The PEACE Approach

PEACE Psychotherapy consists of a small group of psychotherapists committed to promoting empathy and compassion for everyone. We understand that many people and their families are struggling with powerful negative emotions, impulses and behaviours, and we are prepared to fight the good fight, even when it gets messy. We will ask the difficult questions and support you in the process. We believe that empathy is essential for living a good life, and that all people, no matter how hopeless they feel, have the capacity for change and the desire to live a life worth living. We have devoted our professional lives to helping people learn to accept the things they cannot change, to change the things they can, and gain the wisdom to determine the difference.

Empathy & Compassion – Effective therapists can bring about change when they are willing to address the elephant in the room and when they are confident enough to journey with you through your darkest thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Going where angels fear to tread – Therapists often avoid addressing difficult themes due to limited skills, confidence, or simply because it is easier not to. Accepting difficult realities is often a key for the solution though, as many problems stem from dysfunctional attempts to avoid these realities. PEACE psychotherapy helps you see the value in taking on and facing the  source of your suffering, and sticks with you even when it gets messy.

Flexible services based on your needs – Creating change in your life requires significant effort and on-going commitment to learning new skills and applying them. PEACE Psychotherapy offers a range of services tailored to your specific needs.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is increasingly considered a gold standard for the treatment of problems related to emotional dysregulation. However, in most instances, it requires a significant financial and time commitment. Programs require participants to attend two sessions per week, one individual session and one group session. Because it is in such high demand, therapists providing this service can afford to charge very high rates.

At PEACE Psychotherapy, we strive to provide a service that is effective, while keeping the costs down so that more people can benefit from the teachings that are central to DBT. Skills training is offered in both individual and group formats. ­

The DBT treatment group is not for everyone, as participation requires a certain level of commitment. First and foremost, participants must be committed to working on personal goals, and willing to discuss their efforts, successes, and failures in a group setting. Aside from common rules such as confidentiality, participants will be asked to make other commitments designed to create a safe and supportive environment that also promotes the learning and practicing of skillful behavior.

Clients who are exclusively interested in individual therapy can also benefit from the skills taught in a typical DBT course. You and your therapist will, after determining your goals and aspirations, focus on learning skills that are most relevant to the current situation. In order to compensate for the need to spend some session time on skills learning, this requires an increased focus on between-session readings and homework.

In order to solve some of life’s problems, we often have to learn new ways of doing things. Skills training focuses on four primary areas:

  1. developing self-awareness and insight
  2. regulating emotions
  3. tolerating destructive impulses without acting on them
  4. interacting effectively with others.

Skills training recognizes that if we knew how to be effective in a situation, we would be. DBT Skills are evidence-based, scientifically validated skills that are increasingly taught to people with everyday problems as well as those whose lives are spiraling out of control.

 

Things You Should Know

Potential Risks and Benefits of Psychotherapy

Known Benefits of Psychotherapy

Research has shown that most of the common approaches to therapy are about equally successful. In general, psychotherapy clients are better off after therapy than they were before it, and they are better off after therapy than 80% of untreated persons. Therapy is very helpful when the client is depressed, anxious, unhappy, a survivor of trauma, or suffering from a life-problem which requires lots of emotional energy and attention. People who are depressed may find their mood lifting. Others may no longer feel afraid, angry, or anxious. In therapy, people have a chance to talk things out fully until their feelings are relieved or the problems are solved. Clients’ relationships and coping skills may improve greatly. They may get more satisfaction out of social and family relationships. Their personal goals and values may become clearer. They may grow in many directions—as persons, in their close relationships, in their work or schooling, and in the ability to enjoy their lives. At PEACE Psychotherapy, we do not take on clients we do not think we can help.

In particular, a DBT approach focuses on closely analysing maladaptive behaviour patterns and learning and practicing skills to be more effective in life, and it has been very effective at treating problems related to emotional dysregulation. Family therapy can help to change patterns of interaction in the family that contribute to the problem and interfere with efforts to progress. There are also added benefits to group therapy, including building social networks, learning and practicing skillful living, increased self-confidence, and a reduction in social anxiety.

