Dr. Daniel Chorney & Associates

helping families.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: How do I know if my situation requires the help of a psychologist?

A: If you're unsure whether your specific situations requires the help of our services or any service at all, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone (902.444.1160) or email (drchorney@gmail.com). For a number of situations, when the problems become so great that they begin interfering with your daily routines or functioning and you feel unable to change using your current strategies, a psychologist may be able to help.

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Q: Does your practice offer evening appointments?

A: Yes. A number of our associates practice at least one evening per week. Appointment times and availability can be discussed when you call or email to set up an appointment.

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Q: Do you accept insurance or private medical coverage?

A: Consistent with most practices in the area, fees for service are collected the time of the appointment and you will be provided with the necessary receipt and information for later reimbursement. Please click on the "Fees" section of this website for more information on this topic. We also encourage you to contact your provider prior to making an appointment in order to determine what coverage you have and for what services. Some insurance companies (e.g. Blue Cross) also offer you the ability to be reimbursed immediately at a local "Quick Pay" station, with locations in Scotia Square (Halifax) or Burnside (Dartmouth). Please do not hesitate to ask more about insurance during your initial call to set up an appointment.

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Q: What should I expect when I call to make a referral?

A: Referrals can be made in two ways - by using our Self-Referral Form on this website (CLOSED to all new referrals September 2020 until further notice), or by leaving a voicemail with your contact information (Extension 1 when you call 444-1160). Almost all referrals will be contacted by phone (in most cases within 1 business day from the time you first call) at which time a recommendation will be made about who within the practice would best suit their specific referral question and needs. In the case that we are unable to offer you a timely appointment, or if your specific concerns are best served at another practice or organization, we will provide you with the names and locations of other mental health professionals and services that may better help you (alternatively, you can visit www.apns.ca to see a listing of psychologists in your area). Initial phone calls are typically brief, lasting 20 minutes or less. A referral from a physician or another professional is not necessary to make an appointment (but may be necessary for insurance reimbursement, depending on your insurance provider). If you are calling to request an appointment with a specific psychologist within the practice, please let us know when you first contact the practice by stating who it is you would like to see.

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Q: How is my privacy protected?

A: Privacy and confidentiality is taken extremely seriously when seeing a psychologist. In the vast majority of cases, information discussed with a psychologist is protected by confidentiality. There are limits to confidentiality that will be discussed with you at your first session. Confidentiality is an especially sensitive matter with adolescents, and our consent form identifies adolescents specifically with regard to privacy issues. With your consent, we may contact your referral source, primary physician, or others in your circle of care. Should you already know one of the psychologists at the practice and wish for your information to be kept private, please let us know when you first call and your initial phone call can be conducted by another psychologist within the practice.

Our online practice management software, Jane, is compliant with local and national laws governing security of Private Health Information (PHI), meaning your information is kept secure and private. If you are interested in learning more about the protection of your information please see Jane’s website directly - https://janeapp.com/guide/basics/security-faq. Please refer to the "Your Care" section of this website for more information about privacy and options when you visit our practice, including our Written Privacy Policy Statement and Notice of Purposes.

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Q: How many sessions are typical when seeing a psychologist?

A: The number of sessions will vary depending on what you initially came in for, the severity of the concern, and how motivated you are to change. The number of sessions necessary to see benefits can range from as little as one session, to more than twenty. If psychological services are not helping you meet your goals after a certain point, it is our ethical responsibility to discuss this concern with you and we can help you find an alternative treatment provider if we can not meet your needs. Please know that you can choose when treatment ends at any point, and you can book as many or as little sessions as you would like.

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Q: What's the difference between seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

A: Psychologists hold either a masters and/or doctoral degree in psychology that typically involves 6 to 10 years of university study of how people think, feel, and behave. Psychologists who hold doctoral degrees can use the title "Dr." A practicing psychologist is trained to assess and diagnose problems in how people think, how they handle emotions, and how they act, as well as how to overcome or manage these problems. A psychologist is uniquely trained to use psychological tests to help with assessment and diagnosis. Psychologists help people overcome or manage their concerns using a variety of treatments or psychotherapies. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who go on to specialize in mental health and related disorders. Psychiatrists often use medication to help their clients manage their mental health concerns and there are some disorders for which medications are especially beneficial. Some psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy.

