Cheryl offers personal counselling, psychotherapy, life coaching, and youth mentoring in Waterdown, Ontario, serving the areas of Burlington, Hamilton, Waterdown, and Guelph, or anyone willing to travel from outside those areas. Please call or email for more information on booking an appointment, and continue reading below for more information on services.
Find on this page (in this order):
Information about Cheryl, "The Paperwork" to print off and bring to counselling, information on rates and questions about coverage, helpful mental health and motivational resources, and more information about Cheryl's additional qualifications and training.
Cheryl has worked as a counsellor at both Sheridan College and the University of Guelph. With a background in teaching and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, she specializes in working with young people (see more on her approach with young people here), anyone experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, grief, loss of direction, or other life concerns, and enjoys working with anyone who feels a connection and fit with her. Her approach is non-denominational in nature, and she welcomes all spiritual and religious practices, cultures, orientations, and lifestyles in her clients. Read more about the story behind how and why Cheryl started her counselling career here.
Trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), and narrative and existential approaches, Cheryl works to meet your needs in a way that feels most comfortable for you. Compassionate and easy-going, you will feel instantly welcomed and accepted in her office. There is no judgement; everything is completely safe and confidential.
She is a registered psychotherapist, R.P. #002253. See additional qualifications and training for Cheryl further down on this page.
Tips for parents of teens, looking for counselling for their teen:
If at all possible, have your youth, teen, or young adult look around on my site, and talk with them about the idea of attending counselling. Have them be a partner in choosing their counsellor - whether it is me or whether it is someone else that they choose. The work we will be able to do together will be much more successful if they are part of the set-up process so that they can have a voice in this choice. Their experience with counselling will be much more rewarding and they will be more invested in the work. Let me know if you have any questions about how to approach your youth, teen, or young adult about the idea of counselling. My contact information can be found here.
The Paperwork and Forms
On the day of your first appointment, you will need to bring the following completed three forms. The first is an intake form, which asks some basic information about you and what brings you to counselling - please select either the youth version or the regular version as appropriate.
The next form is a consent form around services and confidentiality, and the last is a consent form around payment and fees (if you are the parent of a teen, you can review and sign this form). They are linked here below:
2. Please print, read carefully, and sign this confidentiality and consent form here.
3. Please print, read carefully, and sign this consent form regarding fees and payment here.
If you do not have access to a printer there these forms can be made available at the beginning of your session time, but to save time in your appointment, it helps if you are able to fill these forms out ahead of the appointment. All of these forms will be reviewed again at the start of your first session.
Counselling, psychotherapy, and life coaching are all offered. Every session is confidential and at no time will any records be shared without your explicit written permission, unless a situation involving personal or public safety is involved that requires disclosure by regulations (see the consent form below for full information and details).
Directions and Parking
Cheryl's office is located inside the red brick building just south of The American House restaurant, with the entrance and parking off Mill Street (which turns into Waterdown Road as it goes south toward Burlington). Parking is free of charge. Enter through the door at the front of the building and have a seat in the waiting area.
Feel free to bring a magazine or book with you while you wait. Please take a seat and Cheryl will come out to get you as she finishes with her previous client.
What To Expect?
For Cheryl's full blog post on What to Expect from Counselling, read more here. For other basic information about counselling with Cheryl, read more below.
Your First Meeting:
Feel free to bring a drink or snack to appointments if you want to. Cheryl will bring you to her office where you can set your things down. There is a Keurig machine as well - bring a mug and your favourite K-cup, or choose from a selection there if you like. Cheryl will then go over both of the consent forms with you, as well as your intake form.
What Do You Talk About?
Once you get through the paperwork, there is really no right or wrong answer for this – the discussion tends to go wherever you need to take it. Counselling is a tool to help you address whatever concerns you may have in the way that you feel most comfortable. Cheryl may ask you about certain goals that you have for counselling, including what styles or approaches you may find helpful in your sessions together, as well as how she can be most helpful to you.
What Goes on in a Session?
This can be different for every person. Some people are looking for strategies, approaches, and skills, or to work through some aspects on a therapy approach like CBT. Some people are looking for a safe space to just talk through their concerns, feelings, and emotions, or are looking for a space to reflect, learn, or gain some insight or support. Think a bit about what you might find most helpful and feel free to share this with Cheryl.
