If you have been contacted by one of our graduate students or residents, then you may already have some information on what to expect at your first visit to the Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment (CMHRT).

First, we would suggest that you give yourself an extra few minutes for arriving to your first appointment. Directions to the Centre can be found at our Location & Directions page. You should be aware that the streets in and around the university can often be quite busy. 

If you are driving, your clinician will have made arrangements for you to receive a parking pass when you arrive so you can park free of charge in our small parking lot. 

When you arrive at the Centre, please come in, and make yourself comfortable in our waiting room. If it is after 5:00 pm and the door is locked, please ring the doorbell.

While you wait, you may be given some information to read in preparation for your first appointment. Your clinician will meet you in the waiting room at the time of your appointment and lead you to one of our private interview rooms. 

When your first appointment begins, whether for an assessment or for therapy, your clinician will need to review a number of policies and procedures with you. Some of these will include, for example, how we protect your privacy, how our psychologists supervise your clinician’s work with you, the role of research in our centre, our cancellation policy, and our fees. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work through these important issues with you.

One of the important matters that we will discuss will be your availability for future appointments. Please bring with you any calendar that you use for scheduling appointments so we can book future appointments with you.

Another discussion will be about fees. You may have already discussed your fees when you spoke to our TA on the telephone for your initial intake. We charge fees for both your assessment and treatment. While the recommended rate from the Ontario Psychological Association for psychological services is $225 per hour, as a training site we provide services at a lower cost. Our fees are based on an income-based sliding scale. If you have discussed your fee during your telephone intake, we will confirm the set fee at your appointment. Otherwise, we will ask you to indicate to us what you can afford. 

Before arriving at your first appointment, we strongly recommend that you check to see if you have any extended health insurance plan that will reimburse your fees for psychological services, either in full or in part. Since our services are provided by clinicians in training who are directly supervised by registered psychologists, most extended health care plans will provide some coverage. However, you should be aware that some insurance companies will only reimburse psychological services that are provided directly by a registered psychologist.

In this first session, the graduate student or resident will also begin the process of learning more about the concerns that caused you to seek our services. This process will include asking you a number of detailed personal questions about the nature and history of the difficulties you have been experiencing. You should know that some of our questions may not appear to be relevant to your concerns. However, it is important that we check on a broad array of issues that might have an impact on the care we are able to provide. 

There may also be some forms that we will need you to complete, such as requests for copies of reports from other health care providers. You may be asked to complete some of these forms at home after the conclusion of your initial session. We will review these forms with you during the session.

If your child is our client, it is often the case that we will ask you not to bring the child to the first session. Between the time spent on procedural matters and speaking openly about parent concerns, there would be little time to meet with your child. The graduate student or resident will speak with you about the best time for your child to come in for his or her first appointment.

In advance of your first appointment, we request that you review the information we have on our website on the privacy of your personal health information at the Centre. It describes how we protect your privacy, including how we collect, use, or share your information.

Because of all of the work that has to be done at this first session, you should know that the session may run slightly longer than the usual time you might normally expect. We will work to keep us all on time but, more than any other visit, this appointment might run slightly longer than usual.

If you are unable to attend the scheduled session and need to rebook, we would ask that you contact the Centre by phone and leave a message on our confidential voicemail at 519-888-4567, ext. 33842, or send an email to cmhrt@uwaterloo.ca. If possible, we ask that you provide us with 24 hours notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment with us.

We know that there are a lot of things that are happening at this first session. One of the most important aspects of our first time meeting with you, however, is being able to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Hopefully, we will be able to give you all the information you need at your first session. However, if you have any remaining unanswered questions, please let us know. 

Thank you for entrusting us with your care.