FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT HAPPENS IN THERAPY?
When you arrive at the office, please have a seat in the waiting room. There is no receptionist, but Jennifer will come out and greet you at your appointment time.
If this is your first appointment, you will be asked to sign paper work regarding confidentiality, informed consent, and the cancellation policy. We will then begin an assessment to determine the best therapeutic modality to meet your goals. Once the initial session is completed, you may rebook or may want some time to determine if Jennifer is a good fit for you. It is important that the therapist be a good fit both in treatment modality and personality.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A THERAPIST?
It is important that you work with a therapist that you connect with and feel comfortable sharing vulnerable information with. Additionally, a therapist should also be receiving their own supervision and continually be updating their education and knowledge. It is important to refer to credentials and information about the therapist to get a “feel” if they are a good fit for you.
If you do not feel you and Jennifer have a connection, you may either discuss and process this with her, or choose not to rebook. Jennifer is also able to recommend other individuals in the community that may be a good fit.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
The number and frequency of sessions varies person to person. A family attending therapy to address and eating disorder may need six months to a year of therapy, or about 18 – 24 sessions. Individuals coming to work on coping strategies for challenging moments may need as few as five sessions. The duration and frequency are typically determined at the end of the initial assessment. Additionally, session duration may be re-evaluated throughout treatment and while Jennifer may make suggestions, it is always up to the client the duration and frequency in which they'd like to be seen.
WHAT IS CONFIDENTIALITY?
As part of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), Jennifer must adhere to guidelines around confidentiality. For this reason, what you share in sessions remains between yourself and Jennifer. There are times when individuals call and wish to know about someone else’s appointment. Please know that this information cannot be shared and would be a breach of confidentiality. Additionally, if you were to see Jennifer in the community, she will not acknowledge you in order to protect your privacy.
As per the OCSWSSW, there are limits to confidentiality that Jennifer is required to adhere to, particularly related to safety. These limits to confidentiality are:
if you say you are going to hurt yourself
if you say you are going to hurt someone else
if you say that a child is being abused
if you say that you have been abused by a licensed professional, such as a physician or another counsellor
if you are involved in a court case and session notes created by Jennifer are subpoenaed
For more information on confidentiality please click here
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
The office is located at
151 Frobisher Drive in Waterloo, Ontario. When you arrive, look for "C" buildings. Once you have located C, the office is room 109. The name on the office door is Dr. Season Tompkins and Dr. Kathy Smolewska.
IS THERE PARKING AT YOUR OFFICE?
Parking is free and available in front of the office building.
WHAT IS YOUR FEE AND DO YOU OFFER A SLIDING SCALE?
Please refer to the Services tab to see fees. At this current time, Jennifer does not offer a sliding scale as she only offers two appointment slots a week. Many workplaces have options for coverage under their health benefits. Please consult your insurance provider.
HOW DO I PAY?
Payment is due at the end of each appointment. Accepted methods of payment are cash, e-transfer, and credit card. If you have insurance, please note that payment is due in full at the end of each appointment, and your insurance will provide reimbursement.
ARE YOU COVERED UNDER OHIP?
Unfortunately, counselling is not currently covered under OHIP. However, some private insurance companies offer coverage for Registered Social Workers, such as Manulife, BlueCross, and Greenshield. Please consult your insurance provider prior to beginning treatment to determine your available coverage.
DO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS HAVE COVERAGE?
University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier students received coverage they may use to see a Registered Social Worker.
University of Waterloo
Full-time Graduate & Undergraduate students are covered up to $400 per the calendar year and up to 80% coverage per visit. A physician referral is required and must accompany the first claim. For further information, click here
University of Wilfrid Laurier
Full-time / Part-time Undergraduate students are covered for $800 per the policy year and
80% coverage per visit. For more information, click here
Full-time Graduate students are covered for $500 per the policy year and up to
$30 coverage per visit. For more information, click here
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM LATE FOR AN APPOINTMENT?
If you know you will be a few minutes late, please send Jennifer an e-mail to let her know. f you are unable to do so, please wait in the waiting room and Jennifer will come out to check if you have arrived. Due to scheduling, if you are late please note that the session will see end at the scheduled time.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Jennifer asks for 24 hours’ notice for a cancellation in order to allow other individuals to book the spot. Cancellation after that point will require you to pay the full session fee. Of course, there are unforeseen crisis that do happen, and in these situations the fee will be waived.
HOW DO I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
DO I NEED A REFERRAL?
Jennifer takes self-referrals, as well as referrals from practitioners who are requiring a specialized eating disorder treatment for their patient/client. In the case of a community-based referral, Jennifer will require a copy of the signed consent from the healthcare provider, as well as consent that they have informed the client of this referral.
I DON'T THINK I CAN REMEMBER ALL OF THIS INFORMATION!
It can be overwhelming to seek out support! Once you have booked an appointment, you will receive an e-mail confirmation that will also include helpful reminders, such as location, parking, and payment information. You are also welcome to call or e-mail Jennifer for any clairfication.