1-800-461-7173 ~ 519-624-1001
800# works only from 519/905/416 area codes
Online & Phone counseling / counselling link below
Offices in: Cambridge, Mississauga & Grimsby (Ontario, Canada)
Our "Resources" link below contains many articles, books & links that may be of interest
spacing click "View" (upper left of your monitor), click "TextSize",
Online audio / video counseling / counselling, LiveType Chat Instant Messaging, email etherapy, or Phone counseling / counselling
The different forms of Online & Phone counseling & the payment process are explained in more detail in the "link boxes" above.
Many people prefer & appreciate being able to talk with a therapist from the privacy of their own home. It can be one question or an ongoing conversation. Email, Online & Phone counseling is especially useful as a way of reaching those who are not getting the help or assistance they need locally.
Quite a few people also find it easier to communicate about sensitive issues without a visual connection, sometimes preferring a non-audio connection as well. Many are able to be much more revealing to an online therapist precisely because they feel safer in not being seen (when they choose the non-video formats).
Not all people have the inclination to form relationships with people they cannot see or hear though, so audio/video or phone counseling would be the most appropriate format for some. Audio/Video counseling obviously most closely parallels in-person office sessions & maximizes our sensing of each other's non-verbalized feelings & nuances.
Online & Phone counseling is not just information. It is customized to your needs & can involve an ongoing relationship that helps you explore personal issues. The assistance of a professional can help you identify your needs & enable you to deal with them faster & more reliably. It is a way to explore deep thoughts & feelings with someone who cares, will listen, & is trained to help you cope with difficult life transitions & events so that you can get through them & feel better.
This helping process does not usually happen in one session as it generally takes a little time for a therapist to get to know you & for you to tell your story in depth. It does not always involve more than one session though. A one-time response to email, online, or phone counseling questions can happen in one 15, 30 or 50 minute email session, or in one online or phone counseling appointment. It need not go beyond this one-time contact if this is all one wants & requests.
Effective helping relationships that heal are formed daily on the internet, as relationships with therapists online can be deep, authentic & emotionally healing, with an intensity & intimacy that is very real.
Confidentiality :All therapists are required by law to protect your confidentiality & would never reveal to anyone that you are corresponding with them, let alone what you are corresponding about. There are some legal limitations to confidentiality that you should be aware of though, which involve child abuse, suicidal & homicidal ideation. These are obviously related to the physical harm of yourself or others & the emotional/physical/sexual abuse or neglect of children. In these 3 areas we are legally required to contact someone in your area who will be able to arrange immediate face to face contact with you in order to help you resolve these issues.
Online privacy : Talking to a therapist online is probably as safe as talking to one in person. Both are confidential & by using encrypted email or encrypted Online Counseling the communication is safe & secure. Non-encrypted email & non-encrypted online counseling can theoretically be intercepted on the internet, or read in your saved computer files by an online hacker or others who share your computer. For peace of mind it would probably be best to use the free encrypted email process we make available to you. Our Online audio video & LiveType Chat Instant Messaging Counseling are automatically encrypted by Skype.
Once you book an appointment with us we will send you an encrypted email through our encryption provider's secured web site. Our encryption provider will then email you & ask you to go to their secured website to register a password of your choice. You will then be able to enter this password to get the current & all future encrypted emails from us. Our encryption provider will notify you by email each time there is an encrypted email from us waiting for you in their secured web site.
You will be able to make a free encrypted reply back to us from within our encrypted email to you. From that point on all of our email communication back & forth will be encrypted. You won't have to type your reply back to us in one sitting as you can save a copy of your "draft" response to us & go back to this secured website to revise & add to it as many times as you like before you send it to us. Once our encrypted email has been decoded by your password you will also be able to print a copy of it onto your printer if you wish. Once read & saved, the email & all drafts are automatically saved again in encrypted form, requiring your password to decode & re-read it again. We have written more about our email encryption process in our email etherapy section, where we have given a more extensive explanation of it.
Alternate connection :In anticipation of computer crashes, server congestion, phone line outages, & other technical difficulties, it may not always be possible for us to make our counseling connection. It therefore seems wise to have an alternate way of making our connection as a backup (ie. by phone if one of us has computer, server or internet problems; & by one of the above online methods if one of us has a phone problem). This should never or almost never happen but it is possible so we need to have something in place just in case.
Booking AppointmentsTo book an appointment, click onto Booking Appointments, choose either Steve or Heidi & click onto either the "email counseling" or "Online & Phone counseling" link under their name. You will then be able to either purchase 15, 30 or 50 minutes of email counseling, or browse the dates listed in a particular month for Online or Phone counseling & then purchase whichever available day & appointment time suits you best.
Payment :The credit / debit card & bank account payment system we use is PayPal. Their payment system is designed to help keep your financial information private & confidential, & eliminate the risk of online credit / debit card / bank account duplication / fraud / theft. They accept & will convert the currencies of most countries (55 countries) into the Canadian dollar amount we have listed as the cost. No fee is charged to you for using their system as their fee is charged to the seller.
Reading our explanation of the PayPal payment system will help to outline & walk you through the PayPal pages you will be transferred to when you click onto our "Buy Now" PayPal buttons to book a counseling appointment. Having a sense of the steps involved beforehand should help to reduce any uncertainty or anxiety about the payment process.
Refunds: If we are unable to make a connection as a result of our failure to be available for contact by an alternate method (phone, email, online audio/video, or Instant Messaging; see "Alternate connection" above), then your counseling fee for that session will be refunded in full (regardless of currency exchange rate fluctuations). However, our maximum liability is limited to the fee actually paid by you for that session. Anyone requesting our services therefore agrees we will not be held liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages or loss arising from the use or inability to use any & all of the professional services we offer.
If you cancel a booked appointment after it has been finalized, PayPal does not charge us a fee on refunded payments to you, so it would be a full refund to you (plus or minus any currency exchange rate fluctuations mentioned below). Counseling sessions can be cancelled up until 1 business day (24 hours, not including weekends) before an appointment & still receive a refund. Any less notice than this though, does not allow us enough time to rebook that time slot online, so it would not lead to any refund at all.
Because refunds are in Canadian dollars, currency conversion rates from Canadian dollars to other currencies will vary somewhat daily on international markets, sometimes to your benefit in refunds & sometimes not, as compared to what the currency exchange rates were when you first booked the appointment. This would normally only be a few cents more or less than you paid, as currency rates do not usually change much if at all over a few days or a few weeks.
Thank you for considering using us to help you.
Serious Crisis or Suicidal :If you are in Serious Crisis (intense emotional distress) & need an immediate response, or are having Suicidal thoughts, then making an Online or Phone counseling appointment will generally not lead to a quick enough response for you. Online & Phone counseling is not for people in the midst of a serious crisis. If this describes you then you need to :
(1) get off the computer & phone a crisis line : Suicide Hotline 1-800-784-2433, Suicide Foundation 1-800-531-4477, Crisis Helpline 1-800-233-4357, Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233, Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663, Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-540-4000
(2) do an immediate internet search for the above resources/links/phone numbers in your area by including your country & perhaps state/province/city in your typed internet search
(3) go to a hospital emergency room
(4) call 911 (or your country's equivalent emergency phone number)
(5) phone a local mental health clinic & make clear to them that your need is urgent, & they will generally be able to see you on short notice
(6) email a trained volunteer crisis counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org & they will respond to you the same day
Please feel free to book Online & Phone counseling appointments as an alternative to our Office appointments