Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT Christine McCormack

HOW DO I KNOW YOU ARE THE RIGHT THERAPIST FOR ME?

Therapy is an intensely personal experience and so it is very important to find the right therapist. The first few sessions would be used by both of us to determine what it is you are looking for, what would be most helpful to you and whether or not there is a match between what I have to offer and what you need. If either of us feels that another therapist or another approach to therapy would be more suitable, I would be happy to refer you to someone who would be a better fit.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

Effective January 1st 2017 My office is 22 Liverpool Street Guelph Ontario, near the main intersection of Liverpool Street and Woolwich Street. The address is now 22 Liverpool Street. There is ample parking available on the street in front of the office. Please enter the side door. I look forwards to seeing you.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS?

I can easily be reached.

HOW LONG IS EACH SESSION?

Sessions are usually an hour long; however, in the second stage of trauma work, it is often necessary to increase the length of the session by a half hour in order to ensure safety and stability.

DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?

Look and see if your employer is covered.

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

My policy is that I need to have a 24-hour notice of cancellation or there is a full charge for the missed session.

WHAT KINDS OF THEORIES AND THERAPIES ARE YOU TRAINED IN?

My background is in psychoanalytic theory (traditional talk therapy) to which I have added training’s in the shorter-term modalities of narrative therapy, brief solution focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Logo-therapy (Meaning Centered therapy).

WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING/EXPERIENCE?

I worked as a social service worker in a municipal social services branch as an Ontario Works and ODSP Case Manager.

ADVANCED TRAINING

Brief Solution Focus and Narrative Training

Logo-therapy/Existential Therapist Training-Diplomat

Family Of Origin Therapy Part I and II

Intensive Sex Therapy Training

Emotional Regulations and Trauma

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Pastoral/Spiritual Counseling

Certified in Critical Incident Debriefing

Narrative Brief Solution Focused

Crisis Intervention Specialist

Grief Therapy

A.S.S.I.S.T- Certified Trainer of Trainers

Suicide Intervention

Non-Violent Crisis Intervention

Grief Therapy

IS TREATMENT LONG OR SHORT TERM?

I work collaboratively with clients to develop a treatment plan that addresses their individual needs. I find that therapy is a very personal thing and the approaches I use are tailored to each client. Thus, some people may require a short term, focused approach such a brief solution focused therapy, a single loss or difficulty, or longer term for early developmental trauma, while others benefit from a longer term, more open-ended approach in which building a trusting therapeutic relationship is an integral part of the therapy.

ABOUT THERAPY

WHAT DEFINES TRAUMA?

Trauma has been defined as “more than the mind can bear” or “outside of the rhelm of normal experience” and it speaks to an event or events that overwhelm our abilities to cope; that is, to take in and assimilate our experience. However, people respond to trauma differently, and so it can be more helpful to think of trauma as what is overwhelming to the individual. In this way, traumatic experiences are defined as more about the individual’s response to them than the enormity of the event itself. I find this broader definition of trauma quite helpful to hold in mind as I work.

WHAT IS TRAUMA THERAPY?

The accepted model of trauma therapy is a tri-stage approach, which consists of stabilization, reprocessing of the trauma, and integration. This particular approach to trauma work was developed to work with the effects of trauma in a safe and manageable way. The goal of trauma work is not recovery of memories per se, but rather the ability to construct a coherent narrative of one’s life.

WHAT IS Logo-therapy?

Logo-therapy is a school of psychology and a philosophy based on the idea that we are strongly motivated to live purposefully and meaningfully, and that we find meaning in life as a result of responding authentically and humanely (i.e. meaningfully) to life’s challenges.

A major cause of depression is self-absorption. By drawing on a person’s strengths, the tools and techniques of logo-therapy help bring about a profound shift in awareness, from a ‘victim’ mentality to an optimistic attitude. Clients and students of logo-therapy are in the habit of questioning themselves about what they really want and which kinds of choices will be most conducive to growth.

Centers of Logo-therapy can be found around the world, including Frank’s hometown of Vienna and spreading out to Germany, Canada, the US, the UK, South Africa and Israel

What is CBT and what is Trauma Therapy?

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behaviors that are behind people’s difficulties, and so change the way they feel. and traditional talk therapies are different therapies, in that they engage the cortical, or “analytical” parts of the brain. By its nature, trauma overwhelms the mind, shutting down the language center with a cascade of neuro chemicals and activating the “emergency response” areas of the brain. With this in mind, a body-oriented approach enables the therapist to address the areas of the brain most impacted by the trauma.

What is Emotional Regulations and the skills associated with Emotional regulations?  

Emotion Regulation skills are used in order to change our emotions or situations.  But sometimes it’s not appropriate or we’re not able to change the situation or our emotions, then we should use Distress Tolerance skills.

Emotions are normal and everyone experiences them. Sometimes, particularly when we have had persistent distressing experiences during our lives, we can emotionally react more often to situations (that others may not find distressing) where we feel threatened. The distress can be very intense and it’s difficult to manage situations and ourselves when things are feeling so over-whelming.

Learning Emotion Regulation skills will help us learn to effectively manage and change the way we feel and cope with situations.

Emotions, thoughts and what we do or feel an urge to do (behaviours) are all linked and become vicious cycles. Changing one part of the cycle will help improve the situation and help you feel better.

WHAT IS DISSOCIATION?

Dissociation is the splitting apart of elements of experience that would normally belong together in order to prevent the mind from being overwhelmed. It is a psychological defense that is used to protect the mind from overwhelming trauma and in cases of childhood abuse and neglect it may become an adaptive strategy to help the child to compartmentalize trauma memories, feelings, behaviors and sensations in order to carry on with the activities of daily life. The problem with dissociation is that it can continue on long after the danger has passed, thereby interfering greatly with the person’s ability to be fully present in his or her life.

What Is Spiritual Care in Psychotherapy?

All persons have spiritual needs. Some persons have religious needs. Spiritual needs and concerns usually relate to what we call the “big” questions of life. These questions can include:

  • Why is this happening? Why is it happening to me?
  • What does it all mean?
  • How do I make sense of everything?
  • How do I feel about changes in my life?
  • What gives me comfort and hope?
  • What do I call “good” in my life? What do I call “bad”?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What do I trust? Who do I trust?
  • Who is my “community” — who loves me and is loved by me, no matter what?
  • What or whom — beyond myself — do I believe is important in my life?

All of these questions relate to spiritual needs, concerns and resources. All people ask these questions during their lives, especially when they or someone they love are sick or in crisis.

More questions not covered here? Please feel free to contact me.