Historically, in Ontario, Clinical Psychologists were required to have a doctoral (Ph.D., or less commonly Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology. Due to a recent loosening of the registration criteria, one can no longer be assured that “Psychologist” implies a doctoral degree, and it is incumbent upon the patient to research their practitioner’s qualifications. The title “Dr.” is reserved for those psychologists who have completed a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Psychology, which entails on average 10 years of university as well as a one-year residency.
Psychologists’ services are not covered by OHIP; however, most extended health care plans will cover some portion of the cost of our services. Private plans such as those offered to University of Western Ontario or Fanshawe students, or through Veterans Affairs also cover services provided by a Psychologist. It is best to consult your particular insurer as to coverage for services provided by a registered, doctoral-level Psychologist.
You do not need a referral to make an appointment with us. If you are considering making an appointment the first step is to give us a call. Dr. Destun will get back to you by phone or email (your preference) to answer any questions you might have and to help decide whether our practice will meet your needs, and which of us might be the best fit for you based on your goals and your schedule. The Doctor of your choice will then contact you to set up an initial meeting and will send you some intake forms. We feel that this second contact is best made by phone as it allows you an opportunity to get an initial sense of your prospective psychologist.
All appointments, including the initial meeting, are 50 minutes in length for individual therapy, and 60 minutes for couple therapy. The first appointment allows us to begin to get a sense of you as a person and to become familiar with the issues that you are facing. It also allows you to assess what we call “fit,” or the extent to which you feel you can relax, relate to, and eventually open up to your psychologist. If for any reason you feel that the fit is not right, we will gladly help you to access other services which may better meet your needs.
Many people want to know how long it will be before they start to realize some improvement. This is hard to assess until we have had a chance to get to know you a bit. In general though, our practice provides both long-term therapy (over a year) and shorter term therapy (12-20 sessions).