Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Shift different?
We’re responsive and reliable.
Our team typically responds within 1 hour during our regular business hours, if not less. We pride ourselves on being hyper-responsive to our clients' needs.
We’re focused on relationships, not transactions.
We match each client with a therapist based on their personality and needs. We offer free 15 minute phone consultations to ensure a good fit. All care programs are customized to meet the needs of the client.
We believe care doesn’t stop at the end of a session.
We host a variety of on-site group workshops and events. We offer a range of digital resources like newsletters, blogs, and online courses.
Our team is mostly therapists, but we also have a network of business and career coaches, dieticians, physical therapists and chiropractors that we can refer instantly to. We believe that a collaborative approach offers more values.
What can I expect from therapy?
Therapy is proven to increase your happiness, improve your motivation, and help you to better understand yourself and the world around you. Therapy will help you to manage your stress, reduce your anxiety, and will assist you in setting goals for the future.
At Shift, we believe in you. Our dedicated care team will match you with a skilled therapist that can support you in working towards your goals. Together you will explore and identify your emotions and patterns of thinking, bring a new perspective to the challenges that you are experiencing, develop new ways of coping with the difficulties you are facing, and help you to find a new sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in your life.
What can I expect from my first session?
People are often hesitant about starting therapy mainly due to the uncertainty of the therapy process and what it looks like. We totally get it! Thinking about being vulnerable with a complete stranger can feel a little… well…strange.
Before your first appointment, we'll email you an intake form through our secure online system. If you don't have a chance to fill out the form, please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to fill it out in person. If you are connecting with us virtually for a video or phone session, please complete the online intake questionnaire.
For the session itself, reflect, prepare, but also try to relax! Taking a moment prior to your initial appointment to think about your goals for therapy will go a long way in helping your therapist understand your needs and give you a better sense of clarity and purpose.
For a deeper dive on what you can expect from your first session, have a look at this blog post written by one of our very own therapists.
What types of therapy services do you offer?
We offer in-clinic, phone and video therapy to accommodate all clients’ needs and schedules. You’re welcome to alternate between in-person and virtual therapy if you think that’s what best for you! If you’re not sure, talk to your therapist about your options.
How do I find the right fit?
Research consistently shows that the biggest predictor of success in therapy is not the clinical approach, it’s not the therapist’s training background or years of experience, and it’s not based on whether the therapist has lived through experiences that relate to what you’re going through. The biggest predictor of success in therapy is finding a good therapeutic fit. Here’s what you can look out for to determine a right fit:
You feel understood
You don’t feel judged, ashamed, or embarrassed
The focus is on you and your life
Your therapist offers new ways of thinking
Your therapist works are your pace
Have a look at our list of therapists to get started!
How long can I expect to be in therapy?
Length of therapy can vary depending on your specific needs and circumstances. Therapy can last anywhere from one session to several months or even years. While some clients look for solution-focused brief therapy to address an imminent issue, others decide to seek therapy to explore underlying issues dating from their childhood.
When you choose a therapist, you can talk about your needs and expectations but regardless of why you are seeking therapy or the type of therapy you are doing, it is important to remember that it is ultimately your decision as to when you stop therapy.
Are your services confidential?
Confidentiality is very important to us. It is paramount that you feel like you are able to talk openly and honestly in our therapy sessions knowing that all information discussed will be kept private.
Our professional code of ethics, under the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, clearly defines that all information you share with your therapist is confidential and will not be communicated, directly or indirectly, to anyone without your informed and written consent. The law states that there are rare exceptions to this rule, which we will discuss during our initial consultation. Although our therapy sessions will be kept confidential, we do not object to you revealing anything that we have discussed in therapy to anyone you choose.
How do I know if I’m covered for therapy?
While psychotherapy and social work are regulated health professions in Ontario, they are unfortunately not covered under OHIP, OW or ODSP.
The majority of extended health benefits, however, do cover psychotherapy and social work services (typically in your health and dental insurance package from your employer). We encourage you to speak with your insurance provider about counselling services provided by a Registered Social Worker or Registered Psychotherapist to determine your eligibility and approved rates of coverage. We do not reimburse sessions if it turns out you do not have coverage.
Are your services tax-deductible?
As of 2012, Psychotherapy services provided by a Registered Social Worker are recognized as an income tax deductible medical expense by Revenue Canada.
What is the difference between a Registered Social Worker and a Registered Psychotherapist?
A Social Worker may have completed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree in Social Work. Registered Social Workers are regulated by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Most employee benefit plans currently cover Registered Social Worker. When inquiring about your benefits, check to see if MSW, RSW counselling is covered.
A Psychotherapist may have completed a Masters in Education or a Masters in Counselling Psychology. Registered Psychotherapists are regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). Many employee benefit plans are starting to cover Registered Psychotherapists. When inquiring about your benefits, check to see if RP counselling is covered.
In Ontario, both Registered Social Workers and Registered Psychotherapists do not have the ability to prescribe medication or make a clinical mental health diagnosis.
Can you complete a diagnosis or prescribe medication?
In Ontario, Registered Social Workers and Registered Psychotherapists don’t have the ability to complete a diagnosis or prescribe medication. Only medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists can complete a clinical diagnosis. Of these professionals, doctors and psychiatrists are both covered by OHIP and are able to prescribe medication.
How much is each session?
Our services are tax-free and often covered by your extended health benefits plan. We collect payment at the time of your appointment and provide a receipt for you to submit to your insurance provider.
We have a range of rates and a number of types of sessions ranging from $125 for students to $200 for couples. That's because our rates vary by therapist and we strive to meet your needs.
Do you offer sliding-scale fees?
We do not currently offer reduced fee services. However, reduced rates may be offered at each therapists’ discretion based on years of experience and availability. Please contact us directly for more information.
Do you offer a special rate for students?
We offer a student-rate of $125 dollars that may be fully covered by your student’s health and benefits plan. Check your student insurance plan directly to learn more about what’s covered.
What if I need to cancel my session?
We require a full 24 hours' notice for the cancellation of an appointment. A cancellation with less than 24 hours' notice is subject to a cancellation fee of the full session rate. Please note that this policy includes no-shows.
What are my payment options?
We accept cash, cheque, debit and all major credit cards.
I'm a healthcare professional. Can I refer to you?
We'll take excellent care of your clients. That's our promise.
At Shift, we treat clients like we’d like to be treated. That means offering excellent care in a warm environment. Our team of therapists has a wide range of experience and expertise to meet your client's needs. We accept referrals from other health and wellness professionals and we will match your client with a skilled therapist that can support them in working towards their goals.
What are your hours of operation?
We are open everyday from 8AM and 8AM (including weekends). Some of our therapists offer weekend availability. Contact us at 416-962-8255 to learn more.
How do I book an appointment?
There are many ways!