Sandy Jardine & Associates

Individual & Family Counsellor

Frequently Asked Questions

What is counselling?

Counselling is a process that allows you to explore and discuss various aspects of your life in an open and free manner that is not always possible with friends and family.  Counselling sessions are scheduled appointments, they occur in a private and confidential setting, and what you discuss in your sessions with your counsellor is protected by the professional standards of the counsellor and the agency.  Counselling is a process in which you have the opportunity to explore the difficulties that you are experiencing, gain a better understanding of yourself, your relationships and your life, and work towards making the changes that are most important to you. 

What’s the difference between a social worker and other helpers?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that has specialized in psychiatry. They specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illness and they prescribe medication. In order to access a psychiatrist, you need a referral from your family doctor. In Ontario, a psychologist has a PhD and are able to complete diagnostic testing and assessments.  Some also provide counselling services.  Many psychologists work in private practice.

Social workers have a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree in social work.  Social workers provide most of counselling services in Ontario. Social workers do not prescribe medication and are not covered by OHIP.  Social worker’s services may be covered through employee benefits, employee assistance plans, private insurance, or through victim services money, depending on the specific policy and the specific issue.

Is this service covered by OHIP or anyone else?

Counselling is not covered by OHIP, but if you have insurance you could contact your service provider to see if social work services are covered

Do I need a referral to obtain counselling?

You do not need a referral.

How can I get the most out of counselling?

There are steps you can take that will help make counselling more beneficial to you, such as:
Identify the concerns that have led you to seek counselling, be prepared to work on goals, be willing to explore new views and behaviours. Think about what you would like to discuss, attend and arrive on time for your sessions, and complete any homework.

How long will I need counselling for?

Everyone’s needs and resources are different; therefore, everyone resolves their problems at their own pace.  There is no specific timeline at which issues should be resolved.  Once your goals are identified, there will be a discussion and an agreement regarding the amount of time that we agree to work together towards those goals.  The most important thing is that steps are being taken to make positive changes and choices in your life and that you are moving towards your goals.

Is counselling confidential?

Please see my confidentiality policy

Confidentiality Policy

All notes, records and communications created by Sandy Jardine, MSW RSW concerning your involvement as a client are kept secure and confidential and can be shared only with your written consent. I keep a record of all appointments/visits. Information may be shared within my practice for case supervision and peer review. Any client information is kept within my practice in strictest confidence.
There are a few exceptions to confidentiality when the law requires that clinical records be disclosed under strict conditions. In the following situations the law requires that reports be made and/or information released:
Suspected child abuse or neglect
Any life threatening danger to a client or to a third party (threat of suicide, threat towards others)
Court orders and subpoenas

Privacy Policy

Sandy Jardine, MSW RSW strictly adheres to current legislation governing personal privacy (Personal Health Information Protection Act). The information I collect is used to:
Ensure I can contact you, maintain accountability as a service provider, ensure safety, legal and ethical standards are met. All clinical files and data are stored in a secure location or on a secure server.