Ottawa Therapists at Family Therapy


What Happens in Therapy?

At our first appointment, we will discuss what concerns or worries brought you to seek counselling. We will ask you questions regarding the history of your issue and what you are hoping to accomplish through our sessions. Through our conversation together, we will discover if we have a good rapport and want to continue working together.

In the video, Nataxja Cini of Family Therapy shares more about what to expect at your counselling session.


Session lengths vary depending upon the type of appointment which has been booked. For example, your first couple’s appointment is longer than your follow up appointments.

Initial Child And Youth Appointment
Your child and youth therapist wishes to meet with both parents or primary caregivers for child and youth under the age of 15. This appointment is approximately 90 minutes. As parents, you know and understand your child and youth the best. Your child and youth therapist wants to gather as much information about your child from you. What is happening with your child? when did this behaviour start? What have you already tried at home? What is going on in your lives- have you moved recently, any deaths in the family or other major or subtle changes, has anyone been sick, lost their job or started a new position, recently birth of a new infant or other life changes?

Follow Up Child And Youth Appointments
Your child and youth will see the therapist anywhere from 30 – 50 minutes depending upon your child’s age. Your child and youth therapist may wish to talk with you at the beginning or end of the appointment.

Youth 16 Years And Older Appointments
By the time your child is 16 years old, she or he is very capable of speaking independently with our therapists. Parents are usually not involved in an older teens therapy session. Your teen can ask for you to join them if they wish to discuss some issues with you.

Initial Couples’ Appointment
Your initial couples’ appointment is approximately 90 minutes. This allows both partners to speak with the therapist and explain how each of you are experiencing the difficulties and challenges in your relationship and to talk about your hopes and goals for therapy. Your therapist will have additional questions she or he may wish to ask you. Your therapist may have sent your forms prior to your appointment to fill out or may hand out forms to complete at home at this appointment.

Follow Up Couples’ Appointments
Your second and third couple’s appointment are both individual appointments for each of you. This gives your therapist the opportunity to get to know you better as an individual. This appointment is approximately 50 minutes. From then on you will meet with the therapist together. You always have the opposite ii to book an individual appointment with your therapist at any time.

Initial And Follow Up Individual Appointments
All individual appointments are approximately 50 minutes. You may request a longer appointment is necessary.


We see clients anywhere between from 10 to 25 sessions. The duration of your therapy is up to you. It depends on your goal, the complexity of the situation, and your readiness to change. Because of other commitments people do take a break from counselling and then return again at a later date. It takes time for change to happen.


We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or email transfers at the beginning or end of each session.


OHIP does not cover psychotherapy or counselling services. You may have third party or health benefits from your employer. At the end of each session, you will get a receipt which you send to your third party insurance. Please contact your third party or health benefits from your employer to better understand your insurance policy and your coverage. Most third party insurance accept our receipts.


For couples, we meet together as we explore your history and your concerns. Jointly we try to identify the negative interactive patterns that cause conflict in your relationship. We look for ways to diffuse the conflict and tension so we can open pathways to more positive communication and stronger connection with each other.


When working with adolescents, there is not very much communication between the therapist and parents, as it’s important to build up trust and respect for your teen’s privacy. Youth may choose to invite you into their session. If we feel your youth is at risk we will notify you. We discuss boundaries and limitations to confidentially at the beginning of therapy with our teen clients.


Many of us do not take the time to be self-reflective. We just know we are hurt, something in our life is not working, we keep on getting stuck in the same place in our relationships or we keep bumping into the same problem again and again. Therapy gives you the time and space, dedicated to understanding yourself, your past, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Therapy gives you the undivided attention of a therapist who focuses on you and what you want to talk about and explore. Therapy can tenderly help you uncover the parts of yourself that are not working and encourages you examine and hopefully experience positive growth.

Looking inside and learning more about yourself can help you learn more about your emotions, why you react to certain situations and how you can better understand yourself. Talking with a therapist can help you better understand and have empathy for yourself and your struggles. Sometimes we are too critical and hard on ourselves and going to therapy can help us learn how to be kinder, less critical, and gentler on ourselves. And when we learn to be kinder towards ourselves and our shortcomings, it’s not surprising to learn that therapy can lead us to be more empathetic and understanding of the struggles and challenges others are facing.

Learning about yourself gives you the gift of being able to see patterns or habits you have which may be helpful or hurtful. Once you uncover your patterns and habits you can be empowered to make different choices that can lead to better outcomes for you. Too often we are trapped in automatic patterns, habits or routines from childhood which we do not realize prevent us from making conscious choices. You can be freed from automatically responding in your usual way.

Counselling can also help you understand why others around you react or behave in a certain way. Understanding yourself and your emotions can develop your ability to be more empathic towards your child or teen and your partner when they get upset or are unable to express themselves. Therapy can help you start to see the role you lay in your family dynamics and how you can help to deescalate and minimize family drama and fights in your personal relationships. Understanding yourself is the first step in helping you understanding others and developing stronger personal relationships.


