Psychotherapy as an Investment in Yourself

People often wonder whether they need therapy, or whether it will be a worthwhile investment of time and resources. This is particularly true of psychodynamic therapy – often described as “talk therapy” – which involves taking time out of a busy life to reflect on yourself.

Many people who invest in suitably thorough therapeutic processes find that it helps them not only to address common psychological symptoms such as low mood, worry, and low self-esteem, but also to live freer and more fulfilling lives.

Research backs this up. A highly cited review of studies of thorough therapeutic processes lasting a suitably long time found significantly higher outcomes in overall effectiveness, target problems, and personality functioning than in shorter and more surface-oriented kinds of therapy.

Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Problems, and Relationship Concerns

“An estimated 600,000 Canadians reported that in the previous 12 months they had an unmet mental health care need, and more than 1,000,000 had a partially met mental health care need” (Statistics Canada)

Many Canadians recognize that it is important to attend to their psychological well-being. Often, people first recognize that there is a problem when they feel depressed, anxious, low self-esteem, or troubled by their relationship patterns.

Depression

Psychotherapy can help with depressive symptoms such as low mood and concentration problems.

Anxiety

Anxiety psychotherapy can address distressing psychological and bodily symptoms.

Self-Esteem & Self-Confidence

Psychotherapy can allow you to acquire new ways of feeling about yourself.

Relationships

In psychotherapy, you can explore underlying reasons for relationship difficulties.

Psychodynamic Therapy Helps People Understand Themselves and Get to the Root of their Concerns

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a time-tested method of therapy backed up by compelling research findings suggesting that it can help. It is based in psychoanalysis, which is a similar but more intensive form of therapy. Both start from the premise that self-understanding is important in overcoming personal and psychological difficulties. Below you will find information about the consultation and therapy process, as well as a review of some of the evidence for the effectiveness of psychodynamic therapy.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a kind of talk therapy allowing for depth of exploration.

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis is an intensive therapy that takes account of unconscious aspects of the mind.

Is Psychotherapy Effective?

Psychotherapy can be an effective approach to helping address various difficulties

Registered Psychotherapist and Canadian Certified Counsellor in Downtown Toronto

Bradley Murray, DPhil, is a downtown Toronto psychotherapist with extensive experience providing consultations, assessments, and psychotherapy in private practice, mental health clinic, and employee assistance program settings. Read full profile

Process

This is typically what the process looks like when you request a consultation:

Discuss Your Options For Therapy

Arrange a confidential initial telephone consultation, giving you the opportunity to discuss what you are looking for and ask about my services.

Request a Consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in a consultation for psychodynamic psychotherapy?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an approach to therapy that is based on psychoanalysis. Like psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy emphasizes the pursuit of self-understanding. However, psychodynamic therapy is less intensive than psychoanalysis, requiring a less substantial commitment of time and resources.

In psychodynamic psychotherapy, we consider the inner “dynamics” of the mind, including aspects that are not normally part of conscious awareness but which can still contribute to psychological distress.

In a consultation for psychodynamic psychotherapy, we aim to get a sense of whether you are curious to pursue this kind of self-understanding, and whether the psychodynamic approach might be helpful for you in addressing psychological distress you are experiencing.

What is involved in a consultation for psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is an approach that aims to generate a depth of self-understanding that is generally not possible using less intensive psychotherapies. The psychoanalytic model is based on the observation that there are many aspects of a person’s mind and motivations that lie outside of conscious awareness.

The psychoanalytic approach differs in emphasis from the cognitive psychological/CBT approach. Whereas the cognitive approach focuses on rational processes and their breakdown, psychoanalysis takes an interests in a person’s inner life, including fantasies, wishes, and dreams. This makes psychoanalysis by its nature a uniquely exploratory process.

The psychoanalytic process is facilitated by the use of the couch, and the regular and frequent scheduling of sessions.

In a psychoanalytic consultation, we want to consider whether you are curious to pursue the kind of self-understanding that psychoanalysis aims to generate, and ways in which this understanding might help with any symptoms or psychological distress you experience. We also want to know whether you will feel comfortable devoting time to a psychoanalysis at this point in your life.

Do you offer after hours appointments?

Some appointments may be available in the evening. Please let me know about your availability when we first speak.

Do I need a referral from a physician?

It is not necessary to be referred by a physician. Individuals may self-refer to see me.

Is psychotherapy in Toronto covered by OHIP?

My psychotherapy services are not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), which means that individuals pay out-of-pocket. This is standard in Toronto and the rest of the province for non-physician psychotherapists. Clients may be eligible for reimbursement of some psychotherapy fees from extended health plans, but should check ahead of time see whether their plan will cover their psychotherapist’s services. Therapy may be viewed as an investment in oneself, and engaging in a therapeutic processes typically requires some financial commitment.

Do you prescribe medications?

I do not prescribe medications. Individuals who wish to discuss medications should speak with a physician, such as their general practitioner.

Is my information kept confidential?

As outlined by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), confidentiality is a cornerstone of psychotherapy, and is required given the sensitive personal information that patients disclose. Strict standards of confidentiality are adhered to.

What is the difference between a Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Psychologist/Psychological Associate, Registered Social Worker, and a psychiatrist?

Clinicians with any of these types of designation can provide a range of psychotherapy services. One difference is that each type of clinician belongs to a different College. A Registered Psychotherapist (which is the designation of most Toronto psychotherapists affiliated with The Psychotherapy Practice) has met requirements for admission of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. These psychotherapists have an “RP” designation. Psychologists and psychiatrists also offer psychotherapy. These practitioners often conduct psychotherapy within a framework which includes a formal diagnosis of the patient’s suspected mental disorder (in North America, this usually involves employing the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM]). Psychiatrists, as physicians, may prescribe psychotropic medications to their patients.

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