The Full Circle Program is our way of exemplifying one of The Design Your Life Centre’s core values: making high quality psychological services accessible to as many people as possible. Being able to do this while also contributing to the training and development of those wanting to serve others in their journey to design their lives is an added bonus. Why? Because when more people have the opportunity to become their best selves, we all benefit.
Here’s how it works: The therapist in training gives their services under the supervision of one of our senior clinicians. The client receives the benefits of two trained clinicians for a minimal cost of $25/hr. Although receiving needed services, the client also gives the clinician the opportunity to further hone their skills, thus completing the circle of giving.
INTRODUCING: DENNIS KEEFE
Read below to learn more about Dennis and what it is
that drives him to pursue a career in counseling
INTRODUCING: DENNIS KEEFE
Read below to learn more about Dennis and what it is that drives him to pursue a career in counseling
Why are you pursuing a career in counseling?
In my previous career as a documentary filmmaker, I came to appreciate the profound effect that exploring an individual’s stories and life meaning had on their mental wellbeing. I came to realize that it wasn’t the films themselves, but the process of listening to and interacting with my subjects that was the most transformative aspect of this work. Naturally, counselling was the next step for me.
My skill of connecting with almost any type of person in an empathic and judgment-free way also makes counselling a great fit for me. This style of interaction makes me highly approachable and ever ready to facilitate personal growth with anyone who is interested and willing. I believe that of all the areas in one’s life, mental wellness has the most potential for positive change. I would like to be part of that positive change.
Why did you choose to pursue training at this clinic?
I chose the Design Your Life Centre due to its commitment to making mental health services accessible to as many people as possible. I immediately saw a way to contribute to this mission by participating in their full circle program as a counselling student. I was also drawn to their narrative therapy approach that focuses on empowering the client to coauthor their life story and purpose with the therapist. This aligned well with my past experience and general therapeutic philosophy.
Lastly, the clinic’s emphasis on “doing” as part of the therapeutic process really resonated with me, as I believe this is an essential aspect of any type of meaningful learning.
Who is your ideal client?
Anyone who is willing to reach out for help with mental health issues is an ideal client for me. The act of taking this first step demonstrates a willingness and courage to face personal challenges head-on and an openness to beginning the process of healing and growing.
More specifically, I am open to engaging with adults presenting with a broad array of mental health concerns including anxiety, stress, depression, low motivation, trauma, and struggles relating to identity and life-purpose. I also have intimate knowledge of the mental health issues surrounding disability, chronic illness, and chronic pain.
Full Circle Program FAQs
Why is there a fee for service if the clients you want to serve have limited means to pay?
Believe it or not, paying something for services leads to better outcomes. It is a meaningful exchange which increases the client’s perceived value of the services and their motivation to do the work.
Do I need a referral?
Yes. A referral from a health care provider who is licensed to practice in Ontario is required. This can be a family doctor, nurse practitioner, naturopath, chiropractor, massage therapist..or any other licensed health professional (I think you get the idea).
How does the therapist’s supervision work?
The therapist in training meets a minimum of once/week with Dr. Thomas for supervision. At that time, the student therapist will review their notes from the sessions with each client with Dr. Thomas and Dr. Thomas will provide feedback and guidance as needed. Audio recordings of the sessions will also be shared with Dr. Thomas for her to review as needed on a case by case basis. Therefore, all clients involved in the program will also need to consent to having their sessions audio recorded. These recordings will be kept confidential and shared only with Dr. Thomas.
In some cases, some clients might be asked to allow the therapist to share a recording of their session with course colleagues and professors within his/her training program if required to provide recordings of sessions to fulfill course requirements. The purpose of the recordings are to evaluate the therapist’s skill level in delivering services not an evaluation of the client. Please note however, that the sharing of recordings with course colleagues and professors is not a requirement of participation in this program and there is no pressure at all to comply with this request.
How can I be assured that my concerns will be addressed if I am being treated by a therapist who is still in training?
There is no one who is more motivated and focused on your case than someone who is training to become an excellent therapist. They are not only super keen (which means that they are likely to read more, think more, and work harder to make sure they serve you well), our best research on psychotherapy outcomes shows that students often outperform seasoned professionals when it comes to delivering standardized, scientifically validated, treatment protocols. This is largely because they are more likely to actually follow tested protocols than those who have become comfortable with their own style (ie., those who have been practicing for many years). They also have the benefit of being more in tune with the latest technologies in their field, which is a value add.
Part of our reasons for taking on practicum students here is to ensure that our senior practitioners are also constantly upping their game. There is nothing like a student watching you work and asking questions to make sure that you are on point and are operating with full awareness at all times.
So, the beauty of this program is that each client will have the benefit of, not one, but TWO trained therapists, who are motivated and focused on helping you become your best.
If needed, can I meet with Dr. Stacy directly?
Yes. Dr. Stacy will always be available to meet with clients if and when needed. However, you will always be encouraged to discuss any issues with your therapist directly.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Credit card, or e-transfer. Payment is due at the end of the session and an invoice will be mailed to you after the session for your records.