Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

 

1)  How do I access counselling or psychotherapy?

 

No referrals are needed for accessing counselling or psychotherapy.  You can arrange for counselling or psychotherapy by telephone or email.  This is subject to availability and the therapist's scope of practice.

 

2)  What are your hours?

 

Appointments can be scheduled Monday to Friday 9:30 am - 4:00 pm, subject to availability.  Limited evening appointment times are also available.

 

3)  What is the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

 

According to the College of Registered Psychotherapists, the practice of psychotherapy is distinct from counselling.  In counselling "the focus is on the provision of information, advice-giving, encouragement and instruction" (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario Annual Report 2014-2015).  Counselling is typically short-term in nature and mostly what is offered through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).  

 

Psychotherapy, however, is defined as: "To treat, by means of psychotherapy technique, delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception, or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgment, insight, behaviour, communication, or social functioning."  (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario Annual Report 2014-2015).  The controlled act of psychotherapy was enacted in 2007 by the Ontario legislature and as of Dec. 31, 2017 is in force, so it is restricted to members of regulated professions, including members of the following regulatory Colleges of Ontario:

  • College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO)

  • College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO)

  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO)

  • College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)

  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO)

  • Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers (OCSWSSW)

 

4) What are the differences between psychotherapist

psychological associate, psychologist and psychiatrist?  

 

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (a Member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario) who has additional training in mental health and the pharmacological treatment of mental disorders.  They are authorized to assess for and diagnose a mental disorder, sign medical certificates for work leaves, and prescribe medication.  They may also provide psychotherapy.

 

A psychologist is a Member of College of Psychologists of Ontario with a doctoral level degree in psychology (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D., D.Psy.).  A psychological associate is also a Member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, but with a masters level degree in psychology (M.A., M.Sc., M.Ps.) followed by four years of experience working in the scope of practice of psychology.  They are authorized to assess for and diagnose a mental disorder and often also provide psychotherapy but they are not allowed to prescribe medication.

 

In contrast to psychiatrists, psychologists and psychological associates, psychotherapists (Members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario) do not do formal assessment for and diagnosis of mental disorders  nor do they prescribe medication.  They have a Master's level of educational training that includes 125 Direct Client Contact hours of internship and a minimum 30 hours of clinical supervision followed by 1000 hours of post-graduate Direct Client Contact hours and another 120 hours of clinical supervision.  They provide psychotherapy and may also provide counselling, both as defined above.

 

5)  What is "Christian Counselling"?  

 

Contrary to what some may believe, Christians are not immune to mental or emotional distress, illness or disorders.  Christian counselling, provided at the request of the client, is counselling or psychotherapy that acknowledges the spiritual dimension of a Christian's life, where applicable Christian principles and values are identified and respected as part of therapy.