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Counselling: Knowing your options



Coping Through Covid-19

(Please read thoroughly, then call me directly: 905 628-4847)

My usual approach to counseling includes a three-hour meeting to do a deep dive to better understand the context in which issues arise. With this understanding, I then provide much feedback about the nature and effect of one’s upbringing to current situation to help appreciate those matters that contribute to current issues. From there, guidance is provided to address the issues surfaced by the lengthy exploration of the context.

However, in the context of this Covid-19 pandemic, there are folks now looking for strategies to get through a few certain issues made worse by how we must respond to manage the pandemic.

Social distancing for some has created isolation, anxiety, depression and challenges of managing relationships be they between parent and child, parents in the home, separated parents, intimate partners and aging or older parents. For some, work-life balance and just the stress of managing competing needs with limited resources create their challenges.

To help meet the needs of folks seeking a brief form of counseling, I am offering just that; brief and responsive counseling to address current issues arising the result of the pandemic.

People must phone and chat with me for a few minutes so I can have some sense of what is at issue and from there we can set an appointment. If you are calling on a child related matter, wanting me to meet with a child, please note, I always talk with the parent or parents first. Many child related issues can be addressed by offering the parents strategies to be helpful to their child.

Please note this counseling is not to provide a crisis phone service as I am unable to be responsive enough to facilitate that. For those needing immediate support to address a crisis, please Google crisis support and the town, city, region, county, province or state where you live.  

As always, I strive to be flexible and responsive to people’s different incomes, so I have adjusted my sliding fee scale for this service.

Want to meet? Follow these steps:

1) read the rest of this web page.

2) Phone me and if I am not available, please leave a brief message: 905 628-4847

3) After our phone call and if we have set an appointment, email me: gary@yoursocialworker.com

4) I will send you a reply email verifying the appointment and any other information necessary to facilitate the meeting.


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 $50 - $400 per hour. The actual fee then is determined by your family income, although no verification is required. You will be charged from the beginning of the scheduled appointment time, even if you are late. I bill for actual time used to the nearest quarter hour ahead in 15-minute increments.



0 - $30,000


$30,000 - $40,000


$40,000 - $50,000


 $50,000 - $75,000


 $75,000 - $100,000


 $100,000 - $125,000


 $125,000 - $150,000


 $150,000 - $175,000


 $175,000 - $200,000 


 $200,000 - $250,000


 $250,000 - $350,000


 $350,000 +


Clients provide payment by electronic money transfer (eTransfer or PayPal) at the end of each 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. Counseling is provided on a private and discreet basis.
  2. Service is provided either by phone or preferably on-line through video conferencing.
  3. Daytime appointments are available Monday through Thursday. Evening appointments are available Monday through Wednesday. The appointment times can be somewhat negotiable. I do not offer weekend appointments.
  4. Persons may self-refer. Please call.
  5. Persons are expected to attend sober for appointments.
  6. 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 18 years of age will be reported to proper authorities. If you intend to harm yourself or another, authorities will be informed to provide for safety.
  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. Counseling is provided on a closed basis, meaning you must agree that you or your designate or proxy will not call me to court or ask to provide a report for court purposes.
  4. For quality assurance and in case of concern or complaint about service, all meetings will be recorded.
  5. Up to an hour can be scheduled between appointments to avoid meeting anyone while entering or exiting.
  6. Information about yourself can be used to pursue payment in the event of non-payment.


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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW



(905) 628-4847


Gary Direnfeld is considered a child-behaviour expert, a social worker, author of Raising Kids Without Raising Cane and Marriage Rescue: Overcoming Ten Deadly Sins in a Failing Relationship. 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 and management. Courts in Ontario, Canada consider Gary an expert on matters pertaining to child development, custody and access, family/marital therapy and social work.



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

Oakville, Grimsby, Waterdown and other local areas.


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