Toronto DBT

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started?

Do I need a referral?

Our services are self-referred, so no professional referral is required. To join our program, you can call or email us.

Can I get virtual therapy if I live in another province or country?

As health professionals we are registered to practice only in Ontario. We are unable to offer virtual services to clients outside of Ontario.

Is DBT right for me?

Our Comprehensive Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program helps people who experience intense emotions, chronic depression, intense anxiety, impulsive behaviours, self-harm/suicidal behaviour, or problems in relationships. Our treatment is tailored to each individual client's needs and is focused on helping each client achieve the goals that they themselves wish to work towards.

What is the intake process like and how long is the wait?

If you are interested in our DBT program, the first step is to contact us to schedule an initial phone consultation. Once you have contacted us, if the waitlist is open, we will provide you with some options to schedule your phone intake. During the phone intake, we will spend 15-20 minutes answering any questions you may have and learning about you and your treatment goals to determine if our program is the right fit for you.

If our program is the right fit, we will add you to our waitlist for the next available and suitable therapist. If we think another treatment is a better fit we will provide you with some options and recommendations. When our waitlist is open our wait times from the time of your intake are 2-12 weeks.

Why is the waitlist closed?

DBT is a specialized service that is in high demand and short supply. It takes a long time for therapists to train to become DBT therapists and there still aren't enough DBT therapists available for all the people who need this treatment. That is why we are so committed to training more people to become DBT therapists. We know that people who contact us usually need help as soon as possible so in the meantime when we cannot offer you treatment in a reasonable amount of time (<12 weeks) we'd rather you find treatment elsewhere than have to wait too long for us.

Can I book an intake or therapy for a loved one that is struggling?

We are happy to provide information about our services to anyone who gets in touch with us, however, we do need future clients to contact us themselves via phone or email in order to set up their phone intake.

How does DBT work?

How does the DBT program work?

DBT teaches you concrete skills in the here and now that you can use to solve problems and achieve your goals. DBT as it was developed has four different treatment components that all work together as a program. In order for treatment to be provided in the way that we know is helpful and has been studied by research (evidence-based), it has to consist of all four of these components: 
- Individual Therapy
- DBT Skills Training Group
- Phone Coaching
- Therapist Consultation Team

Is the group component mandatory?

We know that many people are apprehensive about joining a group and that not everyone needs to be in the group. Your individual therapist will help you figure out whether you will benefit from the group and will work with you to get you ready to join the group if you feel apprehensive about doing so. The group is often the most efficient way for you to get the skills you need to make the changes you want to make in your life.

What is the structure of the group sessions?

DBT skills groups are in the format of a class held weekly for 2 hours per week for 24 weeks. Each group has 8 to 10 members and 2 co-therapists. DBT Skills Group allows us to teach you many new skills as efficiently as possible and frees up your individual therapy to focus on using the skills you are learning to reach the concrete goals you want to work towards. The class is dynamic and interactive and homework is guided by practice worksheets that allow you to practice the skills you learned during the group session.

Why do I need to attend individual sessions while taking part in the group program?

Individual therapy provides you with the support you need to implement the skills you learn in group to resolve the difficulties you are experiencing in your life and to make the changes you want to make. The group frees up your individual therapy time to be focused on the things that are going on in your life and the application of skills without having to focus on learning specific skills. The group itself is structured like a class and does not necessarily provide the time to talk about the issues that are occurring in your life in detail. Both components therefore work together for optimal outcomes.

Can I withdraw from group sessions at any point during the 24 weeks of the program?

The group functions like a class in that you pay for your spot in the group. You are able to withdraw from the group during the first two sessions of any module in progress, without charge for the remainder of the group. If you drop out of the program after the first two sessions you have committed to the current module as we will not be able to fill your spot with another client so you will be financially responsible for the remainder of the module. 

Can my partner, family member, or loved one attend group sessions with me?

We do not provide couples or family therapy and you will usually attend your sessions on your own to give you the space to work towards your goals. If you wish you can bring a loved one into individual session from time to time as needed. To protect other group members' privacy, it is NOT possible to bring loved ones to group sessions. We ask that you attend group sessions from a private space where nobody can overhear the session to protect other group members' privacy.

What is the frequency of individual therapy sessions? 

Sessions commonly occur every week or every two weeks. It is often useful to attend weekly sessions at the outset of treatment to gain momentum in your treatment but the frequency of the individual therapy sessions will be determined between you and your therapist.

Are therapists available in the evenings for sessions?

Our therapists are usually available on weekdays during regular business hours (9:00 am to 5:00 pm). Some of our therapists have limited evening or weekend availability for sessions. Wait times for evening or weekend spots tend to be significantly longer. Please let your intake clinician know if you are looking for evening availability.

Is there a crisis plan?

You and your therapist will create a crisis plan as needed in order for you to be safe and know the steps to follow if you find yourself in a mental health crisis.

Are therapists available after hours for calls?

Your therapist is available to you between sessions for brief 10-15 minute phone coaching calls that allow you to apply the skills you are learning when problems arise without having to wait for your next session. Your therapist will let you know how to use phone coaching and what their limits around phone coaching are.

How does billing work?

What are your fees?

All of our services are provided by Psychologists registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, Psychotherapists registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and Social Workers registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Our fees for individual therapy range from $200-260/session and our fees for group sessions are $150/session.

Are your services covered by OHIP or government funding?

Unfortunately OHIP does not cover psychotherapy in private practice. Our services are not government funded.

Does my insurance cover it and do you directly bill my insurance?

Most private health insurance and extended benefits plans provide some coverage for psychotherapy or mental health. Limits on coverage vary depending on the benefit plan. We are happy to work with you to maximize your benefits and make our treatment as accessible as possible. Please contact your health insurance provider directly to confirm your coverage. We do not directly bill your insurance but are happy to provide you with invoices and financial statements as needed.

What is the cancellation policy?

We understand that unexpected things can come up to change our schedules and appreciate as much notice as possible. If you need to reschedule or cancel your individual therapy session, please provide 24 hours of notice. Unattended appointments or appointments cancelled with less than 24 hour notice will be charged at full price. All unattended DBT group skills training sessions will be charged in full regardless of notice.

Is there a sliding scale?

Our clinic does not offer a sliding fee scale at present.

I am in crisis. What can I do?

If you or a loved one are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, here are a few resources that might be able to offer immediate help:
Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
Distress Centres of Greater Toronto: Toronto: 416-408-4357, Peel: 905-459-7777
Gerstein Centre: 416-929-5200
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
The Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural
Women Against Rape: 416-597-8808
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366
Assaulted Women’s Helpline: 416-863-0511
Progress Place Warm Line: (non crisis emotional support): 12pm-8pm: 416-323-3721, 8pm-12am: 416-960-9276
You can also call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.