Counselling: Online, North York, Richmond Hill, Georgetown/Brampton, Toronto

Couples In Step has differing price points to meet your needs. Fees reflect training and experience. Fees range from 170/60 minutes to 216/60 minutes.  Couple sessions are typically 75 minutes. All services are online.

  • Sari is not accepting new client couples at this time. More about Sari
  • Lori is not accepting new client couples at this time. More about Lori
  • Yasmeen is not accepting new client couples at this time. More about Yasmeen
  • Please check back with Vanessa, our office admin, regularly to check on Sari’s, Yasmeen’s, and Lori’s availability if there is no space when you inquire.
  • Irene will be accepting clients for 3-Day Intensive Therapy and Discernment Counselling in 2022.
SARI BURKES, North York, 2022 Fees & Insurance
YASMEEN RAFIQ, Georgetown/Brampton, 2022 Fees & Insurance
LORI CANLAS DE PALA, Richmond Hill, 2022 Fees & Insurance
IRENE OUDYK-SUK, 2022 Fees & Insurance

Research has shown that a good therapy outcome depends on the client feeling positive about the counsellor. Some therapists invite potential clients to attend a brief, no-charge, 15 or 20 minute “meet and greet” meeting. Sometimes this is replaced with a brief introductory phone call. The purpose of a visit or a call is to help the client make a decision about client-therapist fit. This was a regular occurrence at one time at Couples In Step. These were enjoyable meetings.  Because Couples In Step is now a very busy practice meet-and-greet times are no longer possible  :( . Couples In Step hopes these FAQ’s, the introductory video on the home page, the other pages on this site, and the blog posts will assist you to catch a “sense” of Couples In Step.

  1. Review the Couples In Step fee schedule for the therapist of your choice. See above.
  2. Review your extended health benefits (information  how to do this is in the fee schedule).
  3. Review the rest of these FAQ’s for answers to typical questions such as: “Is there an assessment process?” “Do you meet with us individually or together?””How long are the sessions?” “How often will we meet?”
  4. Contact Couples In Step and ask if there are openings.

Couples In Step sessions are all on line at the present moment.

Decisions related to resuming face-to-face couple sessions will be made by each individual therapist.

The following sources, regularly updated, serve as guides for decisions related to timing and practice guidelines for the resumption of face-to-face sessions:

  • CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario)
  • OCSWSSW (Ontario College of Social Work and Social Service Workers)
  • OASW (Ontario Association of Social Workers)
  • Government of Ontario guidance of health care sector
  • Government of Canada: For Health Professionals Government sources

Couples in Step is a specialty practice working with couples and does not provide individual counselling services. Any individual sessions happen within the context of the couple relationship

Couples In Step has learned from many years experience to have the first one or two sessions be couple sessions. Here’s why.

It is the job of the couple’s therapist to keep the relationship in mind and how the two persons in the relationship are together and affect each other. When couples come into counselling they are sometimes pulling the worst from each other, instead of the best. Their thoughts about each other tend to be less than positive. The partner not present may wonder (even subtly) if the therapist is receiving a skewed representation of the relationship. So it really works best to have the first one or two sessions with both partners present at the outset so that each feels heard and understood.

Rest assured that there will be opportunity to meet with the therapist individually after one or two joint sessions.

There’s an individual session with each of you early on. After that most sessions are couple sessions. Couple sessions compel partners to overcome the temptation of trying to resolve issues by talking solely with the therapist instead of their partner. Occasional individual sessions may be helpful. As therapy progresses you may feel the need to have an individual session. Feel free to request one.

Sometimes the Couples In Step practice is full.

If Couples In Step is full, and you’d still like to see a Couples In Step therapist, send an email to Vanessa, the Couples In Step assistant every week or so. When there is an opening, since you’ve been emailing Vanessa regularly, you’ll be forefront in Vanessa’s awareness when there is an opening. Typically people who email Vanessa weekly get in to Couples in Step within 4-8 weeks.

Couples In Step does not keep a waiting list. From experience we have learned that well-intentioned folks put their name on a waiting list and then when Couples In Step is ready to follow up with them 2 – 6 months later calls to the potential client are not returned or the couple has  (understandably) made other plans.

The above may make it seem as if it is difficult to get into Couples In Step. Please do not be discouraged. There are many times when there are openings. So give us a try.

While you’re waiting, do consider a couples retreat. Couples In Step offers a few different types of retreat. You’re sure to find one that fits for you and you won’t regret it (though we do understand that for many folks, a couple’s retreat is not their first choice)! There’s a retreat FAQ that addresses your reluctance. Do take a look.

Couples In Step office hours are Monday – Friday and sometimes weekend appointments on Saturday. Evening hours are available. Many people appreciate evening or weekend appointments. Reduced rates are available for weekday hours. Each Couples In Step therapist has hours unique to them.

Couple counselling sessions are 75 minutes. That’s long enough to air issues, teach couples skills and strategies, and practice new ways of interaction. Some couples choose to have longer than 75 minute sessions. Feel free to request that.

When you are ready to schedule an appointment for marriage or couples counseling you will be asked to commit to an assessment and treatment planning process. This involves:

  • completing an intake which you will receive from Couples In Step prior to your first appointment
  • usually two joint sessions
  • an individual session for each of you
  • a feedback/goal setting session

The typical scenario above is subject to change depending on circumstances.

Typically sessions are weekly. After two to four months bi-weekly sessions are possible. After two to four months of bi-weekly sessions couples therapy may move to every three weeks or less. Whatever the frequency of sessions, you should reserve some time each week outside of the actual counselling session to focus on your relationship. Your therapist can give you suggestions for structuring this time.

Length of marriage and couples counseling depends on several factors, including how long you waited to start counseling after recognizing there was a problem, the depth of hurt each partner has suffered in the relationship, how willing you are to be vulnerable, and so on. Couples seeking to resurrect their partnership from the aftermath of an affair will need extra time in therapy. Most couples experience a great deal of improvement in their relationship after 10 to 20 sessions.

Some couples thrive on homework. Some couples do not. Homework plans are the result of discussion between you and your therapist. Between session homework is designed to reinforce skills you focus on during therapy sessions. Often, between session homework and/or reading makes the actual session more productive.

You are welcome to attend Couples In Step if you are same-sex, hetero-sex, bi-sex, living together, engaged, or dating. Couples In Step can also help you work through concerns related to open relationships.

In addition to weekly therapy we offer other services as well…