“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Why would I make an appointment?
At Taylor Fitzgerald, we believe that reaching out to get support and help is a sign of good mental health. It means that you recognize that your mental/emotional state is not optimal and that you are willing to take steps to address this. As we all experience fluctuations in mood and functioning and encounter challenges in our lifetime, we believe that most everyone can benefit from the support and expertise of a trained, impartial and confidential Social Worker at some point in their lives. Whether this support and expertise takes the form of a psychoeducational group/retreat, a therapy group or individual psychotherapy will depend on the challenges you wish to address as well as your own personal preferences.
What challenges do you address?
Psychoeducational groups/retreats such as our Presence Series are tailored to teaching and practicing skills related to stress reduction and improving quality of life. Therapy groups like CBT and Yoga for Mood Management are specifically designed to treat certain conditions and symptomatology (ie depression).
Individual sessions can be used to address a variety of life challenges such as stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, life transitions, relationship issues, parenting, interpersonal skills, personal growth etc.
What is your training?
Social Workers at Taylor Fitzgerald have a minimum of a Masters Degree in Social Work and have a minimum of 10 years of supervised clinical experience with multidisciplinary teams including other social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and family physicians. All Social Workers are members in Good Standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. Please see the Biography Page for specific information about each of our experienced Social Workers and their particular interests and areas of expertise.
What is your therapeutic approach?
Although the specifics of each Social Worker’s approach and experience differ slightly (see Biography Page), Taylor Fitzgerald as an organization believes in harnessing the healing power of mindfulness (including yoga) in combination with the evidence-based modality of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for treating the majority of challenges that people bring our way.
How do I contact you?
If you would like to set up an appointment by telephone, you can call us at 226-921-6178 and leave a voicemail on our confidential answering service. We will return your call within 24 hours. If you prefer to contact us online, that’s no problem! Just submit a request online and one of our Social Workers will be certain to get back to you within 24 hours.
What if I’m in crisis and I cannot wait for 24 hours?
If you are in crisis and feel unsafe or at risk of harming yourself or others, please go to your local emergency room. Additionally, there are many telephone crisis lines that you can call.
St. Leonard’s Community Services Brantford: 1-866-811-7188
CAMH (Community Addiction and Mental Health Services of Haldimand and Norfolk): 1-877-909-4357
CAST (Crisis Assessment and Support Team for Haldimand and Norfolk): 1-866-487-2278
COAST Hamilton: 1-844-972-8338
Distress Centre Niagara: 905-682-1242
Guelph 24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-800-265-SAFE
Huron Perth Helpline and Crisis Intervention: 1-888-829-7484
Reach Out: 1-866-933-2023
Crisis Lines and Emergency Rooms are available to you 24/7 and can be incredibly helpful and supportive.
Please DO NOT leave crisis messages on our phone line as it is not constantly monitored and we will not be able to get back to you in a timely manner.
What can I expect when I contact you?
One of the Social Workers from Taylor Fitzgerald will contact you within 24 hours of your voicemail or online contact. We will gather relevant information from you including demographics and challenges that you are facing. Together we will determine which counselling/education option may be right for your unique needs and you will decide if this is something that you wish to pursue now, at some point in the future or not at all. If our Social Workers determine that there may be a better option than Taylor Fitzgerald to address your unique challenges, they will suggest it and make a referral at that time if that is agreeable to you. There is no charge for this 15 minute consultation call.
How do I pay for this?
Social Work and Psychotherapy Services can be very costly. Unfortunately, they are not covered by OHIP. The good news is that many employers have extended health benefits that include social work and social work (group) services. Please check with your insurer to see what is covered under your plan. You may be pleasantly surprised! All Social Workers at Taylor Fitzgerald are registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and have a registration number that can be provided for the purpose of receiving group health benefits from your employer. For those without insurance coverage and for whom finances may be an issue, we do have a sliding scale that could be applied on a case by case basis. Social Work Services are also an approved medical expense that can be submitted with your income tax.
How do I know if I have insurance benefits?
You can find out what benefits you have available to you by calling your insurer (ie Great West Life, Green Sheild, Blue Cross, SunLife, Manulife etc) and asking what your budget is for Social Work or Social Work Group Services. Many insurance companies also have this information available online if you enter your plan and membership number. We will be happy to walk you through the process if you are uncertain.
How do I pay?