After your first appointment, Cheryl will talk with you about what you would like to see as a plan for your time together in counselling. You can talk about how many sessions you are hoping for, the spacing and timing of sessions, and what goals you may have. Appointments tend to be booked either weekly, every other or every three weeks, as a monthly check-in point, or in a book-as-needed style.
Cheryl will also ask how the session was for you. Did her approach match your needs? Is there anything she can do differently to be more helpful to you?
The Counselling Relationship
The most important aspect that determines the success of your time in counselling is your relationship with your therapist, so if there is anything Cheryl can do to better meet your needs, please let her know. She wants you to feel comfortable with your sessions above all else. The speed, the topics, and the direction of counselling are all up to you - and Cheryl can make suggestions as to what you can work on next if you get stuck.
Counselling relationships are dynamic, collaborative relationships where honesty and openness is most helpful, and feedback is always welcome, so feel free to share and build your plan together. Cheryl can help guide you as you go.
Appointments are arranged on an as-needed basis, with both daytime and evening hours available through the week. Many clients start out with weekly sessions and then move to bi-weekly, every third week, or monthly sessions as needed once some of the work is underway. Cheryl works to fit each client's needs and preferences, so just let her know what you had in mind for setting up a schedule.
Rates and Coverage
Many clients will find that they are covered by insurance benefits, and can bill for reimbursement to them after sessions. Rates are $120/hour +HST, paid by cash, cheque, or by credit for a 3% service charge (cash and cheque preferred). An introductory telephone call to determine fit and style is free of charge.
*Please note that cancellations require 24 hours notice by phone, or a full charge for the session applies.
Am I Covered By Insurance?
Benefit coverage is split about 50/50 for providers right now on who covers Registered Psychotherapists. The reason your insurance provider may not cover the RP designation is that, while the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) has been in development for many years, it has only come into effect on April 1st, 2015. Since this is a relatively new change, the government and insurance providers are working to catch up right now, as most benefits only cover designations that are regulated, which RPs now are regulated so can be added to many plans now.
What we have been told is that all major insurance companies do in fact cover the RP designation, incl. Sunlife, Greenshield, etc., but these companies are requiring each individual plan holder to request that the service be added to their plans. For instance, if someone works for Reitman's, then the HR at Reitman's has to request that the RP designation be added to the plan for their employees, and it won't cost the company anything extra to add this coverage onto their plan - it is just a formality that the request for this comes from the plan holder instead of imposed on the plan holder (i.e. Reitman's) by the overall corporation (i.e. Sunlife). Some of my clients have had some success in talking to the HR departments and getting the RP coverage added to their plans.
The other consideration worth noting, if your insurance doesn't cover RPs, but for instance may only cover a Psychologist designation, is how much coverage you get with your insurance. Many of the clients that end up working with me have $500 coverage with a Psychologist at 80% to 100% coverage of this - if a Psychologist (which is covered) is charging $250 an hour, that coverage will then only cover about two sessions. Then, if the client wants to continue ongoing therapy with the same therapy provider, they are now going to be paying out of pocket at a much higher rate for the remaining sessions with that Psychologist than they would with an RP (i.e. they will get two sessions covered, but then pay a much higher rate at $250 an hour for sessions that are no longer covered as to what they would be paying for an RP for the same services). If they are looking for longer-term service, it often makes more sense in the long run to start with an RP a lot of the time rather than switch providers mid-way through once coverage ends.
The other thing I always try to check out with people as well is how long the wait times are with Psychologists and the frequency of appointments they might be able to get there, and to assess if this fits with their goals for therapy. If there are wait lists and wait times between appointments, but that is fine for them, then a Psychologist may be a good option for them to go with. However, if their needs are greater than those limitations, it might be better to look at other options like RP as well for those reasons. Psychologists are often on wait-lists because they still are one of the few covered by insurance, so everyone is trying to get in to see them. People might need to consider that in finding the right provider for them when they weigh all those factors in.
What is the Difference Between a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and a Psychotherapist?
A Psychiatrist has gone to medical school to become a doctor, and has decided to specialize in mental health and mental illness. They have their M.D., and they focus mainly on diagnosis and symptom management of complex mental health and mental illness largely through the use of pharmaceuticals. They have long wait lists, usually over 6-8 months long, and can only be accessed by a referral from a family doctor. While they are covered by Canadian health coverage, they do not generally provide ongoing therapy, counselling, or life coaching.
