General Questions

What is ShiftGrit?

ShiftGrit delivers a structured therapy program, focused on quality of life improvement, problem resolution and goal attainment. Our therapists are classically educated AND then specially trained in our unique approach. They utilize a combination of our theoretical orientation, our protocol and their professional expertise to structure your therapy plan, which is customized by the content and concerns you provide.

How do I know if Shift is a good fit for me?

Easy-peasy. Booking a call with our Client Experience Specialist is the best way to find out. They will use your specific preferences and concerns to determine this AND which of our therapists would be best suited as well.

How do I get paired with a clinician?

At Shift, all of the clinicians are Registered Psychologists, Registered Provisional Psychologists, or Certified Canadian Counsellors. Each of our clinicians are registered with their provincial and or federal governing body. Upon joining the team, clinicians receive additional training on Shift’s philosophy and treatment methods. Before we let a new clinician meet with clients, each has to demonstrate their ability to expertly execute this protocol on senior psychological staff. Our extensive training, ongoing “skill sharpener” workshops and rigorous quality assurance process allows us to offer a consistent level and type of service, within our great selection of clinicians. So, go ahead and try out our recommendation; we’ll be surprised if you’re not a fan.

What if my clinician is not a good fit for me? Can I switch?

At Shift, we want you to be over the moon about your experience, so of course you can! In fact, if you tell us a little bit about your concern, we will be happy to give you a different clinician and a discounted transfer session. Oh, and another great thing about our approach is that you won’t lose a minute of session time when you start over with another person. It’s as seamless as can be, with you picking up right where you left off.

I've done therapy before. How is this different?

Shift doesn’t deliver client-led therapy. Our accountant, acupuncturist or lawyer doesn’t make us “figure it out,” so we don’t either. We’re also not a fan of keeping people in the dark or deluging them with psycho-babble. We come armed with a directive program that we lay out in a transparent fashion, so clients always know what we’re doing and why. We’re not going to just sit around and chat about the problem of the moment. That’s too easy. Instead, we look at the underlying, causal factors that block people from living the life they want. That allows us to deal with the problem of the moment AND insulate from future roadblocks in one go. Two birds, one stone.

I've never been to therapy. What can I expect?

We come armed with a very specific, structured program and our therapists will guide you through it step-by-step. One of the benefits of working within a directive therapist is that they will orient you to the underlying, causal factors, which avoids getting stuck in surface level weeds and helps facilitate long-lasting results.

Do you use a lot of worksheets and give a lot of homework in between sessions?

Heck no! With all the business of life we think we’re all happy to leave homework in the past.

How do you hold all of the Shift clinicians to the same high standards?

We were upset with the inconsistent quality in the field of traditional psychology so we decided that we would solve this problem. We use a combination of metrics and quality assurance protocols to continually ensure the quality and consistency of approach, pacing, case notation, client satisfaction, and other factors critical for delivering the optimal therapy experience. This also provides us with opportunities to continually improve, provide mentorship and encourage consultation.

Do I have to do anything to prepare for my first session?

Nope. We will ask what brings you in, however, and anything from the very specific to the very mumbo jumbo of answers works for us.

What are we going to talk about for an entire hour each week?

Well, lots in the first three sessions, and then only as much as you want. Shift clinicians start with the intake (us asking questions), then do two mindfulness, structured CBT activities, and then we move into reprocessing. The reprocessing stage takes the longest and can be done with barely any talking (if you are working on something you’re shy about) or heaps of talking (if you’re someone who works things out, out-loud.) Either way you like it, we can serve it up, with no pressure to jump out of your comfort zone at all.

How often should I see my therapist?

Every client is different, depending on treatment needs and financial circumstance, but typically Shift psychologists see their clients once every week or two.

How many sessions will it take?

This is a tough one. It’s a little bit like asking a personal trainer how long it will take to bench press 100 pounds. It all depends on personal characteristics, how much work you have to do, how often we see you, how hard you work and how our program clicks with you. That said, our results are fast and furious for most of our clients, and we tend to attribute this to our structured, outcome-driven therapeutic model. We don’t have wandering discussions; there’s a goal for each and every session, and we try darn hard to help you reach it.

