Psychology Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

Questions about therapy are perfectly normal. Browse these answers to questions our clients ask us most often. If you are looking for an answer that isn’t here, please reach out to us or book a consultation. We are here to help.

What is psychotherapy and what are the different types of therapy?

Psychotherapy with a Registered Psychologist or Registered Psychotherapist is most easily described as “talk therapy”. It involves open communication between therapist and client mutually working together. 

Through psychotherapy sessions one can come to:

  • understand oneself better,
  • reduce symptoms of distress,
  • learn healthy ways of coping, and
  • improve communication in relationships.

Psychotherapy is a proven alternative to, or in combination with medication treatment for anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.

At Dr. Noble & Associates, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a primary approach. However, other therapeutic approaches are often integrated according to the client’s needs. Other approaches include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy.

What is the difference between a Psychologist, Psychological Associate, Registered Psychotherapist and a Psychiatrist?

A Psychiatrist is first trained as a physician, then completes specialized training in psychiatry. They can diagnose and treat mental health problems, with an emphasis on medication. They are licensed with the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.


A Psychologist and a Psychological Associate are licensed to provided psychological services by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Psychologists have completed a Ph.D. or Psy.D. (doctorate) in clinical psychology and have completed a year-long internship before beginning their registration process with the College.


Psychological Associates have a Master’s degree in clinical or counselling psychology, and go through the same supervised practice and registration process as Psychologists.


A Registered Psychotherapist is licensed through the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario, which ensures they have enough training to provide the “controlled act” of psychotherapy. Psychotherapists usually have a Master’s degree in psychology.


Most extended health care insurance plans have some coverage for you to see Psychologists and Psychological Associates. Some of these insurance companies cover Registered Psychotherapists. Check with your health insurance provider for details.

Do I need a referral?

No, you do not need a referral from your family doctor to book an appointment with us.


In some cases, your extended health insurance plan may require a referral from your family doctor, but many do not. It may be wise to check first.


We do like to connect with your family doctor. At your first appointment you will be asked if we can send a basic letter to them outlining your contact with us. If you choose to give consent, we will connect with them.

How much does therapy cost?

Fees range from $150 to $225 a session, and sessions are 50-60 minutes in length.


Fees are considered a medical expense by Revenue Canada, and some people qualify for a Medical Expense Tax Credit.


We can also work within what your budget allows and space your appointments out as needed. Keep in mind, receiving help to get and stay healthy may be the best money you’ve ever spent.

What should I expect from my consultation?

In the first consultation we will ask your personal and health history, current problems, stressors and support systems. We will also work towards a diagnosis (if that is appropriate) and come up with a recommended course of action for you. That course of action may include a treatment plan with us, as well as other recommendations.


Occasionally, it can take more than just one session to get more information to complete a diagnosis and create a recommended treatment plan. Your clinician will discuss this with you fully at your consultation.

What if I don't like my therapist?

Our Best Match Policy is our commitment to getting you to the clinician with whom you feel most comfortable with, and who has expertise in what you need help with – at our practice or elsewhere.

How long will therapy go on for?

Some people come to us to get help for a specific problem area. In this case, it may only be a few sessions that will get you to your goal, depending on the severity or complexity. Complex or severe difficulties may take longer.


We will also make other recommendations to you that might include reviewing medication with your doctor, taking an online course for depression or anxiety or expanding your support network. These recommendations will be tailored to your specific needs.


We will work within what your budget allows, and you can space your appointments out as needed.


Keep in mind, getting help to get and stay healthy may be the best money you’ve ever spent.

Do you prescribe medications?

No. Your family doctor or a psychiatrist can prescribe medications for you, and we may recommend a medication review with your family doctor.

At Dr. Noble & Associates, it is our mission to help people recover from mental health difficulties and get on the road to health and well-being. We do not take on clients who are engaged in legal disputes regarding injury or disability compensation. We find that after legal cases are settled, clients are better able to engage in the process of getting better. We would be happy to take you as a client then.

Can I get a note for my short or long-term disability insurer?

It is our policy that we don’t write notes or complete forms regarding short-term or long-term disability for clients until we have known them long enough to assess issues regarding disability and prognosis. Please feel free to discuss this further with your therapist. We are happy to send a brief letter regarding your therapy to your family doctor.

Can I call you if I am in crisis or suicidal?

We are not a crisis or emergency service. It may take too long for an urgent message to get through to us. If you are suicidal you need to call 911 or proceed to your local emergency department. Hospitals have mental health crisis teams working out of their emergency departments and are best equipped to help you. You can also contact the mental health distress line for York Region at 1-855-310-COPE (2673), or any of the numbers below. Please feel free to leave a message for your clinician if you would like a call and they will follow-up with you-but this is not emergency or crisis care. Crisis Lines
  • Connex Ontario Mental Health Helpline: 1-866-531-2600 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  • York Support Services Network (YSSN) Community Crisis Response Service: 1-855-310-COPE (2673) (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  • The Markham Stouffville Hospital Crisis Team: Emergency Department, 1-905-472-7111
  • Kid’s Helpline: 1-800-668-6868 text 686868

What are suicidal thoughts?

Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, are warning signs that you need to get to mental health care.


They may be fleeting thoughts about wanting to escape or end a situation or the despair you are feeling. It may also be a preoccupation with your death, or it may be thoughts that include planning and carrying out a suicide, which are more dangerous.


If you are having any of these types of thoughts you need to get to help.


If the thoughts are strong and urging you to do something harmful, you need to call 911, a local distress centre or go to your local emergency department.


Crisis Lines

  • Connex Ontario Mental Health Helpline:
    1-866-531-2600 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  • York Support Services Network (YSSN) Community Crisis Response Service:
    1-855-310-COPE (2673) (24 hours, 7 days a week)
  • The Markham Stouffville Hospital Crisis Team:
    Emergency Department, 1-905-472-7111
  • Kid’s Helpline:
    1-800-668-6868 text 686868


Questions about therapy are perfectly normal. Browse these answers to questions our clients ask us most often. If you are looking for an answer that isn’t here, please reach out to us or book a consultation. We are here to help.


Remember: if the answer you’re looking for isn’t here, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or book a consultation. We’re here to help!

Is needing therapy a sign of weakness? Shouldn’t people be able to do this themselves?

Not at all. Asking for help is actually a strength. When you know you need help and reach out, it shows courage and insight. At Dr. Noble & Associates, we work to help you explore and identify your strengths and develop coping strategies for meaningful change.

How do I know if I need therapy? I usually handle my problems.

Therapy might be for you if you are feeling stuck and not quite satisfied with how your life is going. It can also help if you just want to focus on personal growth, improve your relationships or if you are struggling with mental health problems. It also might be for you if other people have expressed concerns about how you are coping.

Why would I need to talk to a therapist when I could talk to a friend?

It doesn’t cost money to talk to a friend, and some friends are great listeners and give good advice. However, working with a therapist is a totally different dynamic. It’s not about paying someone for you to chat with or listen to you vent. A therapist will give you the cognitive and emotional skills to navigate your situation and help you respond to your challenges in a new way. You’re listened to without judgment or expectations and working with a therapist is more confidential and often less complicated than telling your friends all about your struggles. And don’t forget therapists have had years of professional training and are licensed to do what they do.

What happens in therapy?

It’s all about you! Each person is unique and has different issues and situations, so therapy will be different for each person. During the first session, you and your therapist will discuss what concerns or goals have brought you to therapy.


Some goals in therapy include:


  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing grief or depression
  • Making panic attacks stop
  • Dealing with transitions (e.g. job loss, separation, blended family)
  • Understanding how your past influences your present
  • Improving self-esteem and confidence
  • Learning new perspectives on situations and people
  • Developing insight into your problems
What can I do to get the most out of therapy?

First, it’s all about finding the right match between you and a therapist. It’s important that you feel like your therapist has the expertise you need for your problems and that you’re comfortable with them.


Secondly, your therapist will ask you what you’d like to work on, or what you’d like to get out of therapy. For example, are there relationships you want to talk about? Are you experiencing panic attacks or want to lower your stress levels? Discussing goals are a good starting point.


Finally, the more honest you can be, the better therapy will work. Talk about what’s on your mind, there’s no judgment and no foolish topic. Also, know that therapy is a service to you, and you’re welcome to disagree with your therapist, or ask any questions you have about therapy.

Do you see LGBTQ+ clients and are your therapists LGBTQ+ informed?

Providing competent and affirmative mental health support to LGBTQ+ clients is important at Dr. Noble & Associates. Respect for every client’s unique identity and sense of agency is a priority to us. 


We use a social justice and trauma-informed lens in an effort to recognize minority stress within the LGBTQ community. This means that, when you’ve experienced stigmatization, micro-aggressions, abuse and marginalization, your mental health can suffer. Resulting struggles include gender dysphoria, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and substance use issues.  


Regardless if you seek therapy for issues related to your sexuality or gender identity, therapy can help with emotional regulation skills, interpersonal skills and affirming healthy sexuality. 


Issues to explore in therapy include:

  • Coming out
  • Relationships
  • Blended families
  • Discrimination
  • Internalized homophobia and transphobia
  • Bullying
  • Family and community support issues
  • Recovery from depression, anxiety, gender or identity dysphoria


It’s natural to have questions about going to therapy with your partner or spouse. We’ve put together some answers to the questions we hear most often from our couple therapy clients.

Remember: if the answer you’re looking for isn’t here, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or book a consultation. We’re here to help!

Who goes to couples therapy?

Even though couples who are married make up a large part of our client base, couples seeking therapy can be unmarried, preparing to marry, or common-law. Couples can be straight, cisgender, same-sex, transgender, or anywhere along the gender and sexuality spectrum.

