How Can Psychotherapy Help Me?

The most profound help that psychotherapy offers is to be heard by another person, perhaps heard in a way they have never been heard before. Immediate relief is not uncommon knowing someone is dedicating time to listen to them. When we know someone else is there to hear us, to respond to our questions about ourselves and to reflect back who we are, we have an opportunity to begin to listen to ourselves in a new way. 

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy comes from two Greek words, ψυχ? (psyche) and θεραπε?α (therapy), the first meaning soul (form) and the second meaning healing. Therapy can occur in various forms, for example, physiotherapy – therapy for physical pains such as ultrasound for a sprained ankle. Psychotherapy is somewhat peculiar in that you go and speak to someone - who is usually a stranger - about very personal matters, things you may not ever have spoken about before.

In the process of speaking about your difficulties, sometimes emotional (like anxiety or depression), sometimes behavioural (like incessant overeating, viewing of pornography or mistreating your partner), or both, you have an opportunity to better know yourself. Often there are elements of your psyche that are a mystery to you: you find yourself saying things or doing things but don’t know why. These instances are very good to bring to your session (the appointment) as they can be cues to a fuller understanding of yourself. The therapist will work with you to interpret your stories, experiences, feelings and dreams. For a more detailed discussion, see downloads below.


There are many different theoretical backgrounds to psychotherapy: psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, and person-centred to name three. My approach is primarily psychodynamic which means I see our psyche/minds as being influenced by forces that are not always in our full awareness and also that these forces push and pull within us (hence the word ‘dynamic’ which means movement) causing possible conflicts. I incorporate interpersonal, inter-subjective and relational elements into my therapy.

The Different Professionals

Psychotherapist - A psychotherapist is someone who is trained to foster personal development and liberate people from unsatisfactory and painful problems of daily living. They work in close collaboration with clients paying attention to the interactions of personal and interpersonal experience, of past and present, of body and mind, of fantasy and reality. Personal transformation may result. -- The Tapestry of Psychoanalysis: A Textured Human Relationship, APA Brochure.

Psychologist (Ph D.) Psychologists have earned academic degrees in psychology at the doctoral level, hence are called doctors.They can diagnose and treat mental illness but do not prescribe medicine and are not covered by OHIP. Their hourly rate in Ontario for 2013 is $220.00.

GP (General Practice) Psychotherapist - Some medical doctors may have undergone additional training that permits them to bill OHIP for a limited amount of psychotherapy. These doctors are known as GP (General Practice) Psychotherapists.

Psychiatrist (MD Pscyh.) Psychiatrists, like your family doctor, are medical doctors (MD), who, after completing medical school, receive an additional four years of specialized mental-health training. Most psychiatrists focus on prescribing medications for biologically-based aspects of mental illness.


What is Psychotherapy? (PDF): This document is a more detailed discussion on Psychotherapy

The Different Professionals (PDF): This document covers the various mental health professionals

How Can Psychotherapy Help Me? (PDF): A document on how it all works