FAQs

Contact me now for a free, initial phone consultation. Email: cortney@ontariotherapist.com.  Additional profile information on Psychology Today.

Conveniently located office: 287 Main Street West in Hamilton.  Our office is located just minutes from Highway 403 near the beautiful Locke Street area and downtown.  You can take either the Main Street East or Aberdeen exits.  You can also take Plains road if coming from the Burlington area and wish to avoid the highway. There are also buses that serve this route. Your best stops are Pearl, Queen or Locke Streets which will mean a short walk.  If driving east, please keep a careful lookout after Locke on your right as our office building is in a house and it is set back from the street slightly so easy to miss first time around.

Are you accessible by bus?

My office is on major bus routes.  If you get off at Pearl, Locke or Queen, you will have a short walk to the office.

Is there parking available?

Yes.  There is free parking available at the back of the building but please use the entrance at the front of the building.  There is also metred parking across the street on Main Street.  This is available outside of rush hour.  If you have any problems, call or text me upon your arrival.

What are your rates?

My rates are very competitive and I do offer a sliding scale based on a few factors.  On average, my fees  range from 115 – 200 plus HST but I do make exceptions.   Rates may depend on how and where we conduct our counseling session.  For example, mobile rates might cost more than office rates due to travel and parking costs.   Fees are paid at the beginning or end of each in-person session and at the beginning of online or phone sessions.  Sessions are 50 – 60 minutes which includes payment and re-booking if the client wishes.  Clients may also request a longer session.  I am open to varying my session lengths depending on clients’ needs.

Do you offer a sliding scale?

Yes I do.  However, please note that as a non-government funded agency, I am not subsidized.  Therefore, I cannot offer the kind of sliding scale you would find at a government funded agency.  Also, I must limit the number of clients to whom I can offer a sliding scale at any one time.  Please note that if you feel you are unable to pay my fee, I am happy to refer you to a counseling agency that may operate with more subsidized rates that may better fit your budget.  These include Thrive Counseling in Burlington, Shalem in Hamilton, or Catholic Family Services in Hamilton.  It is also important to note that if you belong to a Family Health Team, you may have access to an on-site counselor and/or DBT or CBT groups which can be very helpful.  Please take a look at my Resources Page for additional resources.

What forms of payment do you accept and what is your cancellation policy?

Currently, I accept cash, interac e-transfer and credit cards.  Please discuss with me at the time of booking.  Please note I cannot rebook a client who has missed more than one payment unless otherwise agreed upon.  I generally require a minimum of 48 hours notice for missed appointments out of fairness to other clients who may be waiting for an appointment.  Unless otherwise agreed to, clients who miss appointments or cancel within 48 hours will be charged up to a full session fee (half the fee for cancellations within 48 hours, full fee within 24 hours).

Are you covered by group health insurance or OHIP?

Unfortunately only psychiatrists at this point are covered by OHIP (they are medically trained doctors and take a medicalized approach to mental health).  At the moment, plans with Sunlife, Greenshield, Manulife, Great West Life, OTIP, League, Equitable Health and Blue Cross may cover my services as a Registered Psychotherapist.  You may also be covered if your insurance provider covers psychotherapists under the supervision of clinical psychologists.  I am currently associated with Mills Psychology, under the supervision of Dr. Jon Mills and thus you are likely to qualify for coverage with most plans. Please note that it is the client’s responsibility to verify what is covered with their insurance provider and to what extent.  As the therapist, I am not familiar with what is covered in every plan.

It says on your site, that you are a Registered Psychotherapy (Qual.).  What does that mean?

The CRPO is the official regulating body for psychotherapists in the province of Ontario.  We apply to the CRPO at different stages in our careers.  The “Qualifying” designation after an RP title indicates that the therapist receives regular clinical supervision to provide the highest quality services to their clients.  I believe it is in the best interest of the client for therapists to continue consulting other professionals throughout their careers and to regularly participate regularly in professional development.

What does an initial session look like?

Prior to our first session, I will ask you to fill out some forms that help me better understand your particular challenges and have you sign a consent form to indicate you understand the services provided and my legal limits to confidentiality.  In our first session, we will review those and other details, related to what is legally referred to as “informed consent”.   From there, I will work toward getting to know you and your challenges better and what your goals for therapy look like.  I am happy to discuss the details further by phone when we arrange an appointment.

What is the difference between a psychotherapist, counselor, a social worker, a psychologist and a psychiatrist? How do I know which one is right for me?

There are similarities and differences among all of these professionals.  They often overlap in certain respects and they may also work together at times to provide more well rounded client care.

Here is an excellent explanation of the different disciplines on the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists website.