Nicole Marek, Psychologist  
  Therapeutic Approach
Experience and Training


Nicole Marek M.A.
Member of OPQ - -
(514) 686-2487


Frequently Asked Questions relating to Nicole Marek's practice

"What can I expect at the first session?"

It's normal to feel nervous and even self-conscious when attending therapy for the first time. During the first session you will have the opportunity to discuss the reasons that bring you to therapy and discuss what changes you wish to achieve through therapy. For the first 2-3 sessions you will relate important personal history that will help your therapist understand you better. With your therapist you will create a therapy plan or some goals to attain during therapy. Most importantly, you will get to know your therapist’s personality and her therapeutic style.

It is very important to experience a good connection with your therapist. Sometimes you may need to visit a few different therapists to find the best connection. If you do not feel comfortable with your therapist, please let her know so that your discomfort can be discussed. She can also refer you to another trained therapist if you decide she is not the best fit for you.

"How do I know that psychotherapy is right for me?"

Most people will discover if psychotherapy is right for them within the first 2-3 sessions. Psychotherapy is one of many options for treating mental health difficulties. In addition, each therapist has a different personality and style, so you might not fit with every therapist. If you are uncertain whether talk therapy is helping, feel free to discuss your concerns with your therapist. She will be happy to refer you to other resources if you do not feel this treatment is right for you.

"How long will therapy take?"

Therapy is an individual process, dependant on your needs, your readiness, and the nature of your difficulties. Most people feel better immediately after the first session, but for long-term results you may choose to remain in therapy for several months or even years. Exploring childhood issues or breaking deep-rooted patterns will inevitably take more time than combatting a specific phobia or making a career decision. Personal motivation is an important factor in determining therapy outcome. Applying techniques learned in therapy, completing assigned homework, and facing your painful emotions head-on will speed up the therapeutic process. Consider therapy as an investment in yourself. If your time or finances are limited please make this clear to your therapist so that you can develop realistic therapy goals together.

"What is the format of therapy?"

In general your therapy appointments will occur once a week at a regularly-scheduled time. The session length is 50 minutes. The therapy session is a collaboration between therapist and client; both will share in the discussion. Depending on your goals for therapy, you will usually review what was accomplished in the previous week, process any situations related to your central complaints that triggered distress, and practice new habits or ways of thinking. Your therapist will divide her efforts between offering validation and empathy for your difficulties, providing psychoeducation about the nature of your concerns, teaching you techniques and alternative ways of reacting, and offering you feedback about yourself. When your goals for therapy have been reached, or you are ready to end the process for other reasons, you will spend a few sessions reviewing your progress, preparing for the future, and saying goodbye to your therapist. This last phase of treatment is important in order to process any feelings related to ending this relationship, to remind you of new skills and strengths acquired, and to prevent relapse of symptoms.