Therapy Q & A

What is an initial consultation?

An initial consultation will be our first contact. The purpose of the initial consultation is for us to get to know each other, and to see if working with me will be helpful to you. I can get a sense of what you, your child, or you two as a couple need help with, and you can get a sense of how I work. We will also discuss what areas of difficulties we would want to focus on if we continue with treatment.

An initial consultation is typically 3 sessions for teens/adults, 4 sessions for children. At the end of the consultation period we will decide what the next step is.

Child therapy (aged 12 and under): An initial consultation with parents (without child) will be the first session; then I will see your child for four sessions to get a sense of how your child is doing. Then parents (without child) and I will meet again to discuss what will help your child.

Adolescent therapy: With older adolescents, I will see them first for an initial consultation to get a sense of what they are struggling with. Adolescent therapy requires a more flexible arrangement because they are at a stage where they value their privacy.  Some adolescents will want to involve their parents, while others want therapy to be private and confidential. I will need to understand the adolescent first before a decision is made about the nature and scope of parental involvement.

How long is treatment?

Treatment lengths depend on a variety of factors, including the nature, scope, and history of your presenting issues. Some people find that their presenting issues can be resolved after a number of sessions, while others find it beneficial to have ongoing treatment. How long therapy should last can be addressed during the initial consultation.

How long is your session? And how often do we meet?

Initial consultation sessions as well as ongoing therapy sessions are weekly and 50 mins long.

What is your cancellation policy?

During the initial consultation period I have a 48 hour cancellation policy. If after the initial consultation period (which is 3 sessions long for adults and teens, 4 sessions for children) a decision is made to continue with treatment then I will reserve a time for you each week. You will be responsible for that time. Missed sessions will be charged.

How do I find out about my child’s progress in therapy?

I will meet with parents on a regular basis if your child (aged 12 and under) is in treatment with me. Initially, I typically see parents once a month. The frequency of these parents’ sessions can vary, depending on the circumstances of your child and your family, and how long your child has been in treatment. Parents’ sessions are for you to discuss with me your concerns and observations of your child, and for me to support your self-care as a parent and your efforts to help your child make progress.

Find out more about child therapy.

In terms of parental involvement, is there a difference between child and adolescent therapy?

I work with parents closely in child therapy (aged 12 and below).  Older adolescents, on the other hand, tend to have their own views about whether they want parents to be involved. Adolescents are at a developmental stage where having their own space is important to them. Some adolescents want me to see their parents, others don’t. So, whether and how often I see their parents and the scope of their privacy are issues that I discuss with adolescents directly.

Do you have suggestions as to how I can prepare for therapy?

You might find the information here helpful.

Do you run any group therapy or support groups for people with BPD, Asperger’s/autism, or ADHD; and for their spouses/families?

I don’t run group therapy or any other form of support group for people with mental illness, for their spouses or families.

For ADHD online classes and workshops, you can visit (not personally or professionally affiliated) https://www.hallowelltodaro.com/classes-and-groups to see if what they offer is helpful to you .

St John’s Counseling http://www.sjcshk.com (not personally or professionally affiliated) is a big agency in HK that provides more services including support groups. You can check with them to see what services they are currently providing.

Will you also treat my sibling, partner, or best friend, because they need a therapist too?

If you are already in treatment with me, I will NOT be accepting referrals to work with anyone with whom you have a close and significant relationship.  This is in the interest of protecting the private space of therapy.  I will be happy to provide them with a referral if they also wish to see a therapist.

I need an individual and a couples therapist.  Can you be both?

I can only be your individual OR couples therapist.  Having said that, my experience is that some people find it helpful to have their own course of individual therapy alongside coupes therapy.  I will be happy give you a referral to see someone for a separate course of therapy.

I have these _____ issues. Can they be fixed? Is this something you can help me with?

While psychologists are trained to deal with a variety of mental health issues, research has shown that the most consistent factor in treatment success is the therapeutic relationship. That’s what the consultation sessions are for: to see if I am the right fit for you. Going to see a therapist in person can feel daunting to many, and so you probably have a lot of reservations and mixed feelings about it. It is perfectly normal to feel that way. However, without having an opportunity to meet and talk, it will be like looking at a pair of shoes and asking: how do I know these shoes would fit me without trying them on?

I need to get a diagnosis. Can you help?

I don’t do formal assessments but I can provide you with referrals if you need a diagnosis.

Where is your office?

Please visit our Location page.