Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know I need help?

If you have found yourself on this page the answer is probably yes.  Not only do we treat patients who are actively/acutely experiencing mental health concerns, we also work from a preventative approach.  If you have been experiencing any unusual symptoms/behaviours it could indicate the beginning stages of a future problem and we will work with you to manage this.

Am I “sick enough” to seek care?

There is no sign or symptom that is too small; mental health issues start insidiously, slowly and often mildly.  Early detection makes an enormous difference in both the difficulty and length of recovery.  We treat anyone who lands anywhere on the mental health spectrum.  Everyone deserves to feel 100%.

What if I have not been professionally diagnosed?

A diagnosis doesn’t affect our treatment plan.  The symptoms or disruptions that a patient experiences as well others’ observations are what guide treatment.  Sometimes there is no diagnosis to explain the way you are feeling and sometimes a diagnosis is very helpful but at The Spark Institute, it doesn’t matter.

Do I need all of the services?

Possibly; each plan is individually tailored depending on a child’s need.  Our approach is to address all aspects of the condition as this will provide a more complete healing.  Our goal is to provide the least amount of treatment with the maximum effect; in other words, both under treating and over treating are equally problematic.

What if I am medicated? Will you work or communicate with my medical doctor?

This is totally okay and yes we will.  We are entirely cooperative and supportive of effective therapies that are in place.  In some situations we take on the primary treatment role and in others we are an adjunctive treatment role.  In certain instances our role is mitigating the negative effects of psychotropic medications.  

Can you help me come off of medication?

This is possible if there is stability, if there has been sufficient time spent in stability and if a patient’s life if conducive to continued stability.  

How long will it take to start feeling better?

Because each treatment is individualized, this varies from person to person.  After initial consultation/early in the treatment this will likely become more clear and can be discussed.  The Spark Institute will work with you from the very beginning all the way until you reach the point that you want to get to, meaning we often develop long-term relationships with our patients.

Are these services covered by insurance?

Most extended healthcare plans or third party benefits do cover our services.  Check with your service provider for full details and coverage. 

How Do I Know if I have an Eating Disorder?

If you are burdened by obsessive or repetitive thoughts about food, your body or your weight, you quite likely fall somewhere on the spectrum of disordered eating and would be a good candidate to seek treatment.  Eating disorders vary in severity and intensity and usually include symptoms of bingeing, purging, restricting and/or over exercising.

What are the Symptoms of an Eating Disorder

Symptoms vary from person to person but in general they including bingeing, purging, restricting or over exercising.  Symptoms are one aspect of an eating disorder and disordered thoughts are another. Long before the emergence of symptoms (at the onset of the ED) and long after the disappearance of symptoms (in recovery) there will be disordered thoughts, which need to be addressed.  Sometimes we see patients who are highly symptomatic and sometimes we see patients who are not.

What are the Different Types of Eating Disorders?

Classically eating disorders are diagnosed as Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder.  Bulimia Nervosa includes restriction that will lead to bingeing followed by purging through vomiting, laxatives or exercise.  Patients with bulimia are often a normal body weight and look “fine.”  Anorexia Nervosa is restrictive disordered eating that leads to unhealthy weight loss and an intense fear of weight gain.  Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by episodes of bingeing usually without purging.

In reality most eating disorders include periods of restriction, bingeing and purging and have a tendency to change over time.

Still have questions? We have answers.