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Single Session Consultation

About the Service

Single Session Consultation (“Single Session”) is a onetime counselling session with a professional therapist and gives clients an opportunity to voice their concerns, identify and utilize valuable sources of support and their own strengths, and develop a plan to address the concern(s) Every Single Session is unique and is strength-based and solution -focussed. Some clients come for a Single Session and do not require more service. Some clients use the Single Session to discuss the strategies they have used and to know if they are on the right track, consider different approaches or get help with accessing community resources. The therapist will also provide an opinion if additional services may be helpful and together the client and therapist will explore this possibility. If there is a request for ongoing or further service, the therapist will discuss next steps with the client.  

Single Sessions take place at both our Hartsdale and Ronson locations. Please let the Intake Coordinator know if you prefer a particular location.


The ECC provides Single Session Consultation to children/youth (0-16) and their families living, working or going to school in West Toronto. A child or youth over the age of 11 may seek a Single Session Consultation without parental or legal guardian approval. If parents or legal guardians have a joint custody arrangement, The ECC requires permission from the other joint custody parent/legal guardian to provide service. The ECC does not provide Single Session Consultation for custody and access matters and does not provide documentation for the purposes of court proceedings.

Common Presenting Issues

A Single Session Consultation offers children, youth and their families the opportunity to discuss their concerns and identify possible strategies. Examples of concerns include:

  • Angry or confusing thoughts or behavior

  • Anxiety

  • Attachment

  • Attention

  • Activity levels

  • Communication difficulties

  • Depression

  • Development problems

  • Difficulty with persons in authority

  • Expressing themselves individually or in a group

  • Getting along with adults and/or friends

  • Grief and loss

  • Impulsiveness

  • Learning difficulties or academic problems

  • Listening to or following direction or instruction

  • Opposition/defiance

  • Sadness

  • Shyness

  • Thoughts of harm to self or others

  • Worries that won’t go away

These are just some examples of  issues or worries that our clients. If the child or youth is struggling with issues that affects their day-to-day life, a Single Session Consultation may help to clarify the extent of the issue and if further service can help. 

Typical Timeline

When a client calls The ECC for service, the call is directed to the Intake Coordinator. The Intake Coordinator will briefly discuss the request and will then schedule an appointment to complete the intake interview. Once the intake process is complete, the Intake Coordinator will schedule a date and time for a Single Session Consultation with a Child and Family Therapist. Who needs to attend the Single Session Consultation will be discussed and negotiated.

At the Single Session Consultation, the Child and Family Therapist will meet with the person requesting service. By the end of the Single Session Consultation, recommendations for further service will be offered and if needed/requested, a plan developed with the client regarding the need for possible further services. The Child and Family Therapist will summarize the consultation in a letter and send this letter to the client within two weeks of the consultation. If it is agreed that further service at The ECC is appropriate and desired, the Child and Family Therapist will make the referral for further service to a counsellor either at The ECC or to another service provider. This person will be the client’s Service Coordinator until another service is begun. If there are any questions after the consultation, the client is encouraged to contact the Service Coordinator. The Service Coordinator will maintain contact with the client and provide updates regarding availability and timing of ongoing further service.

Possible Risks and Benefits

Possible Benefits:

  • A Single Session can help reduce the anxiety about seeking counselling or about the presenting concerns;

  • There is no or little wait time for this service;

  • Clients will have an opportunity to get to know more about what kinds of services are available and best suited to their needs, how to access these services and what to do if more service is recommended or needed;

  • Suggestions and ideas may emerge through the consultation that would be helpful to the client’s concerns;

  • Clients may feel less isolated and more supported;

  • Parents may learn ideas on how to advocate differently and receive better support for their child/youth within the various systems (i.e. school board, medical services, etc)

Possible Risks:

  • There may be feelings of  shyness, shame, embarrassment or exposure;

  • It may be difficult to consider other ideas or suggestions;

  • Recommendations may include ideas or strategies that are uncomfortable, not anticipated or not agreeable (e.g. recommendation for a psychological, psychiatric, or other more intensive assessment, suggested changes in discipline methods, referral for a more intensive service, etc);

  • Child Welfare may need to become involved if there is suspected abuse

If this information applies to you, your child, and/or family, visit our page on how to get started. 


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The Etobicoke Children’s Centre

65 Hartsdale Drive,
Etobicoke, ON M9R 2S8

200 Ronson Dr., (4th floor)
Etobicoke, ON M9W 5Z9

Tel: (416) 240-1111
Fax: (416) 240-7999
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