Common Risks Associated with Psychotherapy

There are potential risks to psychotherapy. People may initially feel worse as the therapy progresses. For example, in therapy, there is a risk that clients will, for a time, have uncomfortable levels of sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, or other negative feelings. Clients may recall unpleasant memories. These feelings or memories may bother a client at work or in school. Sometimes, too, a client’s problems may temporarily worsen after the beginning of treatment. Most of these risks are to be expected when people are making important changes in their lives. In rare cases, psychotherapy may even trigger some people to have thoughts about wanting to hurt themselves or end their lives. It is always important that you tell your therapist if you are having any frightening or dangerous thoughts or feelings, or if you are considering harming yourself or someone else. If there is significant suicidal ideation or a history of suicidal attempts and we do agree to work together, we will expect that your family or significant other supports are aware of this, and that you are prepared to use a crisis service if necessary.

Some clients develop strong feelings about their therapists. This is especially true in longer therapies. Such feelings are normal, even if sometimes uncomfortable or confusing. Any feelings are possible, and the rule for them all is to talk them over with the therapist. They are experienced with this and will help you understand how this is part of your progress.

Therapy can also be very challenging, as it is often about making changes or about looking at yourself differently. Therapy can change how you live, and it can change how you feel about your relationships.

While a high degree of confidentiality is necessary for therapy to be effective, there are some limits to confidentiality. For example, therapists often participate in consultations, or “therapy for the therapist”, where it may be helpful to discuss your case. Also, disclosures of intent to self-harm or harm others may require your therapist to notify the legal guardian or a trusted family member. This is also the case where a child may be in need of protection. If there is anything you wish to discuss in therapy that you do not want shared with anyone, please discuss this with your therapist. In family therapy, it might at times be necessary to encourage more open communication between family members, and to address concerns and issues that have gone unacknowledged for years.

Psychotherapy is not free and for many there is a personal financial cost. If you have health insurance, it may pay some portion of the fee. Prior to beginning therapy we recommend you speak to your insurance representative and find out how much you are expected to pay and if there are limits to the number of sessions your insurance will provide.

Some research suggests that when one spouse or partner meets alone with a therapist to discuss problems involving the other partner, there is a chance that this could increase tension for a couple. Therapy may disrupt a marital relationship and sometimes may even lead to a divorce. For this reason, many marital or relationship problems are best addressed with both individuals coming to therapy together.

Finally, not all therapy is effective. If you have been in therapy for several weeks or months, and it does not feel like you are making progress, you should speak to your therapist. It may be that you would do better with a different approach to therapy, or even with a different therapist. As therapists, we know that we cannot be everything to everybody, and we are comfortable helping you make a change if needed. If you wish for another professional’s opinion at any time, or wish to talk with another therapist, we will help you find a qualified person and will provide him or her with the information needed.

Confidentiality

As a client with PEACE Psychotherapy, your information will be kept private and confidential. There are limitations to confidentiality. Your therapist is required, by law, to disclose information about me without my consent if:

  • Someone is in danger of immediate harm;
  • A child under 16 is suspected or known to be at risk or has been abused or neglected;
  • There is a court order, subpoena, warrant or other requirement by law.

 

Service Description Fee
DBT Therapy Group On-going group. Participants commit to one Module (4 two-hour sessions) at a time. $400 / module (8 hours)
Therapy Session Individual, Couple, or Family $130-$160/hour
E-Therapy Counselling through confidential online audio/video forum $115/hour
Telephone Coaching In-between session support $100/hour
Other Services as Required i.e. homework review and feedback, therapeutic email correspondence, letter writing, counselling phone calls, report writing, clinical communication with other service providers $100/hour as agreed upon
Logistical Communication Phone calls, text messages, and emails related to appointment times and scheduling No charge

You may inquire about our sliding scale which can be determined on an individual basis.
In special circumstances, a monthly fee may be negotiated that would include things like session time, telephone consultations and travel time if required.

Rates are subject to periodic review with 30 day notification.