A Psychologist holds a Ph.D, while an Psychotherapist (RP) holds a Master's degree. A Psychologist has the ability to diagnose clients, which an RP cannot do, but usually your family doctor is your best choice for a diagnosis for mental health as they are trained in this area and covered by our healthcare (if that is something you are looking for). Your family doctor can diagnose mental health in a regular appointment.
A Psychologist may be a good choice for complex and persistent mental illnesses, or if you require specific testing, or assessments, reports, and so on, as they do have a more specific level of training in those specific areas - but if you are looking at the therapy aspect of counselling, the services by an RP and a Psychologist are virtually the same.
I know that is a lot of information, but I hope that helps you in making the right decision for you and/or your family in finding the right service provider and choosing the route that best fits your specific needs. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
Please don't hesitate to contact Cheryl if you have any additional questions or concerns about the counselling process.
These are some of my favourite resources I often refer clients to:
Brene Brown Videos (Vulnerability, Shame, and Trust):
- Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerability – discusses how to live a meaningful and engaged life
- Brene Brown - Listening To Shame (part 2 of above) - talks about shame's impact on how we live life and how to overcome this
- Brene Brown - The Price of Invulnerability (part 3 of above) - summing up and elaborating on the concepts of shame, empathy, courage, compassion, and how to live a full and meaningful life
- Brene Brown - Trust - what is trust, how to build it, how to understand it
Kyle Cease Videos:
- The Dangers of Closing Your Heart - how to move from your old identity and into who you are supposed to be and how to find real security in yourself
- Fixing Problems Creates More Problems - identity can be impacted by how you feel about what your problems are and why they are problems
- Saying Goodbye to Your Old Identity - to actually make change, you first have to say goodbye to what your old self brought yout
- You Can't Chase Freedom - how to unlock yourself and move away from fear and toward freedom
TEDtalks and Motivational Videos:
- Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are - TEDtalk
- Kelly McGonigal - How to Make Stress Your Friend – TED talk
- Susan Cain – The Power of Introverts , author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.
- Nick Vujicic – No Arms No Legs No Worries – a motivational speaker living with no limbs, describes his journey to gaining a real appreciation for life even through his limitations.
- The Compassionate Voice: Video – Self-Esteem and Worth with Sandra Reiche
- Self-Worth: Video – Working it Out Together with Sandra Reiche
- Anxiety – The Basics: Video – Working it Out Together with Sandra Reiche
- Perfectionism: Video – Working it Out Together with Sandra Reiche
Mental Health Phone Apps:
- Headspace – (free, android and iphone) - for mindfulness meditation
- Buddhify - (nominal one time fee, android and iphone) - 80 guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.
- Always There - (free, android and iphone) - App from KidsHelpPhone to get support on the go, safely and anonymously.
- Be Safe - (free, android and iphone) – create a safety plan for yourself that you can access quickly in times of need.
- Mindshift - (free, android and iphone) - help cope with anxiety by learning how to relax, develop more helpful ways of thinking, and indentify steps to help take charge of your anxiety.
- Pacifica - (free, android and iphone) - tool to help track mood, goals, health, CBT exercises, thought patterns, and relaxation exercises.
- PositiveU - (free, android and iphone) - practice the things you like about yourself and work on your relationship with yourself.
- 7 Cups of Tea - (free, android and iphone) - connect through chat to a trained listener to discuss any problems you may be having, to vent, or to get some advice or resources, or just to talk. Free, anonymous, and confidential. Also can be used in your browser.
- Rise up + Recover - (free, android and iphone) App to help with eating disorders - food, dieting, exercise, and body image.
- Sleep Cycle - ($0.99, android and iphone) - App that monitor's your sleep cycle and wakes you at the lightest point of sleep so you can wake up feeling less drowsy
- Walk Me Up - (free, android and iphone) Alarm that wakes you up by requiring you to walk a certain amount of steps to help you make it to early morning classes or get you out of bed on difficult days
- Blue Light Dimming app - search for this on your device's app store, they are free and eay to use, use it on your device at least 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.
Mental Health Websites and Online CBT modules:
- Teen Mental Health.org is a resource for understanding many aspects of mental health, stigma, the brain, and various diagnoses and treatment options.
