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Frequently Asked Questions

At Matatoa, our goal is to alleviate barriers and stress and help you live your most connected life.  In an effort to help, we have compiled a short list of frequently asked questions and their responses.

How long have you been practicing?

I'm glad that you asked!  I have been practicing Psychotherapy for over 22 years.  I studied at Bradley University in Illinois, and have worked with Individuals, Couples, and Families with Community Agencies as well as through Private Practice.  I have done extensive training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, as well as other therapeutic models.  

What type of therapy do you practice?

I am an attachment focused, trauma informed therapist.  I start with a strong foundation in Emotionally Focused Therapy, but also draw strongly on Brene Brown's shame resilience work, as well as Dyadic Developmental PsychotherapyI truly believe that behavior makes sense. It can be shaped by current circumstances, past experiences, or a combination of both. Throughout our lives, we receive messages from others and ourselves that may discourage us from showing up as our authentic selves, leading us to "armor up" to protect ourselves. While this response may be necessary at the time, maintaining these protective mechanisms ultimately keeps our true selves hidden, preventing us from being truly seen or heard by others. It also fosters heightened vigilance regarding the actions and perceived intentions of those around us. There is more information throughout my website.  

What professional organizations are you a part of?

I am a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.  I am also a Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.  I am also a member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Toronto Centre for Emotionally Focused Therapy.  I supervise multiple clinicians (Helpful Resources Section),  so I don't seem to be a good fit for you, feel free to check them out.

How much do you charge? Are you covered by insurance?

This is a popular question.  My rates are $180/hour +hst (The Canadian Government has announced that it will stop requiring Psychotherapists to charge HST, but has not announced a start date form that change.  For now, I am required to continue to charge HST).

Most insurance plans do cover Registered Psychotherapy up to a certain amount, which varies by plan.  Please contact your insurer directly to confirm coverage.

I am a registered NIHB provider.

Direct Billing through TELUS may be available.

What are your strengths and limitations?

This is a hard question to answer.  I would say my greatest strengths are my curiosity and belief in human goodness.  I genuinely believe that people are doing the best they can with the cards they have been dealt.  I have worked with hundreds of people over the last 22 years, and I have yet to meet someone who is "bad" or "beyond help."  I believe behaviour makes sense, although, at times it is hard to figure it out due to the multitude of complexities within human communication.  I try to really see and hear my clients in order to help them feel grounded and connected.

I am not qualified to treat Eating Disorders, and I am unable to do relationship therapy when abuse is present.  

What is a typical session like?

I ALWAYS have ideas and places to go within session, but it's ultimately up to you.  I will guide and help, be right there with wonderings and observations, but ultimately, your session is for what you want.  Typically, sessions are held in my office, which is in my barn.  Sometimes it is more effective to talk while we enjoy a walk through the forest (weather and time dependent), or we may groom a horse while we talk. At times, we will take a horse into the arena or a paddock and work with them on things like accessing your curiosity and generous assumptions (we do this so naturally in the context of animals).


We will use attachment theory to understand, explore, and validate your feelings and experiences.  Sessions look different based on the goal and who is present.  Couples therapy is probably the most predictable, in that we will work together to identify and transform negative patterns of interaction, moving disconnecting and painful cycles to patterns of reaching and connecting.  I do not work with children under the age of 12 without their family or at least 1 caregiver present.  When you were this age, would you rather have had an adult to talk to once a week or so, or would you rather have had your family change and grow with you?

How often do you anticipate seeing me and for how long?

The research is very clear and consistent on this one-the more frequent your sessions, the more quickly you will experience positive change in your life.  The industry standard is once a week.  I realize that this is difficult for many, in that we all lead such busy lives, so booking sessions in completely in your hands.  I use an online client portal to allow you to book sessions at times that work for you.  You can book a reoccurring time, or change it each session. 

How long is a harder question to answer.  I do not anticipate seeing you for a lengthy period of time, although that depends on many factors, like the frequency of sessions, the complexity of the issues/goals that you bring, and your support outside of therapy.  I find that for a lot of people, 8-12 weekly sessions is often enough, or at least enough to decrease the frequency of sessions to "booster" style sessions.  For couples, a general timeline for couples who are not struggling with trauma histories and are seen weekly is 12 weeks for them to experience lasting change.  

What is the next step?

I'm glad you asked!  I offer a free consultation call, which I would recommend you use-it is an opportunity to get to know me a little and try to get a sense if I am a good fit for you.  You can ask anything you'd like, and tell me a little bit about what you are dealing with.  After that, if we both think it makes sense, I will sign you up to my online portal, send a few forms, and you are able to book your first session.   You can set this up through the book now function (be sure to click "sign in" first).

If you are ready to go, and wish to forego the free call, then drop me an email explaining that, and I can hook you up right away.

Right now, I am accepting new clients and likely have openings in my schedule in the next week (I try to have more available appointment times than active clients so that everyone can be seen).  

Bear and Natasha
Winter at Matatoa
Bear and Natasha again
Change can be beautiful
Growth is painful.  Change is painful.  But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong.
Canine therapists
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