There are some distinctions between psychologists depending on how long they went to school and for what specialization. All psychologists at Chorney & Associates are Ph.D. level psychologists from clinical psychology programs and are Registered Psychologists in Nova Scotia. All have specializations in treating children and adolescents, and also have competency in treating a wide variety of adult concerns. All use evidence-based treatments, and identify cognitive-behavioral therapy or behavioral-therapy as their primary treatment type.

For a summary on what to expect when seeing a psychologist, please click here.

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Q: What is evidence-based treatment and why is it important?

A: Evidence-based treatments or psychotherapy are based directly on scientific evidence and integrates what we currently know about the best possible treatment methods through combining research, client characteristics and values, culture, and preferences. In other words, treatment that is grounded in research and scientific principles, rather than guided by vaguely defined goals or principles that are difficult to measure or assess.

Evidence-based treatments have been shown to be effective through randomized clinical control trials and have proven rates of effectiveness, have clearly set treatment plans and goals, and rely on behavioral evidence to prove they are working rather than opinions or theory. The majority of evidence at this time identifies cognitive-behavioral or behavioral therapy as the most effective treatment approach currently available for most mental health issues. A cognitive-behavioral therapist will work with you to help identify your goals, teach you skills on how to reach them, and assess/monitor your progress throughout treatment. For an outline of CBT applied to anxiety disorders, please click here.

For more information on what types of evidence-based treatments are most effective for each type of mental health concerns, please visit the American Psychological Association website dedicated to this topic.

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Q: Should I do anything before my first appointment?

A: Yes. Once your Initial Appointment was set up (typically by phone or sometimes through email) you should have been emailed a link to complete either a "Child History" or "Adult History" form depending on age. Please complete this as soon as possible as it helps our providers prepare for your session and saves both you and the psychologists at the practice a large amount of time during your first appointment.

If you have time, please also consider reading our Commitment to Sensitive Practice and Consent/Policy form on the "Your Care" page (these are not necessary to print or complete prior to your visit).

If you have any form of private medical insurance, please take the time to call them prior to your first visit so that you fully understand what coverage/benefits your specific plan includes. A number of sample questions are included on the "Fees" tab that may help you when you call.

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Q: How do I use your online booking to make, change, or cancel my appointments?

A: Our online scheduling is reserved for individuals who have already visited our practice and met with one of our psychologists. If you are reading this and have not yet had your initial appointment with us, online scheduling is not available. Please complete the information on the "Self-Referral" page of this website and our intake manager will contact you shortly (please note we are NOT accepting new referrals between September - December 2020).

If you are interested in using the online scheduling software and are not yet registered in our database to use the service, please email your psychologist directly (all email addresses can be found on the Contact page of this site) with the following information: 1) Your full name that you will use to log in, 2) your preferred email address, and 3) your preferred phone number. Once you are entered into the database you will be able to make an appointment, cancel an appointment, or change existing appointments. Please be sure your e-mail Junk/Spam filters are set to receive emails from our practice (drchorney@gmail.com or dcahalifax@gmail.com). If you have a problem using online scheduling, please email Dr. Chorney directly.

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Q: What does "Psychologist (Candidate Register)" mean?

A: The following definition can be found on the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners website (www.nsbep.org):

Candidate Register: These individuals have met the education and training requirements for registration and have the ability to practice psychology in the province. However while on the Candidate Register they are undergoing supervision until completing the required period of supervised work experience and examinations. Candidates must use the designation Psychologist (Candidate Register) which clearly indicates their status; Psych. (Cand. Reg.) is permitted.

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Q: How can I explain what a psychologist does or what to expect at an appointment to my toddler/child/adolescent?

