Psychotherapy and Counselling

Sometimes referred to as “the talking cure”, both psychotherapy and counselling are dialogues between the client and psychologist. That is, psychotherapy and counselling are collaborative endeavours between the psychologist and the client in which the client discusses his/ her difficulties, concerns, challenges, needs, conflicts and feelings in a non-judgemental climate of acceptance and support.

The psychologist offers the client clarifications, interpretations, empathy, information and an objective sounding board in a relationship which puts the needs of the client first. The processes of psychotherapy are designed to help the client remove troublesome symptoms, change self-defeating or problematic behaviour and promote personal growth and development. Psychotherapy is usually considered to work on deeper problems which may have their root in the individual’s childhood.

Counselling tends to be more here-and-now focused, and the psychologist uses a more instructive, active approach than is typical of some psychotherapies. At Gilmour Psychological Services®, the psychologists stay with mainstream, scientifically developed and proven therapeutic approaches. Our psychologists are well trained in a variety of psychotherapy and counselling approaches for a wide spectrum of problems and age ranges.

Psychological Testing and Assessment

Psychological testing  involves the use of reliable and valid paper and pencil questionnaires and the hands on manipulation of materials to help uncover the individual’s personality, psychological problems, intelligence level and aptitudes, vocational interests and so on.

Psychological assessment   is usually done through interviewing the client over one or two sessions to determine the nature of his or her problems and a treatment plan. Testing and assessments help the psychologist and client determine together what the nature and extent of his or her strengths and weaknesses are and what the best course of action would be.


Consultations are brief, one or two session, discussions between the psychologist and client or the psychologist and another professional (another health care provider, employee assistance counsellor, or lawyer, for example) in which the psychologist is presented with a relatively brief synopsis of a problem and asked for his or her advice and recommendations. The psychologist depends on his or her education, training, experience and reading of the scientific literature to give advice in this context, rather than his or her direct experience of the client.

In some situations, consultation may also refer to the process of psychological testing or assessment, because the psychologist produces an expert opinion and the process is complete, as a “package”, separate from ongoing psychotherapy or counselling.

GPS Psychologists

All our psychologists use mainstream psychological treatments grounded in the science of psychology. They combine technical expertise, continually updated knowledge, years of experience and compassionate support. As well as psychotherapy and counseling, they offer psychological testing and consultation. Treatment is tailored to the needs of the client and services are offered in both English and French.

All partners and associates are fully qualified professional psychologists, all have PhDs, and are registered as psychologists with the Province of Ontario. Maintaining the highest professional standards is always a priority. While psychological services are not covered by OHIP, all Extended Health Care Plans provide some reimbursement for psychological service fees.

What can I expect when I see a Psychologist?

First Contact

When you first call for information one of our psychologists will explain the initial process of assessing what your difficulties and therapeutic needs are. Before you ever come in, you will be told about our fees, how payment is made, where our offices are located and even where the waiting rooms are. Questions about the psychologist’s training and experience can be answered over the phone as well.

First Visit

During your first visit our psychologist will ask you about what your current difficulties are, about your current life style, your physical health and your childhood and life experiences. This process usually takes two sessions, after which the psychologist is in a better position to make recommendations, explain whether she or he sees a role for her/him to help you and, if so, how therapy will proceed and the approximate time frame.

This assessment process allows you to assess the psychologist too, to ask questions and to see if the rapport between the two of you is sufficient for this type of work. At the end of the first session, you will be given a general information hand out that informs you of the philosophy of psychological services, how payment works, what to do if you have an emergency and a bit of a resumé about the psychologist you are seeing. Each psychologist has developed her/his own information handout, so that treatment can proceed after you have been fully informed and are comfortable that you know to what you are making a commitment.


For couples, the assessment procedure is a bit different. First the couple is seen together to determine the nature of the couple’s problems and the history of the relationship. Then each member of the couple comes in for his/her own individual session as described above. Then the couple is seen together again for a fourth appointment in which the psychologist explains what she/he has determined to be the relationship’s strengths and weaknesses, if the psychologist feels he/she can be of use to the client and if so how he/she will work with the client and the time frame. Family therapy involves most or all members of the family, seen as a group, with some or all members also assessed individually.

Click here to see Why should I pay more to see a Psychologist?