Dr. Bill Nodrick
individuals, couples, and families experience difficulties at some point in
time. However, there are occasions when the assistance of a qualified therapist
can be exceptionally helpful. Some signs of distress when the assistance of a
therapist should be considered are:
Problems with a child's behaviour and/or grades
Unexplainable fatigue or difficulty in sleeping
Sexual problems or concerns
Difficulties in talking with your spouse, family members, friends or co-workers
Feelings of loneliness, moodiness, depression, sadness, failure, stress, or anxiety
Problems with alcohol or drugs
A need for tranquilizers, energizers, or sleeping aids
Frequent financial difficulties
Difficulty in setting or reaching goals
Family stress due to chronic illness
Illness in which stress plays a major role
Drastic weight fluctuations, or irregular eating patterns
Difficulties with anger, hostility or violence
Work difficulties (e.g., frequent job changes, problems with co-workers, poor performance, etc.)
No. In general,
these terms are used interchangeably.
and treat mental and emotional disorders, behavioural problems and relationship
difficulties. Therapists are typically interested in strengths, patterns, roles,
rules, goals, and stages of development. Depending upon their particular
qualifications and training, they may use: interviews, psychological tests,
rating scales, hypnosis, reading assignments, discussions, relaxation exercises,
homework assignments, reward systems, and many other techniques as appropriate.
requirements for practice vary somewhat across the different provinces and
territories of this country. In general, Canadian therapists have specialized
training in counselling; one or more graduate degrees; are licensed by a
professional association to use a professional title (such as: Psychologist,
Psychiatrist, Social Worker, etc.), and subscribe to a professional code of
ethics. Each of these professional groups undergoes different training and has
different skills to offer. With all other things being equal, you should opt for
the therapist with more training and experience in treating concerns such as
yours. (A doctoral degree represents more training than a Master's degree which,
in turn, represents more training than a Bachelor's degree.) Increasingly,
qualified therapists in Canada are members of the American Association for
Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) which requires that they possess at least a
Master's degree, specific training in marriage and family therapy, and have a
minimum of two years of supervised clinical practice. Do not hesitate to
inquire about a therapist's training and experience.
One session per
week is very common. However, in some situations, sessions are scheduled more
frequently; and in others less frequently.
introductory session tends to be somewhat longer, but most therapy sessions last
about one hour.
The period of
time that an individual, couple or family remains in therapy tends to vary with
the seriousness of the problem, but most situations require six sessions or
Your spouse or
other family members do not always need to participate in therapy. However,
uninterested family members often do get involved in the therapy
later, if there is at least one motivated person attending.
make counselling services available to their employees through employee
assistance programs (EAPs). Qualified therapists are also listed in the yellow
pages under: Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselling and Social Service
Agencies. Often times, qualified therapists can be accessed at hospitals,
colleges and universities. In addition, you may ask for a referral from your
family physician or for a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague.
You may also contact the provincial or national association of one of the
professional groups listed above, and ask them for the names of several
therapists who specialize in concerns such as yours and who live in your
community. Finally, there are a number of directories available on the Internet that include listings of therapists in Canada and the United States.
They allow you to "search" for therapists in your area who have
particular credentials and specialize in a particular area of practice.
No, a referral
from your physician is generally not essential. However, if you are considering
seeing a therapist, do not hesitate to ask your physician for a referral; or for
the name of a therapist he/she would recommend.
are very aware of the importance of a good "fit" and will invite you
to use the first session to decide if you feel comfortable working with them.
If, at any time, you don't feel that you have a good fit, let your
therapist know. It is likely that he/she will be able to direct you to a
more suitable therapist.
fees vary considerably depending upon the professional training of the
therapist, the area you are living in, the therapist's expertise, etc. Fee
guidelines are available for each of the professions noted above from their
respective professional associations.
If you have an
EAP benefit at your place of employment, your employer will cover all or a
portion of your costs. It is important to find out the details of your coverage
before securing services.
The services of
some therapists, (e.g. Psychiatrists) may be covered by your general (e.g.
Alberta) Health Care Insurance. Some funded agencies provide counselling
services without passing on any of the costs to you. In this province, the
Probation Department, for example, may fund counselling that is ordered by the
Many people now
possess extended health care insurance which will pay, in full or in part, for
the services of a therapist. Blue Cross, for example, requires that the
therapist be a Psychologist who is appropriately licensed (i.e. chartered). With
most of these programs it is necessary to pay the fees as you go and submit a
receipt to the insurance company to claim your benefit. Again, it is important
to be certain of the details before contracting services.
use a "sliding scale" which usually means that the portion of the
total fee you pay is determined by your income.
Phone: (403) 245-5744 Email
Flexible hours. Convenient location. Free parking.