My View of Therapy

Thoughts and insights from Alex Belakovsky M. Ed. Registered Psychotherapist (RP)

Some time ago a client who had been in therapy a few weeks asked me

Why does the world our parents and teachers promised us turn out to be so difficult?

Why is life so hard?

That question was the real starting point of his own transformation from a sufferer into a full person, able to rise to his challenges and enjoy his successes. That question is one that each of us has to answer, because there is always a gap between our wishes and the reality we find ourselves in at any given moment. And that is why so much of the work I do as a therapist is about creating the strength to overcome this gap. My many years as a psychotherapist have brought me in contact with clients suffering extreme difficulties, and the skills I have gained working with them have enabled me to become a much more resilient therapist myself.

For the work of therapy is about going forward in life, not remaining stuck or being worried by our pasts. Psychotherapy is a profession that has itself grown up through study and research. We now know a great deal more about turning ourselves into our own role models, and creating our own realities, than we used to. Wouldn’t you agree that we all want to be able to overcome our difficulties like the heroines and heroes we see in books and movies? And so we should, for they show us how resilience makes us grow past frustrations and hardships.

I have seen many times how some people with severe difficulties were able to keep going and eventually to change their lives, while others with lesser challenges lacked resilience and did not prosper.

If there is a magic word for change, it is resilience.

Resilience

is the capacity to grow despite misfortune, gaining strength from challenges rather than surrendering to them.

No single type of psychotherapy is large enough to address all the parts of being human. There really is nobody quite like you and my task is to work with your individuality. This is why I focus on your future strength, not your past or current challenges.

It’s why I use a variety of resilience-building therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioural-Therapy (CBT),Dialectical-Behavioural (DBT), Relational Process Experiential Therapy (RPET), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Existential and Solution-Focused approaches. It also explains why my style is active, transparent and interactional. Our working relationship is an important aspect of your therapy. What you tell me about your goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations. will help me to understand how you view your life and what it is that really matters to you.

I primarily work in the here and now; we will talk about your past to better understand your current difficulties and focus on current events and coping methods. We will work together at achieving your goals and aspirations and finding ways to improve your quality of life and increase resilience. Your feelings are an important part of therapy since they play a crucial role in guiding you towards a more resilient future. You are likely to notice that some of the ideas and feelings that you pay little attention to at the moment may emerge as significant guides to the future in terms of actions. My experience with people of all cultures, backgrounds, identities and ages has sensitized me to the many ways in which we face life’s challenges.

Clients Building Resilience Have Worked On:

ANXIETY

DEPRESSION

CRITICAL ILLNESS AND TERMINAL ILLNESS

LOSS, BEREAVEMENT, AND GRIEF

RELATIONSHIP DIFFICULTIES

INFIDELITY

HEALTHY SELF-IMAGE / BODY-IMAGE

PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF IMMIGRATION AND READJUSTMENT

CHILD-PARENT CONFLICT

ISSUES OF ACCULTURATION

WORKPLACE STRESS/BURNOUT AND CAREER EXPOLARTIONS

TRAUMA INCLUDING NEGLECT, SEXUAL, PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL ABUSE.

COUPLES COUNSELLING

ADHD (18 YEARS OR OLD)

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD)

AGING WITH GRACE AND DEALING WITH FRAILTY

CANCER

LGBTQ ISSUES AND EXPLORATIONS IN SEXUALITY

COMPANION ANIMAL/PET LOSS AND GRIEF

Behaviour Patterns & Negative Thought Patterns

ANXIETY

DEPRESSION

CRITICAL ILLNESS AND TERMINAL ILLNESS

LOSS, BEREAVEMENT, AND GRIEF

RELATIONSHIP DIFFICULTIES

INFIDELITY

HEALTHY SELF-IMAGE / BODY-IMAGE

PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF IMMIGRATION AND READJUSTMENT

CHILD-PARENT CONFLICT

ISSUES OF ACCULTURATION

WORKPLACE STRESS/BURNOUT AND CAREER EXPOLARTIONS

TRAUMA INCLUDING NEGLECT, SEXUAL, PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL ABUSE.

COUPLES COUNSELLING

ADHD (18 YEARS OR OLD)

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD)

AGING WITH GRACE AND DEALING WITH FRAILTY

CANCER

LGBTQ ISSUES AND EXPLORATIONS IN SEXUALITY

COMPANION ANIMAL/PET LOSS AND GRIEF

Behaviour Patterns & Negative Thought Patterns

Resilience and Cancer

I have developed a specialty in helping individuals and families facing cancer (psychosocial oncology). I strive to offer support and counselling to people afflicted with cancer who have specific unmet needs related to coping with their illness, emotional distress, changes in relationships, and at times planning for the next phase of their lives.

Gallery

Testimonials

I came to see Alex emotionally numb and paranoid. After working with him and on myself, I'm emotionally in tune and trusting of others. Not only is Alex a good shrink, he's also a decent human being. If you're going through difficulties in your life and want some help/clarity, you should reach out to him.

