Psychologist in Private Practice

Currently my private practice as a counselling psychologist consists of services to individual adults and couples, with a specialty in providing psychological therapy to those who have been in motor-vehicle and work-related accidents, or who, on psychological grounds, are no longer able to work. I thereby migrated from counselling psychology to what is called rehabilitation psychology. There is a wide range of presenting problems among those who meet with me but most are suffering chronic ailments such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. The lawyers of my clients sometimes ask me to write an extensive report regarding their psychological condition, diagnosis, dysfunction, and prognosis.

Clients come to my primary office at 2 Carlton Street, Suite 1009, at the College Station on the Yonge subway line. I am fortunate to have Debbie Murray as my office manager at this location, and our assistant, Lia Dancyian, to handle the record keeping, billing, accounts, and numerous other tasks involved in operating a private practice.

At the Toronto office, I sublet from Christian Counselling Services and am also on staff part-time. As such, I work alongside several other staff members, who are now registered psychotherapists. Some of them provide psychotherapy to my patients under my supervision.  As well, I supervise these colleagues when their patients have an extended health plan that reimburses for the services of a psychologist but not a social worker or psychotherapist. We also have an internship program in which masters-level students provide counselling to clients who cannot afford regular rates.

On Tuesdays and about one Friday a month, however, clients meet with me at my branch office in the medical building at 89 Queensway West, at the corner of Confederation Parkway, across from Trillium Hospital, in Mississauga.

At this Mississauga office, I am fortunate to have a clinical assistant under my supervision, James Whetstone, M.A., for the past twelve years. As well as having a masters in psychotherapy from the Adlerian Institute, he is a senior driving instructor with the Ministry of Transportation. His specialty is to offer driver reintegration within a vehicle for those patients who have become afraid to drive or ride in a motor vehicle. An added bonus is that I sublet from Dr. Shawn Vasdev, a psychiatrist.

I am also doing an increasing number of home visits, mostly while travelling to my weekend residence in Port Hope and back. I am also starting to take more clients from the Port Hope area.

Referrals come from many sources but most often family physicians, psychiatrists, legal representatives, and former patients.

Regarding fees, I generally operate on a sliding scale.  On occasion, therefore, I charge the full rate for a psychologist in Ontario, that being $225 an hour. In most cases, however, I offer a reduced hourly rate depending on the ability of the patient to pay and whether or not he or she has access to insurance benefits. The rate of $150 an hour is common, and I do have a few clients on a pro bono basis.