Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Referral to See a Psychologist?

No. Self-referrals are always welcome. When appropriate, coordination with other service providers (such as physicians, lawyers, case managers, occupational therapists, teachers) can be helpful and may be recommended but is not necessary.

Who Can Benefit From Consultation With A Psychologist?

Any individual who believes that they have a need for services provided by a trained and regulated professional whose areas of specialty are dealing with personal and interpersonal issues and problems from a psychological, emotional, or cognitive perspective. It is also not uncommon for individuals to seek psychological services for concerns such as abuse, trauma, injury, loss, separation, or various psychological symptoms, including depression or anxiety, that have risen to a level that interrupts their lives. Exploration of one’s fast and goals for the future, as well as struggles in relationships, are other areas in which a psychologist can provide assistance.

Why is it Important to See a Regulated Health Practitioner?

Protection of YOU (not the practitioner) and quality assurance. The role of the regulatory body or College is to protect the public by ensuring that its practitioners are properly trained and competent. An unregulated person does not have to meet any qualification or continuing education standards, and is not subject to regulation; therefore, patients/clients have no regulatory body to contact if they have any concerns about the services provided.

Are Psychological Services OHIP Covered?

No. However, there are various third-party coverage mechanisms that can provide financial support to help access psychological services. These include Extended Health Coverage through an employer, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), Motor Vehicle Accident Insurers (MVA) or Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Benefits. Some people have coverage through Health Canada. Victims of a crime can apply to have psychological services covered through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). Individuals injured in a workplace accident might receive assistance through Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Are Psychological Services Private and Confidential?

Yes with the exception of some legally-mandated limits to confidentiality. Under certain conditions, psychologists’ files are not “protected”, such as if these records are subpoenaed by a judge. Under certain conditions, psychologists have an obligation to report concerns to appropriate authorities or persons; these specific limitations include if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child (presently under 16 years of age) is being abused or neglected, that another registered health care professional (e.g., a physician, dentist, chiropractor) has abused a patient, or that there is an imminent risk of self-harm or harm to an identified other.

How Long Does Treatment Last?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors including the nature of the issue, personal goals, level of change required/requested, and extent of current stressors or the timing of anticipated stressors. Sometimes, a course of therapy is completed and another course begins at a later time due to changing life circumstances, readiness to revisit and continue working on some difficult issues, or financial restrictions.

How Frequently Should Sessions Occur?

That depends on a host of issues, such as complexity of the problem, emotional “pacing”, or practical concerns, such as financial or scheduling considerations.

Do Psychologists Diagnose Mental Health Problems?

Yes. Psychologists are trained to apply mental health diagnoses when appropriate, and are among the Regulated Health Professionals who are able to conduct the controlled act of communicating a diagnosis.