A: This is a common question we receive and very understandable. A visit with one of our psychologists is not like what you may have seen on TV!

Depending on a child's age and cognitive development/maturity, many treatment sessions are conducted with BOTH child/teen and parent(s)/caregivers present in the room. This is especially true for your first meeting (Initial Appointment) as in almost all cases we ask or require a parent/caregiver be present to help answer questions and ensure Consent and Confidentiality concerns are understood and accepted. Many parents are surprised to learn just how involved they are with treatment and are present for all sessions or large portions of appointments.

With respect to how to explain visits to young children it can very much depend on the child's age and ability to understand. The general rule is to be open, honest, and developmentally appropriate. Here are some very rough guidelines or suggestions on things you may wish to say - feel free to modify or pick and choose what you think would be most helpful for your child/teen:

Preschool/Toddler Aged: These children are often quite nervous that they will be subject to some form of physical exam or procedure as they sometimes hear "doctor" and link us with physicians. Young children make quick associations and generalizations and often jump to "needles!" when they hear they are going to visit a doctor. It can be helpful to say something along the lines of "We are going to visit a 'talking doctor' who doesn't give needles. They ask questions and talk to us and help us with our thoughts and feelings. All we do is talk to them"

School-Aged Children: Often children in this age aren't sure why they are attending the appointment or they believe/worry they are different or 'abnormal' because of visiting a psychologist. It is extremely important to normalize mental health for this age group and help them understand that mental health is similar to physical health. Similar to the younger children, saying something like "We are going to visit a psychologist to help us learn more about how we can think in some different ways to help us with our emotions and behaviours. We're doing this to help reduce your worries/improve listening skills/be less scared when meeting people/etc." Children this age are better at understanding how thoughts can lead to feelings which lead to behaviour so explanations can be more detailed but normalizing emotions is key. Sometimes children in this age-range are fearful about being separated from parents so a little reassurance can be helpful that you'll be present for the whole meeting. Prior to your visit watching a movie like "Inside Out" by Pixar is a great way to start talking about mental health with this age group.

Teens/Adolescents: This age group can be challenging and it is important they understand that treatment is not a form of punishment/consequence for their behaviours but rather a way of helping them with their choices or behaviors. Depending on the age of the teen they may have the ability to provide their own Consent to services which also means they have the right to refuse services if they choose. Treatment is voluntary. Similar to school-aged children, teens should know that getting help is not something to be embarrassed about and we should help them understand that mental health concerns affect everyone to some degree. For many teens it is important for them to know that treatment is confidential. For teens presenting with low motivation to attend (or threatening to refuse attendance prior to an Initial Appointment) we sometimes suggest reinforcing the fact that treatment is voluntary and they are in control of attending appointments while encouraging them to meet with a provider at least once to make an informed decision about whether or not they choose to return. Some parents omit this information but in our experience letting teens know they have some say in treatment helps get them through the door for that (sometimes) challenging first visit. It also may help parents/caregivers to know that if their teen refuses to attend (especially at the last minute) they can attend the meeting instead to talk with a psychologist in person and learn more about how they can potentially motivate a teen to attend future sessions or in some cases how parents can help their teens even without teens attending (e.g., what parents can do differently to help).

In ALL situations and age groups we recommend telling your child about their visit and having a discussion with them about why they are meeting with a psychologist (e.g., "We are meeting with them to talk about your worries" or "We are meeting with the doctor to talk about behaviour in the house and working on listening skills"). Remember - your child/teen may not be as motivated to attend as you are so surprising them is unlikely to help the situation.

If you'd like to learn even more about this topics, please
visit HereToHelp to learn more.
who we are
Chorney & Associates is a group of registered clinical psychologists practicing in the center of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
contact us
Telephone: (902) 444-1160
Email: drchorney @ gmail.com
Fax: (902) 444-3210
Web: chorneyandassociates.com
what we do
Each clinician at Chorney & Associates specializes in a number of areas, ranging from preschool-aged children to adults.