Who do I go to for Therapy?

What is the difference between a Psychotherapist, Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

While there is some overlap between the services offered by Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists, there are considerable differences in training and services.

The services offered by Psychologists in Ontario are specific to their area of “Declared Competency”. These areas are: Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, Forensic/Correctional Psychology, Neuropsychology, Health Psychology, Rehabilitation Psychology and Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Depending on what kind of service or treatment you need it would be a good idea to check on the Psychologist’s area(s) of competency.

Psychotherapist

  • Provides psychotherapy & counseling services
  • Training is varied (some have Masters degrees)*
  • Assessment for personality style and functioning (not for diagnosis)
  • Can not diagnose disorders
  • Can not prescribe meds
  • Psychotherapists will be regulated by the College of Psychotherapy when it opens in Ontario in the spring of 2014

Psychologist

  • Provides psychotherapy & counselling services in their areas of competency
  • Have earned a doctoral level degree (PhD, PsyD)
  • Psychological testing for a diagnosis in their area of competency (eg. A school psychologist can diagnose a Learning Disability)
  • Diagnose disorders and dysfunctions
  • Can not prescribe meds
  • Psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario

Psychiatrist

  • Some provide psychotherapy & counseling services
  • Have an M.D. and advanced training in psychiatry
  • Typically do not do psychological testing – diagnose based on criteria met in the DSM-V**
  • Diagnose disorders and dysfunctions
  • Can prescribe medication
  • Psychiatrists are regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

* The entry requirements for an individual to become registered with the College of Psychotherapists are lower than the requirements for becoming a Psychologist, therefore, it is always best to check the credentials and qualifications of your practitioner.
* DSM-V is the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (published by the American Psychiatric Association)

As a practicing psychotherapist I work on addressing your belief system. Your beliefs are the basis for your thoughts, words, actions, and habits. It is possible to quickly understand the root cause of a problem and form a plan to remove it.

Your beliefs have far reaching consequences, both positive and negative in your life. Beliefs affect your moods, relationships, job performance, self-esteem, physical health and your prosperity. With so much at stake, it is important that we know how to change beliefs that are limiting us into beliefs that support us.

By changing our beliefs we are free to grow into our authentic selves and:

  • have that sense of happiness
  • have harmony in our relationships
  • transition into that dream job
  • feel confident and competent
  • achieve lasting weight loss
  • manage money more effectively