For psychoeducational and therapy groups/retreats, paymentis required at the time of registration and receipts will be provided upon the completion of the group series/retreat. Please note that for retreats, only the social work treatment/education portion of the retreat can be submitted for benefits (ie accommodation, food etc will not be covered by group benefit plans).
For individual sessions, payment is made at each session and receipts are provided for you to either submit to your insurer or to include in your income tax file.
What happens if I cancel?
For psychoeducation and therapy groups/retreats, unfortunately there are no refunds or “make up sessions” for missed groups. We will be happy to provide you with the information that was missed (handouts, meditations etc) and answer any questions that you might have about this material so that you can be prepared for the following session.
For individual sessions, cancellations that are made more than 24 hours prior to the session will not be billed. For cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance of the session, you will still be billed for the full amount unless there are extenuating circumstances which we can discuss on a case by case basis.
What will happen at the first session?
For Psychoeducational groups, we will use the beginning of the first session to get acquainted and discuss our confidentiality policy. We will ask you to complete some questionnaires and will then get into the teaching and practice. For these groups, there is very limited sharing of personal information and you will not be asked or expected to discuss your history or current challenges.
For Therapy Groups, we will have one individual session to meet you, explain our confidentiality policy, complete some questionnaires and ask you some questions about your personal history and any current challenges you are experiencing. We do this to ensure that the group will be the best fit for your unique needs and to ensure that we are aware of any issues that may arise for you in a group therapy context.
For individual sessions, we will spend a few minutes of our first session reviewing our policies (including confidentiality) and getting acquainted. We will then undertake an assessment of your current challenges and strengths as well as a discussion of your history and all of the factors that may be contributing to your current situation. Often, you will be asked to complete some questionnaires. You will also be asked to think about what goals you would like to work towards and which approaches may be a good fit with your personality and /or which approaches may have worked well for you (or not so well) in the past. You will be an active participant in the assessment process with lots of opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification. At Taylor Fitzgerald, we know that finding a Social Worker who is the “right fit” is one of the most important components of effective therapy. As such, if you are concerned that the Social Worker you have met with is not the “right fit” for you, we certainly understand and can recommend some excellent colleagues.
How long are sessions?
Psychoeducational and Therapy Group sessions typically range in length from 1.5 to 2 hours (each session).
Individual sessions are 60 minutes in length. If you arrive late for a session, the session will still end at the planned and appointed time.
How many sessions do I need?
This is a difficult question to answer as it really depends on the unique needs of each individual. At our first session, we can discuss your current challenges and come up with a treatment plan that feels right for you. Sometimes, people anticipate that they will need more sessions than they actually require and at times, life circumstances mean that we end up needing more sessions than we had originally planned. Most people can do some really good work in 6 to 8 sessions and that is often all that is required. You will be actively involved in assessing how treatment is going and have input into any modifications that need to be made to the original treatment plan.
Can I engage in groups and individual sessions at the same time?
The simple answer is yes. Often times individual and group sessions can complement each other. It would be a good idea to review this with your Social Worker, however, sometimes this can be overwhelming and so a decision needs to be made based on your individual needs and situation.
What about privacy?
As Members of the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), Social Workers at Taylor Fitzgerald have an ethical obligation to keep your information and identity confidential and we take this obligation very seriously. As we do participate in group supervision with one another, we may consult each other (and only each other) about the details of your treatment in order to provide you with the best possible care. We may not discuss anything about you with anyone outside of Taylor Fitzgerald unless we have your explicit written permission to do so. This includes employers, family members, other health care providers and insurance companies.
When we meet with you (either in groups or in individual sessions), we do make a brief note that captures what was discussed in session, the treatment that was offered and the plan going forward. These records will be stored in a locked cabinet and maintained for a minimum of 7 years per OCSWSSW regulations. Only the Social Workers at Taylor Fitzgerald will have access to these notes without your permission except in the 4 circumstances listed below.
There are 4 circumstances under which the above confidentiality policy does not apply. They are as follows:
1. We believe that you are an imminent danger to self or others
2. We suspect that a child is at risk of abuse or neglect
3. We become aware of sexual abuse by a health care provider
4. Records are subpoenaed by a Court
These are standard limits to confidentiality practiced by most health care professionals.
Please do not hesitate to contact Taylor Fitzgerald & Associates if you have any questions.