RR

Alex is highly intuitive and brilliant. He’s had a profound impact on my life and I plan to continue seeing him whenever I need a professional to talk to.

JI

I am very lucky to have met Alex. He is one of the best therapists you can possibly find out there. He truly cares about my progress and works hard to help me overcome my emotional difficulties. He is very intuitive and chooses the best approach that works for you. Thanks to Alex I am now the person I've always wanted to be.
I am very lucky to have met Alex. He is one of the best therapists you can possibly find out there. He truly cares about my progress and works hard to help me overcome my emotional difficulties. He is very intuitive and chooses the best approach that works for you. Thanks to Alex I am now the person I've always wanted to be.

AD

I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life and I have sought the assistance of many psychologists and psychiatrists to help me overcome my anxiety. Prescribing medications has been a primary source of treatment and seemed like the best solution until my family doctor recommended Alex. Within the first eight minutes of our first session Alex explained the root cause of my anxiety and from that point on we worked on solving the problem. Not too long after, I went off my medication and have been free of medication ever since.

AH

Alex is a professional at what he does. He is kind, genuine, honest and respectful. He guides me through my emotional journey and helped me with my panic attacks. With his help you will dig deep into your heart and find what you are looking for.

PM

Alex is an incredibly caring and compassionate therapist. I had never been to therapy before but was dealing with some devastating changes in my life. I felt comfortable talking to Alex and really appreciated that he helped me come to terms with the issues I was facing. I learned new ways to look at my life and function as a person and continue to feel empowered in my life today through the work I did with Alex. Thank you!

NB

Alex is a deeply empathetic person and an excellent DBT therapist. I have recommended him many times since he "graduated" me out of his program.
Alex teaches behavioral and emotional skills in an accessible, relatable fashion. He speaks respectfully and without judgement.
I definitely suggest you try a few sessions with him.

SP

Alex is an incredible therapist. He has changed my life in the best possible way. He’s very knowledgeable and thoughtful. I saw him for 3 years and received tremendous amount of help. He is very caring, friendly and empathetic, but also offered me strategies to navigate my problems and gave me activities to do between sessions. I highly recommend him.

NI

Working with Alex has completely changed my life. I was suffering from crippling anxiety and living a hard day to day life. With his help and guidance, I was able to learn what it would take for me to live a better life free from anxiety and taking the right steps for having a better future. I recommended him to all my friends and family and think he is a professional, knowledgeable and genuine. I cannot thank him enough for all that he has done and helped me with!

BG

Faqs

Our psychotherapy practice is in North York – Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Every individual is unique in their struggles and my task is to work with your personal challenges and provide the most appropriate and effective form of therapy.

Please take a look at my services page to see the types of conditions I am experienced in addressing. Again, the therapy type will be unique to you.

Seeking psychotherapy is a deeply personal choice but if your mental struggles are causing significant distress in your life and nothing you are doing seems to help, or you have turned to detrimental habits (e.g. drugs, alcohol, gambling etc.) in an attempt to cope, it is time to seek the expert help of a professional.

People who reach out to professional psychotherapists usually do so because their life seems to be unfulfilling. Many individuals may need help re-processing and managing their emotions and finding success in any aspect of their lives.

If you feel that life could be better or that you can’t adjust or continue on, psychotherapy can assist.

Psychotherapy is known as “talk therapy” and is a collaborative treatment based on a relationship between the client and the therapist.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does the world that my parents and teachers promised me turn out to be so difficult?” It doesn’t have to be. Psychotherapy works by focusing on adaptive coping and individual strengths so that you can overcome challenges and enjoy success.

Because psychotherapy is based on a collaborative relationship between patient and therapist, not every therapist is going to be a perfect match.

The best way to find the right therapist is to call and discuss what you need. You should lay out your issues and struggles before having an initial session with a therapist. A good therapist will immediately tell you if they can help you or not.

As a professional therapist, I take ethics and privacy extremely seriously, so you can trust that I safeguard our client-therapist confidentiality.

As a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, I am dedicated to upholding the code of my professional organization.

Because everyone is unique in their needs and challenges, it’s impossible to provide a timeline for therapy. However, goals and checkpoints are helpful in quickening the pace and can be discussed during your discovery call.

Some people stay with psychotherapy for a short period of time while others use psychotherapy as a method to unlocking greater self-awareness and personal development over a longer period of time.

Once therapy starts, we will review your progress so that you get the most out of your sessions. How long you stay in therapy is completely up to you.

At the present time, Psychotherapy cost $150 (HST included) per session.

Because OHIP does not cover psychotherapy, all my psychotherapy services are paid for directly by the client.

However, my services are covered by extended workplace benefits provided by most Canadian insurance carriers e.g. Sunlife, Great West Life etc.

Contact your health insurance provider to see if they cover psychotherapy services or ask your employer if they offer extended health plans that provide partial or full reimbursement.