Each profession requires certain levels of training and experience and are regulated by their own licensing body. Under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), only those licensed by their College can use the title. For example, only individuals licensed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) can call themselves Psychologists and say they provide “psychological” services.

In Ontario, only Psychologists and Medical Doctors can make mental health diagnoses.

In Ontario, Psychologists (C.Psych.) typically have earned a PhD in Psychology, have: completed coursework in a varied subjects; designed and carried out original research studies for their PhD dissertation; clinical placements & a one-year (2000-hr) predoctoral residency; an additional year of supervised practice under a registered psychologist; and comprehensive psychological and jurisprudence/ethics exams.
(Note: due to Canada’s Mutual Recognition Agreement, some Psychologists in Ontario are Masters-level trained.)

Psychologists are not usually covered under OHIP, with some exceptions when they work in hospital programs or on a Family Health Team (FHT).

Psychiatrists (RCPSC) are medical doctors (MD) who have completed medical school and a residency in Psychiatry. They can prescribe medication and are covered under OHIP.

In Ontario, Psychotherapists (RP) is a relatively newer designation in Ontario. RPs have at least a Bachelors degree, clinical experience, and pass a registration exam.

The Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) provides a useful overview of some of the differences between the professions: Profession Comparison Chart

In Ontario, registered health professionals fall under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) which governs based on protecting and serving the public. Professionals must follow certain regulations (e.g., health information privacy) and can only practice within their scope of practice. Examples of regulated health professionals include psychologists, medical doctors, psychotherapists, and occupational therapists, which are each governed by their own licensing body (e.g., College of Psychologists of Ontario). Each College ensures that it’s members have certain knowledge and experiences, only practice within their own scope of practice, and follow specific legislative guidelines.

This matters for you in that it ensures some minimum level of training and knowledge and provides you with an organization to speak with if you have concerns about a regulated health professional’s conduct, competence, clinical services, or ethical concerns. Each College can investigate and sanction the professional and place restrictions on their license to practice if warranted.

Important questions you can ask clinicians include:

  • How long have they been treating trauma?
  • How much training and supervision and/or consultation did they have while learning the treatment approach? It is important when learning a new approach to have someone who has a lot of experience in that approach helping the clinician learn and troubleshoot.
  • How is their treatment approach thought to work? What is the rationale for their treatment approach and how exactly does it treat the cause and symptoms of trauma-related difficulties?

There has been a great deal of research done on different trauma treatments. Clinicians and research scientists in the trauma fields have spent a lot of time reading through all the studies out there to identify those treatments with the most evidence of effectiveness for treating PTSD, that are preferred by clients, and whose benefits outweigh risks. An effective treatment approach is one that is recommended by the:

“Evidence-based” means that the treatment was studied in multiple research studies with the relevant populations (e.g., adults with depression; military veterans with PTSD). Other important components:

  • Large samples: The number of individuals included in the research studies were large enough to stand up statistically and give confidence that the results weren’t just a “fluke” or chance finding.
  • Compared against other treatment/placebo: The group who received the treatment in question needs to have been tested against another group who received: an existing established treatment, were waiting on the waitlist, or placebo to ensure that any improvements were the results of the actual treatment itself.
  • Peer-reviewed. The research studies should have been “peer-reviewed”; that is, reviewed by colleagues in the field who look at whether the study was carried out appropriately and the conclusions reached by the researchers were justified statistically.
  • Consensus: Finally, experts in the field review the research studies in a given area and reach consensus as to the effectiveness of the treatment and that the benefits outweigh any potential harm to the clients.

Evidence-based treatment doesn’t mean a strict step-by-step approach to treatment though! Treatment does not involve just a manual and techniques. Treatment is individualized to each person’s needs, where they’re at, and their desired goals. Treatment, no matter what the treatment is, will ideally incorporate thoughts, emotions, physical reactions, behaviours, relationships, family, and history.

No, your pain is not all in your head! But…our brains are where we process all sensations, including pain. That’s why someone who is paralyzed from the waist down won’t feel any pain if something heavy falls on their foot. The pain signal isn’t reaching their brain. Various factors can turn the volume up or down on that pain signal. For example, stress, anxiety, tension, or anger can cause muscle tension, which may actually worsen our pain experience. Learning healthy ways of coping with stress and pain may help to turn the volume down on how much pain we experience!

Three forms need to be sent to WSIB to submit a claim:

Workers Report of Injury/Disease – eForm 6 (to be completed by the employee)

Employers’ Report of Injury/Illness – eForm 7 (to be completed by the employer)

Health Professional’s Report for Occupational Mental Street – Form CMS8 (to be completed by the employee’s family physician/nurse practitioner)

WSIB will then provide you with a WSIB claim number and adjudicator name. An assessment may then be approved, either at a WSIB specialty clinic or with a psychologist registered with the Community Mental Health Program (Both Dr. Lee and Dr. Hartman are registered with the CMHP).

The Office of the Worker Advisor (OWA) is an independent agency from WSIB and provides a helpful breakdown on what is needed to file a WSIB claim as well as links to the relevant forms:

Resource: How to File a WSIB Claim


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Healing from trauma is possible. We invite you to contact us to schedule an initial consultation to start your road to recovery.