Dr. Michelle Emmerling, Registered Psychologist

Here are a list of frequently asked questions about the therapy process and my services: 


(1) What is counselling/psychotherapy/therapy?

Counselling involves the development of a therapeutic relationship between one or more individuals and a psychologist. The focus is on the individual(s) presenting concerns and challenges. Counselling can help people develop a better understanding of who they are and how their behaviors, thoughts, and emotions are impacting their quality of life.  It also helps connect people back to their inner resources  to allow for better, more satisfying emotional and social functioning.

Click here for handouts from Canadian Psychology Association (CAP) on What is a Psychologist? and on What to Expect Seeing a Psychologist. 

(2) How do I decide whether I need to see a psychologist? 

It is appropriate to consult with a psychologist if you are experiencing any emotional, social, or behavioral problem. 

Click here for a great article on deciding whether to see a psychologist and why you might choose to see a regulated professional. 

(3) How do I choose a psychologist that is the best fit for me? 

It is completely normal in the psychology field for you to look around and find a psychologist that best fits you and your goals for counselling. This can take some time and may involve you having to try working with a few psychologists until you find someone that feels right for you. I also feel that there has to be a good match between the client and the psychologist in order for a good working relationship to build. This can be determined after the first session or it can take longer. If the fit of the services do not meet your needs, it is always your right to change your mind at any time and referrals are always provided for other resources or to individuals who specialize in certain areas. 

(4) Are services confidential? What does that mean? 

Although this will be thoroughly discussed in our first session together (and in future sessions as needed), it is important to know that as a Registered Psychologist I adhere to the standards of confidentiality outlined by Canadian Psychological Association (CAP).  There are a few limitations to our confidentiality that you will be made aware of in our first session. In addition, before you share any information with me, I will be very clear about who may have access to any of the information that you provide in your sessions. . 

(5) How long is a typical counselling session? 

Sessions are 50 minutes in length. This provides me with 10 minutes to write case notes after the session is completed. 

(6) How long will counselling take?

The length of time it takes to successfully complete the counselling process depends on the nature of your presenting concern, your needs, and your goals for counselling.  Some clients complete their work in as little as 4 - 5 sessions, but for more long-standing concerns the time to see lasting change can be longer. When you come in for your first session and we have discussed your goals for counselling a better indication of the time frame may be possible. 

(7) What is your cancellation policy? 

If you need to cancel an appointment, I ask that you contact me as soon as possible. In order to avoid a charge for a missed appointment, please provide as least 24 hours notice of your cancellation.

(8) Do I need a referral to make an appointment? 

No, a referral is not needed. However, I will contact you once I have received your information so we can set up a 15 minute phone consultation to determine whether I am able to offer you the best services to meet your needs.