Frequently Asked Questions

The most common questions about our services are listed below, categorized as administrative or clinical in focus. Have a question that isn’t answered here? Feel free to contact us directly.

ADMINISTRATIVE QUESTIONS

How does your clinic operate?

The Refuge: Trauma Therapist Network for Healing and Recovery is a collaborative affiliation of skilled and experienced therapists. Our network came together over a shared vision of providing excellent trauma therapy in a variety of modalities to clients in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and beyond. Each of our practitioners has years of experience in community and clinical settings, and is highly trained in multiple modalities. We believe in supporting each other to support you. We collaborate on ongoing training, consultation and resources, and work collaboratively in an environment of ongoing learning and mutual support. As a Network, each practitioner has their own location, practice and policies. Please see each practitioner’s page for more information.

How do I make an appointment?

There is information on each practitioner’s page about them and their intake process. If you are interested in working with one of our practitioners, please contact them directly and the contact info provided on their page.

Are your services covered by OHIP?

The only services covered by OHIP are medical doctors (whether general practitioners, psychiatrists or other MDs).

Are your services covered by insurance?

It depends on what is covered by your extended health benefits, as each plan and insurance company is different. The most common ways our services are covered are as follows. Please ask your insurance company if any of the following apply:

  • Registered Psychotherapist (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario – applies to Asher Dreise)
  • Master’s-level therapist (applies to all of our practitioners)
  • Registered Social Worker (Kari Kokko, Kaitlin Lindquist, Lori Butler, Michelle Hazlett)
  • Health spending account (applies to all our practitioners)

Please confirm with your insurance provider what coverage you have available, how much per calendar year, whether you need a referral from a medical doctor, etc. Typically, clients pay therapists for their services and submit receipts for reimbursement.

Do you take credit card payments or have a sliding scale?

Each of our practitioners has their own payment policies, rates and scale. Please contact the practitioner you are interested in working with or visit their personal website to find out more information.

What are your rates?

Each of the practitioners affiliated with The Refuge has their own rates. Some have to charge HST, others do not. For more information about each person’s rate scale, please click on their page under Our Team, and look at the Intake Process and Policies tab on their page.

Do you work with children and teens?

Please see each clinician’s page for information on the age of clients they serve.

CLINICAL QUESTIONS

I don’t know if I have trauma, but I do struggle with chronic stress, grief and loss, relationships, anxiety, anger, etc. Can you still help me?

Absolutely. Trauma is not the only explanation or reason for many mental health and addictions challenges, although it is a common one. Usually by the end of the first couple of sessions, we are able to get a sense about how your experiences or that of your ancestors may have shaped you and be contributing to the emotional, physical, relational and spiritual challenges you are facing today, and come up with a plan and goals. Some people are hesitant to acknowledge trauma because they associate that word with victimhood or weakness and they do not feel victimized, or their definition of trauma is limited to the narrow range represented by PTSD. At The Refuge, we use a broader definition of the term that does not imply failure, defectiveness or pathology and is not limited to shock trauma. We don’t look at what is wrong with you, but instead what has happened to you and how you’ve adapted to survive, and how we can support you to heal and move forward. Sometimes, especially in the case of pre-verbal experiences that may have happened before conscious memory was laid down, we don’t get a full picture of the “cause” of a particular symptom. However, we don’t always need to know the “why” to be able to help you with the “what”.

Do I need to tell you the details of my story in order for you to work with me?

Telling the details of your story over and over again can be exhausting and triggering. Having at least a general sense of some of the experiences you’ve had without going into specific details of events is often enough for us to begin working together towards your goals. You always have choice about how much you disclose in your therapy and what your goals are – at The Refuge, therapy is not “done to you”, but is a collaborative process that respects your integrity and right to self-determination. And if you are one of the many people who has kept silent for a long time and do want to share your story, or if in our work together you feel more confident and ready to process a particular memory, know that we are here to bear witness to your experience and will help you work through in a way that is emotionally safer, with the aim of renegotiating and completing it.

© 2013 –   The Refuge.