Children & Family F.A.Q.


What is counselling?

Counselling is a process that allows you to explore and discuss various aspects of your life in an open and free manner that is not always possible with friends and family.  Counselling sessions are scheduled appointments, they occur in a private and confidential setting, and what you discuss in your sessions with your counsellor is protected by the professional standards of the counsellor and the agency.  Counselling is a process in which you have the opportunity to explore the difficulties that you are experiencing, gain a better understanding of yourself, your relationships and your life, and work towards making the changes that are most important to you.

What types of problems do people seek counselling for?

There are a wide range of issues that lead individuals to seek counselling, such as:

These are just examples. If you feel that counselling may be helpful to you, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss whether our services may be helpful to you.

Do I need a referral to obtain counselling?

You do not need a referral to obtain counselling at Family Services à la famille Ottawa (FSFO).   We ask that the person requesting the counselling services contact our Intake Worker.

How can I get the most out of counselling?

There are steps you can take that will help make counselling more beneficial to you, such as:

How long do I need counselling for before my issues are resolved?

Everyone’s needs and resources are different and so everyone resolves their problems at their own pace. There is no specific timeline at which issues should be resolved. Once you have met with your counsellor, he/she will be able to work with you to identify what might be reasonable goals and the amount of time that you agree to work towards those goals. What is most important is that steps are being taken to make positive changes and choices in your life and that you are moving towards your goals.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a social worker?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors that have specialized in psychiatry.  Therefore, their focus, training and treatment approaches are generally medically based. They specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illness; they may also provide counselling.  Because they are medical doctors, they are able to prescribe psychotropic medications. In order to access a psychiatrist, you need a referral from your family doctor. If you are referred to a psychiatrist, it will be covered by OHIP.

In Ontario, a psychologist has obtained a doctorate in psychology. They are able to administer diagnostic testing and provide assessments for identifying learning disorders, etc. They also provide counselling services. Many psychologists work in private practice and you can access them through your local directory. However, note that psychologists are not covered by OHIP.  Psychologist’s fees may be covered through insurance.

Social workers have a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree in social work. Social workers provide various services including counselling services. Social workers also work in private practice and can be accessed through your local directory.  Social workers do not prescribe psychotropic medication and are not covered by OHIP. Social worker’s services may be covered through insurance, depending on the specific policy.

Is this service covered by OHIP?

Our counsellors are trained professionals in social work, counselling, and psychology; therefore, they are not covered by OHIP. However, we are subsidized and we utilize a sliding fee scale to adjust your fee according to your income and family size so that counselling becomes affordable and accessible to all. Our counselling services may be covered by insurance, depending on the policy agreements.

Our Anti-Violence Program has no fee.

Is this service confidential?

Privacy and confidentiality are fundamental aspects of counselling and Family Services à la famille Ottawa is committed to protecting your personal information. For more information, review our confidentiality policy.

How do I access service?

To initiate counselling, contact our Intake by one of the following:

Someone will contact you within 5 business days to discuss your options and book an appointment if appropriate. Note that no counselling will be provided over the phone and that counselling will begin at your first face-to-face session with a counsellor. If you are in crisis and require immediate attention, please contact the Distress Centre at 613-722-6914 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

Is there parking available?

There is free visitor’s parking available in our parking lot and there are street parking meters available on nearby streets. For more detailed information, review our contact page.

Family Services Ottawa
312 avenue Parkdale Ave.
Ottawa ON K1Y 4X5
T. 613-725-3601