Can Shift substitute for traditional therapy?

Yes and, in our humble opinion, it should. Shift’s unique protocol is based on established therapeutic methods that empower clients to reach their goals quickly and effectively. We were founded to address the limitations of traditional therapy — the meandering sessions, the lack of transparency and measurable outcomes — and our numbers suggest we knocked it out of the park.

Does it mean I’m crazy if I see a psychologist?

At Shift, we aren’t into getting too diagnosticky. It’s just not our model. So, let’s look at it this way: You go to the gym to take care of your physical health; you go to therapy to take care of your mental health. Think of us as personal trainers who help you work out your mind, so that your life gets and stays in fabulous shape.

Does Shift treat children?

Yup. We work with ages 12 to older than the hills. It is clinician dependent however, so ask our Client Experience Specialist which available therapists work with children.

What techniques does Shift use?

Shift utilizes a nice little mix of established therapies, enhanced by some original concepts and a unique sequence. We start things out with some cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and add in bi-lateral stimulation, exposure therapy, attachment theory and our own pattern theory. Ingredients for a wonderful and thorough outcome. See how it works here.

Do you offer phone consultations?

We do not offer phone consultations with our clinicians, but if you have a question for us, we will always find time to chat. Our Concierge and Front of House Staff are very knowledgeable about our approach and therapy. We want you to be comfortable with your choice of therapist and service.

Does Shift have evening appointments available?

We’re nighthawks! Shift is open until 9pm several nights each week. We also have weekend availability.

Will Shift direct bill my Insurance Company?

Read here to find out which insurance companies that we direct-bill to.

Do I have to pre-pay if I book an appointment online?

Yes. We do take payment at the time of booking and require you to have a credit card on file in your Shift booking account.

What happens in the first session?

Your first session is different than any other you will have. We ask you a ton of questions, which are very to-the-point and directed, so that you are never at a loss for what to say. We start with “What brings you in today?” and go on to topics like medical history, sleep, family history and end with goal setting (which we help you with) and outlining a treatment plan. It’s a packed 50 minutes of your history, wish list and present circumstances, but you are always in control and can pass on any question that makes you uncomfortable. Plus, we always leave time for you to grill us a little on whatever you’d like.

What techniques does Shift use?

Shift utilizes a nice little mix of established therapies, enhanced by some original concepts and a unique sequence. We start things out with some cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and add in bi-lateral stimulation, exposure therapy, attachment theory and our own pattern theory. Ingredients for a wonderful and thorough outcome. See how it works here

How can I pay for appointments booked in person or on the phone?

We accept credit card, debit card, or paypal.

What is your cancellation policy?

We understand that special circumstances are unavoidable and a cancellation may be necessary. However, cancellations need to be done via phone call or email of your specific location with a minimum of 48 notice of the upcoming appointment to avoid being charged. Remember, any cancellation and/or rescheduling can be done 48 hours prior to your appointment.

Are ShiftGrit locations wheelchair accessible?

We regret to inform you that our Edmonton location on 124th Street is not wheelchair accessible. Our Calgary location in the Mount Royal Block on 17th Street and 7th Ave does have elevator access, as does or South Common location in Edmonton. Our BC online counselling services are all virtual at this point!

Is Shift a discrimination-free and inclusive therapy provider?

Yup. Our approach relies on the counsellor providing a neutral therapeutic framework, which you fill in with content and then reprocess. This means that any value judgements come from the client’s evaluation not from the therapist.

Will I ever see Parrots at ShiftGrit?

Yup. This may sound like an oddly specific question, but our founder is a BIG bird lover and often brings her African Grey Parrot and Senegal Parrot to the shop in Edmonton. The people who come in with a bit of ornithophobia find out that birds (at least ours) are not scary at all! No extra charge to clear up your “bird phobia”! ????