We experience so many emotions and sometimes our emotions do get the better of us. It is so tragic when we hear of people who have lost precious relationships because of explosive anger and temper or people who cannot reach their full potential because they are overwhelmed by anxiety or even people who become physically ill because they are not managing stress.

If you think back to your childhood, how much did you learn about managing your emotions? What did your parents teach you about labeling your emotions? What are the healthy ways you learnt to manage and express your emotions? Most of us lack an emotional vocabulary or if we have one it might only focus on the positive emotions but little on the sad emotions. Notice I did not label sad emotions as negative or bad emotions.

Emotions are just that – emotions. Emotions neither good nor bad. Many are uncomfortable when it comes to handling their own or anyone else’s sad or upsetting emotions. Many of us did not receive comfort or support when we expressed sadness, anger, fear or other upsetting or unhappy emotions. How comfortable are you in expressing your anger? How comfortable are you when someone expresses their anger, fear, disappointment or sadness?

We all suffer from emotional overload from time to time. In the heat of the moment, our emotions spill over, we say hurtful words, and the damage is done to those we love and to ourselves. Are you able to express your feelings in a way that is not throwing hurtful spiteful words at another person? What would it be like if you could be angry, hurt, upset, or disappointed and express your feelings in a positive manner where you could be heard and understood?

Whether you seek individual therapy, couples therapy or family therapy, you and your therapist can work together to help you talk about your emotions in a more positive, healthy, and helpful manner. Our wish for clients in therapy is to help each one of them learn, take ownership, and express their emotions in a positive manner. How you feel is important. And how you express yourself is equally important. One of the goals of therapy can be for you to learn how to express yourself.

You are not your emotions. No matter how strong and powerful your emotions feel they are separate from who you are. Emotions come and go like the weather, the rain, and the wind. And therapy can help you learn how to tolerate these strong feelings and how to give yourself space so you do not need to lash out in anger, fear, anxiety or rage. Someone once told me, emotions last just seconds and then you get to choose how you want to feel and even how long you want to feel that way. This is not to dismiss the pain and sorrow you feel when you are betrayed but for you to understand you do not need to hold onto anger, rage or fear forever.

Psychotherapy can help you learn to manage a wide array of emotions. You can learn how to effectively manage stress, learn how to express anger in a healthy manner, deal with grief, loss and even all the emotions that come with separation and divorce.


Sometimes people hesitate to talk with a therapist as they fear therapy is a lifetime commitment that has no end in sight. Here at Family-Therapy we tailor your therapy to your needs and desires. Therapy helps you uncover your strengths, talk about parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable or sad, and learn new skills that will allow you to deal with your life challenges. There is no fixed amount of time you need to spend in therapy. Yes, we cannot fix problems overnight or in one session, but you do not need to see your therapist forever unless this is what you want.

Therapy is a personal and private choice. Our therapists are here to provide you with confidential, understanding, and warm space for you to talk about your problems, your needs and your troubles. This is your time and space for you to talk about your fears, your worries, your hurt, and your pain. And this is also the space for you to create solutions and strategies that allow you to make different choices and develop new habits that can lead to better outcomes and more positive healthy choices for yourself and your family.

Therapy does take time and commitment. A commitment to yourself that you will try something new and you will try to work on developing new habits and breaking old patterns. Therapy involves overcoming setbacks because old habits are hard to break. Therapy sessions can be problem-solving sessions. This is the place where you can explore and discuss solutions with the help and guidance of your therapist. Therapy is an interactive process between you and your therapist. Your therapist listens and guides you through this process.

While therapy is not advice giving by your therapist, it can be the time you explore different choices for yourself, for as a couple or for your family. You can ask your therapist for different possible solutions, or how to develop new skills that can help you create new solutions. You get to decide which solutions are best for your circumstance.

Having a male or female therapist doesn’t make a difference when it comes to seeing a therapist. While clients do have a gender preference for your therapist, the gender of your therapist will not influence how she or he treats you, understands your issues or can help you. All therapists are trained to be empathetic and understanding. Whether you choose a male or female therapist, neither therapist will judge you or your choices or your words. Your therapist wants you to feel free to be yourself and talk about the issues and challenges you are facing. As a therapist, I have had both male and female therapists and honestly gender does not impact how a therapist can help you develop solutions that work for your life.


We accept referrals directly from Ottawa, Kanata and surrounding area Family Doctors, Paediatricians, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. Please call us or fax us at 1-613-777-4975. Use our Referral Form for your convenience. We offer most appointments within a 1 week time frame.

Take the first step by calling us today. Our dedicated psychotherapists in
Ottawa want to help you.

Confidential and Empathetic Counselling

Family-Therapy’s family counselling services in Ottawa, Nepean, and Kanata aim to help you and your families cope with a wide range of complex challenges. Seek timely help and resolve difficult situations by discussing them with a trained professional therapist. We work with refugee claimants and Military members and their families. For more information about our services or to set up an appointment, please call 613-287-3799 or email us. Doctors, Therapists, and Lawyers can fax us at 1-613-777-4975.