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How to choose a counselor...


Marital Therapy?


Marital Therapy Explained 




Think your teen (or child) needs counselling?


What do clients say about Gary's counseling...


Counselling: Knowing your options


Boundary issues in the client/therapist relationship...


Why I use a Sliding Fee Scale


Closed Single Session Consultation

Regardless of where you are in the separation process, you may be wondering what to do next or you may be worrying how your situation is impacting your children. You may be feeling stuck, going down a path you never intended with consequences you never anticipated. You may be considering mediation and you may be concerned about the other person's willingness to attend. 

The Closed Single Session Consultation is an opportunity for one or both parents to sit down together for a good 3 hours with a trained professional to review their issues, how they are going about resolving matters and to discuss concerns as they relate to their children.

Being a "closed" meeting, information discussed cannot be used in a court process. This allows parents to speak freely without concern for matters discussed being used at court. 

If attending with the other person and you are concerned about behavior, attitude, safety or legal matters, the meeting can include lawyers.

Sometimes all you need is one good meeting to figure things and regroup to head in a better direction. This is that opportunity. Sometimes all it takes is for a person to commit to one meeting. This can be that meeting. This may set the stage for additional meetings at your discretion. It's up to you.

The closed single session consultation can serve as the gateway to additional service.



As a social worker, I am respectful of people's different income levels. As such, the fee is set on a fee-for-service basis using a sliding scale that ranges from $150 - $400 per hour. The actual fee then is determined by your gross annual income (joint gross annual income for couples). Although no verification is required, if you have been found to misrepresent your income, you will be responsible for paying the difference accordingly and thereafter, service may be terminated at my discretion. In addition, at my sole discretion, your fee may be determined by your company's revenue in view of persons who manage their income through their company or corporation or by net worth or at my discretion.

Further, time will be taken at the beginning of our meeting for me to present my qualifications, experience and approach to counselling so that service is provided on an informed basis. This is deemed part of the time provided and billed for. The session will be deemed to commence at the scheduled appointment time and billing will therefore begin at the scheduled appointment time even if you are late. Please arrive on time. Appointments cancelled with less than 48 hours (two business days) will be billed for one hour.

Fee Schedule (based on joint income). HST will be added to Clinical-Legal services:

 Income  Fee/hour
0   -    $75,000  $150.00
 $75,000 - $100,000  $175.00
 $100,000 - $125,000  $200.00
 $125,000 - $150,000  $225.00
 $150,000 - $175,000  $250.00
 $175,000 - $200,000   $275.00
 $200,000 - $250,000  $300.00
 $250,000 - $350,000  $350.00
 $350,000 +  $400.00


Clients provide payment by cash or cheque at the end of the session. A receipt is always provided. 


Third Party Payments (EAP and other Benefit Providers):

Pleased be advised that I do not accept payment by third party payers (benefit or EAP providers) whatsoever. People are directly responsible for payment of services as per the information above at the time of service. A receipt will be provided with which persons can seek reimbursement from their EAP or benefit provider. I take no responsibility for your reimbursement. Reimbursement remains a matter between you and your benefit or EAP provider. 

If you do seek reimbursement through your benefit or EAP provider and I am called to verify the charge, I will do so with your implied consent. My disclosure will be limited to advising of my credentials as well as verifying the billing information, service provided and persons served. No information regarding the nature or content of information discussed will be provided without signed consent, for which you will be charged as per the time required.


  1. Service is provided on a private and discreet basis.
  2. Service is provided in the safety and comfort of my home-office.
  3. Daytime appointments are available Monday through Friday (except Friday afternoon). Evening appointments are available Monday through Thursday. I typically set my appointment times for 9:30 am, 1:30 pm and 7:00 pm. I do not offer weekend appointments. Summer hours may be restricted - please ask.
  4. Persons may self-refer. Please call.
  5. Persons are expected to attend sober for appointments.
  6. There is no recording or posting of content or comments in any form or media by clients or their proxy although Gary Direnfeld may record at his discretion for accountability purposes.
  7. Violence of any fashion will not be condoned.


All matters remain confidential with the following exceptions:

  1. Any past or imminent harm or abuse to a child currently younger than 16 years of age will be reported to proper authorities.
  2. Any imminent threat of harm to self or to another adult will be reported either to proper authorities and/or to other persons who may be required to intervene as necessary.
  3. Up to an hour can be scheduled between appointments to avoid meeting anyone while entering or exiting.
  4. Information about yourself can be used to pursue payment in the event of non-payment, cancelled or bad cheques or misrepresentation of income.


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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW



(905) 628-4847


Gary Direnfeld is a child-behaviour expert, a social worker, and the author of Raising Kids Without Raising Cane. Gary not only helps people get along or feel better about themselves, but also enjoys an extensive career in public speaking. He provides insight on issues ranging from child behaviour management and development; to family life; to socially responsible business development. Courts in Ontario, Canada consider Gary an expert on matters pertaining to child development, custody and access, family/marital therapy and social work.


Buy the book:

For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.


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Counselling and assessment services serving Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Burlington, Brantford,

Oakville, Grimsby, Waterdown and other local areas.


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