Polly Sykes, RP
Accepting new clients - Contact me!
Polly Sykes, RP
|License Status: I'm a registered professional.|
|Primary Credential: Registered Psychotherapist (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario|
Accepting new clients - Contact me!
Billing and Insurance
Fees: Free 20 minute consultation.
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After being trained in a number of therapeutic modalities I discovered Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) about ten years ago and fell in love with this powerful approach. It immediately made sense to me intuitively. Since then I have immersed myself in intensive experiential EFT training and have been deeply moved by the experience of witnessing the transformative power of emotion in my clinical work. I am proud to offer this evidence-based therapy to both individuals and couples in my private practice.
Email or Call Polly Sykes, RP at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 43211
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Emotion-Focused psychotherapy sessions are designed to foster Emotional Intelligence, which research is showing to be a key factor in living a fulfilling life. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, regulate and express our true emotions. When we can do that our emotions become a powerful internal compass which guides us towards what we truely need in life and in relationships.
In contrast, when we shut down our emotions, become dysregulated by our emotions, or express emotions that are not what we are truly feeling inside, we can end up feeling overwhelmed or numb, lost or confused. This, in turn, can result in states of loneliness, disconnection, depression, anxiety and sometimes self-destructive behaviour as a way to cope with these states.
With the therapist as both guide and support, EFT sessions are a safe place to tune into emotions in a self-regulated state, to understand how the past may be influencing current emotions, and to develop a true sense of what is now needed to heal and move forward. Perhaps you will discover that you need to express unresolved hurt and anger towards a significant person from your past, so that you can let go and move forward with current relationships. Perhaps you will understand that you have been treating yourself in a critical or self-punishing way, and that you need to extend compassion and understanding towards yourself in order to live without debilitating depression or anxiety. Perhaps you will understand that you have been shutting down painful feelings in your relationships, or expressing those feelings in an angry way, and that you need new ways to share your inner world with your partner in order to foster a closer emotional bond.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I love the fact that my work is entirely focused on connecting with, understanding and helping people. I have been drawn to this for as long as I can remember and when I see the most vulnerable, tender, and often hidden-away parts of another person in my therapy office, I feel profoundly honoured to bear witness to this.
I love that my couple therapy work has helped partners who have drifted apart find each other again, and that I have witnessed the incredible risks people take in reaching for their parters from a place of vulnerability in the quest for understanding and bonding with them.
I love the fact that I will never stop learning and growing in my role as a therapist, and that I am as moved, excited, curious and engaged by this work now as I was 20 years ago at the beginning of my career.
I love the fact that as a get older I get better at this work. That all the life I have lived, the wisdom I have gained and the struggles I have faced only deepen my capacity to feel empathy, compassion and understanding for the clients who take that step into my office.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Research has shown conclusively that a strong therapeutic relationship is an essential component of good therapy. For this reason, choosing who you want to work with is as much about feel as it is about qualifications and credentials. Having said that, those credentials (in my case Registered Psychotherapist) do show that the person you are considering working with has met established educational, training and experience-based requirements and must continue to adhere to standards designed to ensure safe and effective therapy is provided. I would consider this a baseline for considering someone, and from there ask yourself the following questions:
Do I feel comfortable in this persons' presence?
Do I see openness, curiosity and understanding in their eyes when they look at me?
Do the words they speak resonate and fit with my experience?
Do I feel I could be vulnerable with them and feel safe doing so?
I believe the best way to assess these crucial factors is through meeting me and so I offer all potential clients the chance to do just that. You are welcome to meet with me at my office and get an initial sense of how it would feel to work with me as a therapist. You can ask me any questions you have and most importantly have the chance to form a gut feeling of whether you have landed in the right place before deciding to began therapy with me.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
First and foremost my own struggles are what brought me to therapy myself as a client (and continue to do so). I have a lived understanding of not only the healing and curative powers of therapy, but also of the bravery required to engage in the process. I know first hand the grinding anxiety of the first therapy session, the fear of facing long-buried past hurts and the intensity of revealing our true selves to another person. That means I also know the relief of letting go, the power of feeling understood, and the comfort of having the pricing, compassionate therapist across from me guiding me through and making the experience safe.
These lived experiences continue to guide me in my work and remind me of the bravery all my clients demonstrate by showing up to therapy, by trusting me, and by continuing to strive for more fulfilling lives despite the struggles they face.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
The answer to this question will be best answered through the course of our work together, but I can say that I am very flexible in this regard and the decision about frequency and duration of therapy is usually a combination of what makes best sense therapeutically and what is possible from a practical standpoint (i.e. scheduling, finances).
I usually recommend attending weekly sessions for the first 6 sessions and then assessing how things are progressing, if change is being experienced outside the therapy sessions and what makes sense moving forward. Some clients/couples continue with weekly sessions, some decide to transition to bi-weekly sessions at this point.
Towards the end of therapy, clients may tailor off to monthly or even bi-monthly sessions. Once the decision is made to end therapy my door always remains open to clients who want to come back for the occasional check-in or to engage in another chapter or piece of therapeutic work.
Services I Provide
- Art Therapy
- Clinical Supervision
- Individual Therapy & Counseling
- Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
- Online Counseling / Phone Therapy
- Premarital Counseling
Ages I Work With
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