My private office is tucked behind the Teak Tree, which you can find on the corner of Selby St and Fitzwilliam Street. The physical address is 437 Fitzwilliam St but THE DOUBLE DOORS FACE SELBY STREET and you will see a small set of stairs from the sidewalk going to the office. Head South on Selby Street and you will find a small parking lot on your left – first driveway on your left. You turn into the parking lot and I have the first parking spot reserved my office – spot #5. I have this spot reserved for clients. The other parking spots are reserved for the other businesses in the Fitzwilliam Gate area. I have a parking policy that you need to be aware of. There may be another appointment after yours so please do not stay parked there. The spot will be needed for the next person coming to their appointment.
You can only park in spot # 5 in the parking lot, the other spots are reserved for other business owners in the area. You can also find free street parking along Selby Street, and also the city parking lot is accessed on Selby St across from the Occidental Pub.
I generally have the door locked when I am meeting client’s to prevent any disruptions and have a sign on the door saying we are “In session’. I politely request that if you are early, you do not stay and hang out right outside the office door as this is disruptive for the current client in their session. Please do not let your kiddo peer through the bottom of the door and bang on the door. Please either wait in your vehicle, or have a wander around the Fitzwilliam Gate area until your appointment time. I know it’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best I can do.
If the sign says “Open” then please come on in! It’s just me. I try really hard to start and end my sessions on time so that I am available when you arrive. If you are late, we won’t be able to go past our time to make up for that, as I may have appointments booked after you. Often times I need that ten minutes in between clients to write up their note, return a quick phone call, clean up the room, or even just use the bathroom! Please, please respect the time and come in at the beginning of your session and not 5 or ten minutes before hand because you’re early.
When I first opened my office, I often allowed clients to schedule free in person meetings, I called meet and greets. As my practice has grown, I am no longer able to accomodate these requests, plus with new Covid protocols it is too challenging at this time to allow for this. There are photos of my office on the website, and I have phone consultation times available to discuss your concerns and answer questions. Should you have concerns about your child's anxiety about coming in to the office we can discuss how to address this during the phone consultation time and during the intake appointment.
Everything you tell me is kept confidential, however Provincial legislation requires that suspected abuse or neglect of a child, elder, dependent adult, or developmentally disabled person be reported. Provincial legislation also requires that others be informed if a client threatens suicide or harm to herself/himself, or others. If that threat is clear and imminent danger, the proper individuals and law enforcement must be contacted. The person against whom the threat has been made may also be contacted to prevent harm. Should I be presented with a court order, I may be required to disclose information in the presence of a judge; however, I will first assert legal privilege in an effort to protect your confidentiality. Information, which may jeopardize my safety, will not be kept confidential. In the event of a medical emergency on your part, emergency personnel may have to be provided with some of your information.
You can come meet with me and talk about that first, as usually that’s a pretty lengthy story that’s not best answered in a FAQ section. In short, it depends on whether you have a court order or not. I prefer to inform the other parent of the services available, and invite them to meet with me to discuss their concerns. Sometimes the other parent is worried that it might somehow make things worse, or that I’m going to work with the other parent against them. I only want to work for the best interest of the child. Children and adolescents must have permission from a parent or legal guardian before receiving services. Confidential information will be shared with a parent or legal guardian only if the child or adolescent is in imminent physical or emotional danger.
Typically I see children every other week for several months, sometimes I see them every week for over a year. It all depends on the family, the history of concerns and the childs own nature. Play therapy can go through interesting stages. We start wiht getting to know each other and getting comfortable being together. Then there’s a honeymoon phase where it seems like they are doing well and things seem to be improving! It’s working! They’re feeling heard and they like what’s happening. Then things might escalate, behaviors might come up, or they start acting younger than they are. This is normal, they are seeing if we can handle their hurt, we don’t want to end things yet. When they start to want to do normal things like play with a friend after school instead of going to counselling. Excellent! Then we know we’re on our way to transition out. We can start seeing each other less and less. They’re not feeling like they need it anymore. This can take a few months, or many months. I wish I could give a scientific precise order but every situation runs its own course.
Parental involvement is a very important part of the play therapy process. I really want to hear from parents, what you are noticing at home, what your ongoing concerns are, where you are feeling stuck, feedback on implemented strategies that are helpful or not working. It's very important to me that we are working together throughout our time together.