What if my partner won’t go to therapy?
For some people, agreeing to therapy is really hard. Opening up and talking about what is not working in the relationship can produce a lot of anxiety. Your therapist can suggest some strategies to lower either yours or your partner’s anxiety and make it easier for therapy to happen. If your partner still chooses not to join you, couples therapy can’t proceed.
What if it’s too late for us to change?
Couple therapy is an opportunity to learn a new pattern of relating. Most of us want to enjoy a meaningful relationship with our partner and that means finding new and creative ways to connect. Through talking with your therapist, couples can learn new ways of relating that creates a safer, loving, and mutually satisfying relationship.
Can therapy help with interracial, interfaith and interethnic couples?
Yes! The differences each partner brings to the relationship make it exciting, interesting, and loving, but they can bring challenges as well. Couples therapy can provide support as partners explore ways to embrace and accommodate their differences.
What is premarital couple therapy?
Most people think couple therapy happens after your relationship goes downhill. Premarital therapy is like couple therapy, but the focus is on anticipating issues that might arise and expectations around issues like sex, children, in-laws, and money. With matters such as these, learning effective communication strategies and skills is important. We weren’t born with effective communication skills; we have to learn them.
How long does therapy take?

Each relationship is unique, and your therapy will be, too. Generally, therapists like to schedule one appointment each week for the first few weeks. Sessions can vary from 1 to 1.5 hours and the usual number of sessions is 8 – 10. Your therapist will be able to best advise you on the length and frequency of your sessions after a consultation. Click here to book a consultation and begin your journey.


Children & Teens

We care deeply about our children, and the idea that they may be having problems can be very distressing. It’s perfectly normal to have questions about your child or teen getting support from a psychologist or psychotherapist. Here are some of the questions we are asked most often about therapy for children and teens. If you are looking for an answer that isn’t here, please reach out to us or book a consultation. We are here to help.

What do I do if I sense my child is struggling with a problem?
Sit with your child and see if you can find out what the problem is. Our children want someone to help them make sense of what they’re thinking and feeling. In a loving and patient way, ask them what’s wrong or how you can help. If you’re not sure if therapy might support your child through the problems they are struggling with, booking a consultation is the place to start.
How do I know therapy is working for my child?

Therapy works best when there is a strong therapeutic connection between your child and the therapist. Seeing changes in the behaviour and/or emotions that brought your child to therapy is important, but the connection is crucial. The connection has to be strong for change to happen.


At the beginning of therapy, some children may refuse to go and don’t even want to get out of the car. As the connection strengthens, your child may even look forward to therapy. Listen to your child and try to get a sense of whether there is an authentic connection with the therapist. Questions like, “Do you like going?” and “Do you think the therapist understands you?” are good starters.

Can I meet with my child’s therapist before they start therapy?
Yes. Parents and caregivers know their children the best and we want to hear about how you see your child. Often, we like to meet first with the parent(s) or caregiver(s), but sometimes the first session is the therapist meeting together with the parent(s)/caregiver(s) and their child.

Yes. Unless you have legal, sole decision-making power, Dr. Noble & Associates requires both parents to consent to therapy for their child.

Are you able to testify in a custody dispute?

At Dr. Noble & Associates, we are not able to testify as an expert witness about your child. We do not conduct assessments for custody and access.

How do I talk to my teen about therapy?

The idea of therapy can be scary even for adults, and it makes sense that teens can sometimes be resistant. They might feel embarrassed or worry that people will find out and judge them.


Because of this, approach your teen in an open and caring way. It’s important that they know that your job is to provide them with the support that they need to feel better. While going to therapy might be your call, let them decide who they would like to see. As it’s all about the fit between the teen and therapist, this might help them buy into going to therapy.

As parents, can you talk to us about our teen?

For therapy to work, your teen needs to feel assured that what they say in therapy stays in therapy. We are bound by law to tell you if we assess that they are a danger to themselves or others. This means that the only time we will be able to talk with you about them is if we get their consent to do so, unless we believe that the teen is a danger to themselves or others.


Because we believe that it’s important to build a relationship between the parent and teen, we will work with the teen to encourage parent meetings about their progress. We also encourage the parents to leave a voicemail or email with any concerns they have about the therapeutic process.

Have I failed as a parent because I have to bring my child to therapy?

Not at all! There is no owner’s manual for raising a child or a teen. It’s hard being a parent, and the issues teens can have are complex. If you’re on the fence about taking your teen to therapy, that is normal. Know that at Dr. Noble & Associates, we aspire to make your experience with us safe, respectful, and affirming. We encourage you to begin with a consultation. Click here to book.

As a parent, what things indicate a shift in my teens mental health?

Teen years are sometimes volatile, and it can be difficult to discern what is normal teenage ups and downs and what might be cause for concern. If you see any of the following things, you may want to consider reaching out to us for a consultation.


  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in how they present (quieter/distant/aggressive)
  • Any change in school
  • Getting into trouble
  • Substance use
  • Increased gaming or social media
Do you offer online counselling?
Yes! This can be especially helpful if your teen is having trouble leaving the house, or if scheduling for you is tight. In your initial consultation, let the therapist know that you would like your teen to receive therapy virtually.
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