Hamilton Psychological Services

1057 Main St. W, Suite 2-01 Hamilton, ON • 905-527-5991 • 1-877-527-5991 • info@hamiltonpsych.ca



"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."
Khalil Gibran


We offer direct billing to 10 major insurers, covering 85% of privately insured Canadians. Ask us to submit your claim for you at your next visit.


Helpful Links

About Learning Disabilities:
All Kinds of Minds
Learning Disabilities Association

For Kids and Teens:
Mind Your Mind
Kids Help Phone

For Parents
Books
Kids' Mental Health Ontario
Lives in the Balance

For everyone
Help Centre
Mood Disorders Association
Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

Professional Organizations
Ontario Psychological Association
Canadian Psychological Assoc.
College of Psychologists of Ontario

Topics

Consultation

When you don’t know where to start, a consultation is likely what we will recommend. Come in and describe the situation and your concerns, and we will be pleased to help you find the services most likely to suit your needs, wherever they might be (e.g., community referrals).

Remember, we don’t need for you to know what you need. Often, helping you figure that out is our job.

Psychological Assessment and Diagnosis

Assessments involve the discovery and improved understanding of a person’s areas of concern. When a comprehensive understanding of a person’s current functioning from a social, emotional, developmental, personality, and mental health perspective is needed, a mental health assessment is completed.

For example, if someone has been involved in a workplace or motor vehicle accident, they may require an assessment to learn if there are any significant psychological effects of the accident. A physician, lawyer, case manager or other health professional might recommend that such an assessment be completed.

These types of assessments are in-depth, requiring hours of interviewing and other assessment activities (e.g., questionnaires), and ultimately the mental health professional will write a comprehensive report. These reports may be useful for individuals involved in legal cases, seeking benefits, needing a formal diagnosis, and looking for treatment recommendations.

The specifics of each assessment are tailored to the specific needs of the client.

Giving a diagnosis is an important responsibility that requires professional training and skill. This is why in Ontario only certain professionals can communicate a psychological diagnosis to another person. Psychologists and psychological associates are one of the professions with access to this regulated act.

Psycho-educational Assessment

When information is required regarding someone’s learning capabilities and styles, a psycho-educational assessment is completed. Generally, this assessment includes the social, emotional, developmental, personality, and mental health aspects of the above described mental health assessment, and adds cognitive and academic aspects. For more information, please see our "What to expect during an assessment" document.

Individual Psychotherapy

When someone is in individual psychotherapy, they work one-on-one with their therapist. Usually, the client and clinician sit across from each other and talk about the issues that need to be addressed (children sit wherever they are comfortable, often on the floor with their clinician). Sometimes, another person or persons may join the session if it would be helpful. For example, some people are shy, stressed, or anxious; bringing a friend or family member to the session for support can be helpful. Also, parents of children and adolescents generally attend a session before bringing in their child to give their view of the reason for seeking treatment as well as background information. For more information, please see our "What to expect during therapy" document.

Couples Psychotherapy

When a relationship is struggling, couples psychotherapy is designed to assist the couple towards a positive relationship. Attending couples psychotherapy together is a strong expression of a commitment to your relationship. Your couples therapist will facilitate your learning and practice of skills in communicating with one another. Common areas of conflict that can be addressed with couples psychotherapy include finances, household chores, childrearing, the sexual relationship, and often conflict itself (i.e., arguing and fighting).

Couples report to us that while couples psychotherapy is challenging, it also is an opportunity to grow both as individuals and as a couple. Our couples therapists are inspired by the work that couples are able to put into developing their relationships towards what they would wish for themselves and their partners.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

The clinicians working at Hamilton Psychological Services believe that clients deserve the most effective psychotherapies available. It is with this principle in mind that our professionals are trained and experienced clinicians in the use of CBT for many psychological problems.

There have been hundreds of quality research studies that have tested just how effective CBT is as a treatment. The results have shown that CBT is a high quality treatment for a variety of disorders, including depression, OCD, social anxiety, PTSD, GAD, chronic pain, marital distress, anger, eating disorders and even schizophrenia. In fact, when compared to medication such as antidepressants, CBT has been found to be as effective, and in some cases more effective, than medication1.

Generally speaking, CBT is a type of psychotherapy that examines how thoughts and behaviors affect emotions, stress, and symptoms. However, this is a simple way of describing CBT. For each disorder or problem, there are specific features that CBT therapists will focus on. For example, research has shown that people who worry a lot typically struggle with uncertainty, and people with OCD have a higher sense of personal responsibility than other people. Our clinicians use this knowledge to better understand client’s concerns and use CBT strategies and skills to help clients manage and overcome their issues.

However, psychotherapy techniques and approaches that are not strictly CBT may be incorporated into sessions. For example, mindfulness meditation, acceptance and commitment psychotherapy, and meta-cognitive psychotherapy are forms of psychotherapy that are commonly used with CBT, and have been found to be effective as well.

1 Butler, A.C., Chapman, J.E., Forman, E.M., & Beck, A.T. (2006). The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 17-31.

Play Therapy

When children (and sometimes adolescents) engage in psychotherapy, the process is different from what it is with adults. Children communicate and learn through play. Our clinicians are skilled with interacting with children in developmentally appropriate ways in order to make the most of psychotherapy time. We feel successful when a child has learned something important in psychotherapy (e.g., skills to reduce anxiety or cope with anger positively) and emerges from a session to announce that they “played.”

Parents, when your child is in psychotherapy, please also expect to be involved, often at the end of your child’s session or in a session of your own as parents. It is important that you understand what your child is working on so you can support their psychotherapy at home.

Family Psychotherapy

The best approach to solve problems can be to involve the whole family. Everyone plays a part in the family, and therefore everyone can be part of a solution.

Family psychotherapy generally involves every member of the family together with their therapist. The therapist begins to understand how the family is relating to one another and affecting one another. Goals of family psychotherapy often include reduction in conflict, increases in positive family time, and resolution of specific concerns (e.g., adjustment to a blended family).