Too much stress can mess with your mental and physical health. Don’t wait to seek help.
As a Nurse Practitioner, registered with the College of Nurses in Ontario, I provide counselling sessions to people currently living in Ontario. Find out if we might work well together by taking advantage of a free introduction session.
Have you read my blog entry titled In-person versus remote counselling? Reading it might help you consider remote counselling as an option.
Once you’ve made the decision, reaching out is easy. You can either fill out the contact form, phone, text, or email me. I will ask for your name, phone number, an email address, and some options for a first appointment date and time.
Within 48 hours, I will get back to you, either by phone or by written communication and we will set a date and time for a phone or video session.
If your preference is video, I will send you a link to a web-based telemedicine platform. Just before your session, you’ll click on the link provided and follow a few simple, step by step instructions to sign in and to enable your camera and microphone.
You’ll be brought in to a virtual waiting room and I will soon after bring you into the virtual office. It is really that easy. No need to set up a new application!
If you wish for an opportunity to meet me and ask a few questions before making a commitment to begin formal sessions you can ask for a free introduction session.
Free introduction session
This intro session is not a full first counselling / therapy session.
Essentially, it is a “Meet and Greet” and is intended to be brief – typically 20 minutes, and is meant to address issues such as personal concerns about starting therapy, logistical issues (e.g. fees, payment methods, insurance coverage, using technologies, confidentiality, preserving privacy, etc.) .
During this time together, I also take a few moments to explain my approach as a nurse practitioner compared to that of a social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
This short session gives you a chance to get answers to some of your questions and to alleviate some of the nervousness faced by most people, when getting started with a new healthcare provider.
During the intro session, we won’t get into assessing your situation in detail. I won’t ask for a lot of personal information. I won’t provide health advice.
This type of session is about deciding if we are a good fit and if we want to get started.
When availability permits, some people choose to go forward right from the intro session and transition to a “first session”. Other people will take some time to reflect and then call to schedule a first session.
Once someone schedules a first session, I usually send an email with information about “what to expect in a first session”. Attached to the email you will find one or two questionnaires to print and fill out. Completing those before the first session is not mandatory but tends to speed up the intake process. If you are curious about the type of info I seek, you can find a downloadable pdf for the Initial Consultation Form (ICF).
I often use questionnaires and assessment tools as part of my approach. Used properly they allow us to cover important information efficiently and help point to areas which require more attention. Completing them outside the session allows extra time for reflection and to refer to information sources not always readily available.
Unless there is something extremely pressing, the first session is typically used to gather information about the state of your physical and mental health and can sometimes feel like playing 20 questions. That is not typical of sessions in general.
In the course of the following sessions, we will explore in more depth what is problematic and what can be done to alleviate your suffering.
In our first session, we also decide together what is the best duration, frequency and preferred interval pattern for the sessions to come. This can change over time, obviously, but it is fair to expect that having a few, frequent sessions to get started, is useful practice.
Maintaining confidentiality is very important to me. So it is fair to wonder about the technologies and approaches used:
- I practice independently.
- My cell phone is for my use only.
- My work emails are only accessible by me.
- My address book and agenda is accessible by myself and my partner (who is my back up in case of emergency).
- I use encryption and passwords to protect the information I document on your electronic file.
- The video platform I use is with doxy.me. It is intended for telemedicine use by health care professionals. Check them out if you want to know more.
Still have questions? Call me.
Nathalie Héloïse Graveline, Nurse Practitioner