What's the difference between ABA and psychotherapy?
Take a look here, to read all about the similarities and difference between ABA and psychotherapy, and BCBAs and RPs.
What makes psychotherapy at Best Behaviour so unique?
Who can benefit from psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy can be helpful for a wide range of people and needs. It's a collaborative relationship between the client and therapist, with the intention of moving towards specific goals to improve emotional well-being, social functioning, and overall mental health. Whether you are a child, teen, adult, student, parent or family seeking support, your therapist can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that works for you. Some common reasons to seek therapy might be low or depressed mood, anxiety, emotional regulation/anger management/conflict with family members, peers, teachers or other behavioural challenges. We also offer parental/caregiver support. Psychotherapy sessions can look different based on who is receiving therapy and what they are hoping to learn and work towards. For example, a psychotherapy session for a 10 year old will look very different from a session for a young adult or parent.
Do I need a formal diagnosis to benefit from psychotherapy? No! A formal diagnosis is not needed to benefit from psychotherapy. If you feel like you would benefit from mental health support, or assistance with establishing healthy habits to maintain good mental health, then psychotherapy may be a good fit for you. It is common for many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, and depression to seek counselling. However, it is also important to remember that seeking therapy when you are feeling anxious or are experiencing depressive symptoms is equally as important. How many hours of psychotherapy per week is needed?
Most clients see their psychotherapist on a regular basis, such as once per week or bi-weekly. Session length can vary, depending on the needs of the client and whether shorter or longer sessions are more appropriate for their age. Sessions may be 25 or 50 minutes, but could also run as long as 75 minutes.
How long does someone receive psychotherapy for?
Clients can be actively enrolled in therapy for a matter of weeks, months, or even years. The duration can vary, based on the client's goals and the kind of intervention being used. Some interventions require more sessions than others, due to time allocated towards psychoeducation, practicing the skills used in intervention, as well as the client’s ability to use these tools they have learned in their everyday life. There is no magic number in sessions needed, so the psychotherapist will openly discussion appropriate treatment plans with the client to come up with a plan that works for them. For example, a client may register for 1 block of therapy, which would run for 6 weekly sessions, or for multiple continuous blocks. You can choose to register for multiple blocks continuously, or take breaks between blocks. Psychotherapy can focus on both short term or long-term mental health goals. We recommend a minimum of 6 sessions to start (the lenght of a typical treatment plan), before deciding on any long-term treatment plans. It's hard to say how much progress a client will make in a short amount of time, so it's important to consider the duration of service when selecting goals. Different therapy goals would be selected for a client in therapy for a short/fixed amount of time, compared to someone who is anticipating ongoing service.
How do I choose between individual or group/family therapy?
Every client is different, and there are pros and cons to both. Individual therapy focuses on the individual, and the goals that are set are in the hands of that client to work on with their therapist in sessions. Some clients feel more comfortable discussing their concerns in a one-to-one relationship with their therapist, and like the flexibility of being able to stear the conversation in whatever direction suits their needs. Group or family therapy can be more broad. Goals are selected for the group/family unit as a whole. Individual therapy can sometimes be utilized in conjunction with a group or family approach, to help clients feel supported in their own skill development, but it is not always possible or necessary. Sessions confucted with a small group or family often have a more structured approach to ensure that the strategies and content of the session are meeting the collective needs of everyone participating.
How do I choose between in-person or virtual therapy?
It is often a personal preference as to whether in-person or virtual therapy is the right fit. Virtual therapy sessions are an effective method of receiving counselling. The convenience of not having to travel to a therapist's office is appealing for many. Clients are encouraged to create a safe and quiet environment, where they can speak freely in confidence with their therapist. Another key consideration when accessing therapy virtually is whether the client is able to fully participate in and attend to the therapist for the duration of the session. If sitting in front of a computer for 25 or 50 minutes is going to be difficult for the client, in-person therapy may be a better option. This can be esspecially true for children receiving psychotherapy, or for adults who may have trouble attending to a computer screen for this amount of time. Some clients are able to determine the best modality for themselves from the start of therapy, while other clients will receive a mix of both virtual and in-person therapy until they can decide what will work best for them.
Can a psychotherapist work with us in our home?
Psychotherapy is not encouraged to be done in-person in a client's home. A large part of the journey with therapy is showing up, whether that means having to drive to therapy or to open up your computer and put the effort in to being present. When a therapist comes to your house, it can take away from the self-initiation needed to take the steps to physically and mentally 'show up' for therapy.
My child goes to school all day, so how are they supposed to access psychotherapy as well?
Therapy time is learning time, so it is important to ensure each client has therapy sessions scheduled during a time that is best for them. A time when they are awake, alert, energized, and ready to fully engage and participate. We want to avoid therapy sessions during times when the client might be tired or particularly distracted.
Do I get to watch or participate in sessions if my child is receiving psychotherapy?
