Psychological Associates and Psychologists have education and formal training in the areas of psychological testing, research, diagnosis and treatment. They are able to formulate and communicate mental health diagnoses, and provide treatment in the form of talk therapy. They are registered mental health providers that adhere to a high standard of professional practice as defined by the Regulated Health Professions Act, Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, Standards for Professional Conduct, Mental Health Act and the Privacy Act. Their work is covered by most extended health benefits plans.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. Most often, psychiatrists are employed in hospital settings and prescribe and manage medications for patients. Typically, appointments are shorter in duration, involve less talk therapy, and focus more on whether the medication is helping to manage symptoms. Some psychiatrists also work in private practice.
Social Workers (Masters of Social Work, MSW) have Master’s level education in the area of sociology, psychology and social work. They have training and experience providing support and therapeutic services to clients with emotional, mental and/or behavioural issues. Social workers utilize a multi-faceted therapy approach, with a focus on helping clients improve their emotional, physical and functional status. They are registered mental health providers regulated by the College of Registered Social Workers and Social Service Workers, adhering to a high standard of professional conduct and ethics.
Registered Psychotherapists (RP’s) come from various backgrounds of education and experience including sociology, psychology, education, spirituality, counselling, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. They work together with clients to bring about positive change in the client’s thinking, feeling, behaviour and social functioning. RP’s are competent to use psychotherapy approaches from a variety of therapeutic modalities, depending on their individual background and experience. They are regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and adhere to a high standard of professional conduct and ethics.