- Understanding Mental Illness – From CMHA, a guide for information on various mental illnesses, symptoms, treatments, and more.
- MoodGYM - Get started at home with this great do-it-yourself CBT resource that can walk you through this treatment option from your own computer.
- See a visual comic depiction of one person's experience with depression to help know you aren't alone in how you are feeling, from Hyperbole and a Half, and see Part 2 of it here.
CCI (Centre for Clinical Interventions): Online modules for anxiety, depression, assertiveness, etc.
Anxiety and Stress Management:
- Anxiety: Real But Not True – article from the Huffington Post
- Deep Breathing Exercises - Try these exercises and search for others on YouTube
- Progressive Muscular Relaxation - An example of a muscle relaxation technique, which helps with anxiety but also helps with sleep.
- Imagery – Imagine places or times in your life that have been soothing and relaxing, and take time out to just imagine yourself in that place.
- 5 Languages of Love - Learn what your love language is, how you communicate best with your partner, and how to work together to find a communication style that meets both of your needs
- It Gets Better – A campaign of videos from celebrities as well as every day youth and adults sharing their story on how life gets better, and not to give up hope during difficult times arise in dealing with your sexual orientation. See here for a video from It Gets Better Canada. http://ok2bme.ca/videos/802
- To My Grade 7 Self – a video from the perspective of bullies looking back on their actions towards LGBTQ youth and sharing their insight towards change from Get REAL
- Born This Way Foundation – Supporting and empowering youth and a portal to share stories of bravery for all diversity and individuality
Grief and Loss:
- Bereaved Families of Ontario - Provides opportunities for the bereaved to share their experiences; and to receive support, understanding, and compassion from others who are also bereaved. The organization offers peer support groups and other supportive programming and workshops.
- The Coping Centre – located in Cambridge, this is a resource centre that you can visit to freely engage in the process of grieving and mourning, as well as connect with others that may be experiencing grief and loss
- Dr. Alan Wolfelt – books and resources to help with grief and mourning that focus on working through and supporting grief and mourning, instead of “treating” the emotions as if they were a disorder.
24/7 Help Phonelines:
Qualifications and Training
Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology - M.A.C.P.
- Yorkville University, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Bachelor of Education - I/S Biology and Math - B.Ed
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Oshawa, Ontario
Guidance 1 Additional Qualification Course
- University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Social Sciences Additional Basic Qualification Course
- University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biology and Psychology - B.ScH
- Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
- Level 1 Clinical Training, Gottman Method Couples Therapy - The Gottman Institute
- The Heart and Soul of Therapy - Dr. Scott Miller - University of Guelph
- 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques – Leading Edge Seminars
- Solution-Focused Therapy – John Beaton – University of Guelph
- Schools, Colleges, and Universities Summit on Mental Health and Substance Abuse
- Working with the Problem of Low Self-Esteem – Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
- Summit on Children and Youth Mental Health – Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health
- Companioning vs. Treating the Mourner – Dr. Alan Wolfelt – 2 days
- Youth Advocacy Training Institute (YATI) Training for Peer Mentors
- OUCHA Conference: Aboriginal Cultural Safety, Phone Apps, and Circle of Care
- Mental Health First Aid for Adults Who Interact With Youth (MHFA)
- Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB) – 2-Day Certification
- Therapist Creativity, Playfulness, and Presence - Hincks -Dellcrest Centre
- ASIST Training – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
- Healing and Flourishing Through Personal Meaning – 2-Day INPM Conference
- Working with Trauma and Awareness of Occupational Trauma – OCC Conference
- Solution-Focused Therapy Basic Skills (SFBT) – TAPE studies
- Opioid Problems, Treatment Solutions – CAMH
- Narrative Therapy with Grief and Loss – Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
- Mapping Narrative Therapeutic Conversation – Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
- Special Features of Sudden Death, Trauma Loss & Suicide Grief – Dr. Alan Wolfelt
- Exploring Eight Critical Questions for When Someone Dies – Dr. Alan Wolfelt
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Direct Service Workers – Hincks-Dellcrest Centre
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – Hincks-Dellcrest
- Anxiety Traps and CBT Antidotes – Dr. Christine Padesky
- safeTALK Certification – Suicide Awareness Training
- LGBTTIQ Training – Sheridan College
- Telecare Cambridge Distress Centre Training
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