Parent involvement in sessions is always encouraged! However, it is important to remember that the child is the client. They must consent to their parent's involvement in therapy, whether that is attending sessions with them or receiving regular communication about the client's therapy sessions. We encourage families to be involved in the counselling process, so that the skills learned in sessions can be generalized across different environments, but we want to do so with the permission of the client. If a client wishes for their parent or caregivers to be present with them in sessions, or to help them participate in sessions, this is more than welcome. We also support clients who prefer to maintain a certain level of privacy and confideintialy with their therapist. We are happy to help clients and families come up with creative ways to achieve open communication and generalization, while also respecting individual assent and autonomy. This many include a more structured plan about what information from therapy is shared and what is kept private, as well as incorporating family therapy sessions into an individualized treatment plan.
Who will be a part of the therapy team?
Most teams will consist of at least one psychotherapist and an external supervisor. When you receive psychotherapy services at Best Behaviour, you will work with one of our Registered Psychotherapists. Each of our psychotherapists receives additional clinical supervision from an external supervisor. All of our psychotherapists are registered with with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
Psychotherapists plan and set goals with the client, complete and follow the client's treatment plan, provide one-to-one and group therapy, determine and collect progress data, utilize various behaviour-analytic treatment approaches based on the needs of the client, maintain organized client files, and attend team meetings as needed.
An External Supervisor provides additional clinical supervision and oversight for our psychotherapists. This may be part of the supervision requirements set by a post-secondary institution (ex. as part of a therapist's pscyhotherapy practicum) or by the CRPO (ex. as part of a therapist's qualifying status requirements). It may also be in response to a client's need, to ensure we are conducting therapy sessions that are as beneficial and effective as possible.
Best Behaviour Inc. will obtain copies of the following documentation from all team members: an updated resume, two (2) references, a Police Vulnerable Sector Check completed within six (6) months, proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, proof of two (2) million liability car insurance (if applicable), proof of professional liability insurance (if applicable), and proof of First Aid and CPR Training (if applicable), and proof of crisis management certification (if applicable).
What happens if I'm not happy with a therapist on my team, or have feedback to share about things I'm seeing in session?
When selecting a therapist, we try to help pair clients with therapists that we believe will work well together. For example, matching level of experience with the client's individual needs. We understand that psychotherapy is a very personal and individualized service. The client must feel comfortable with the therapist they are working with, if they are going to develop a strong therapeutic relationship. If at any point a therapist or client feels as though the pairing is not working, we work together to identify a solution to help with this. This feedback can be shared with the therapist or Clinical Director, and they will determine next steps.
I am looking to work with therapists with specific experience, and/or education. Can I choose the therapist(s) on my team, based on my own requirements?
During your time in therapy, you may work with a variety of therapists. Best Behaviour Inc. cannot accommodate individual requests for therapists that meet certain requirements (ex. experience, education, gender, race, age etc.). We are an equal opportunities employer, and select therapists to join our team based on a variety of factors. Related experience and qualifications is important, but so are many soft skills and shared team values. We pride ourselves in providing a supportive work environment that values growth and professional development. We welcome those who are new to psychotherapy, who continue to add to their experience in the field, and who are looking to advance in their careers.
Can we invite our therapist to attend social functions with our family?
The relationship between therapists and clients is professional, so we cannot attend social events or recreational activities with your family. We can provide support around these events, as part of the client's therapy goals, but cannot attend. All interactions between clients and therapists need to remain in a professional capacity and setting. Dual relationships and conflicts of interest will also be avoided (ex. providing psychotherapy and ABA therapy concurrently).
We want to show our appreciation to the team. Can we give our therapists gifts?
While we recognized that the gesture of a gift is incredibly kind, it is not necessary or encouraged. The CRPO does not support the act of gift giving or accepting gifts, within the therapist/client relationship.
How much does therapy cost?
The total cost of therapy depends on the number of sessions, and length of each session. A detailed cost breakdown for each of our psychotherapy services can be found on our 'Psychotherapy' pages. We are able to work with clients using a variety of funding options. To make therapy more accessible, we are also pleased to offer low-cost sessions with certain members of our psychotherapy team.
What is your cancellation policy?
A detailed description of our cancellation policy for each of our psychotherapy services can be found on our 'Psychotherapy' pages.
Are your services covered under extended health benefits?
Yes. All of our psychotherapists are registered with with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). Psychotherapy is covered by most extended health benefits. It is recommended that families call their insurance provider to confirm if they have coverage for a psychotherapist, before registering for service.
Are your services covered under the Ontario Autism Program?
Yes. We are an approved OAP provider. Psychotherapy is considered an eligible expense to be purchased using needs-based Core Clinical Services under the OAP.
How do I know if I qualify for government funding?
AccessOAP is the new agency responsible for registering, managing, and distributing OAP funding. If you are a new family looking to register for the Ontario Autism Program, you can find more information here. If you are already registerd for the OAP and have questions about your transiiton to AccessOAP, you can find more information here. More information about the Ontario Autism Program is available here. You can also take a look at our 'Resources' page to browse through the various funding options that may be available to you.