obtain an appointment as early as the next day, depending on availability.  To refer yourself, just call or e-mail, or request an appointment using the form on the last page of this website. 



FEES

Fees, set in accordance with current Ontario Association of Social Worker guidelines, are $140/hour, and no HST is charged. 

In addition, counselling services provided by a Registered Social Worker can be claimed as a medical expense tax deduction when you file your income tax return.  Payment can be made by cash, cheque, or Interac e-transfer, and is due at the end of each session.  An official receipt will be provided to you upon payment.  Services are often covered by a client's employer through an Employee Assistance Program (i.e. ComPsych, Homewood Healthcare), typically with a pre-determined number of sessions available to the client, which can vary according to contract guidelines and treatment needs. 


Services may also be largely covered by a client's workplace Extended Health Care benefits program, or through an individual's private health insurance plan.  These benefits may often also apply to a plan member's spouse and/or children, depending on the policies of the applicable plan.  Coverage under these plans are often capped at a pre-determined financial amount per year.  To determine eligibility for coverage, please consult your (or your family member's) policy guidelines for details, or obtain a written copy of the policies and discuss with the counsellor in advance of service.  Some plans require pre-approval of coverage prior to commencement of service.