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Choosing a Child Therapist in Private Practice

child therapist in private practice

Why might a family see a Registered Social Worker in private practice for their child?

There are a number of reasons why a parent may choose to see a therapist for their child? They may have experienced a new change in their behaviour, received a new diagnosis, or going through a difficult time.

Many parents in Ontario have the option of pursuing an appointed therapist for their child through the school system, or they may pursue a paediatric therapist in private practice. Both situations have advantages and disadvantages.

1) Access to care right away

When seeking a Child Therapist in private practice there is minimal to no wait times. Even same day appointments can be available. 

Often when seeking counselling in school settings there can be many steps once a request has been made before your child has their initial appointment. It can take weeks or months before therapy begins.

2) Choosing the right therapist for you

This sounds like an obvious one, however in school settings there are often only a couple Social Workers available to a specific school or district.

When seeking a Social Worker in private practice the parents or guardians have the opportunity to personally choose a specific therapist whom they find to be the best fit for their child or family.

3) Fees

The conversation around fees varies considerable when looking at each scenario. Choosing a Social Worker in private practice requires payment for service, whereas seeking an in-school Social Worker, at least in Ontario is paid for by the Board of Education.

Most extended health care benefit packages include coverage for Psychotherapy. Especially when therapy is provided by a Registered Social Work (or a Registered Psychotherapist). Also, many clinics offer direct billing options.  Its advised to review your individual insurance coverage for specific details on coverage.

Shannon Burton, MSW RSW works solely with children, teens, and families. She provides therapy for children and youth from junior kindergarten to grade 12. Her extensive experience draws from working as a counsellor within the school system. As well as providing counselling in paediatric hospital settings. She has experience in supporting children struggling with anxiety, depression, learning disorders, bullying, ADHD, and more.

Book a “Meet and Greet” or email Shannon directly at

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