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What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

 

A psychiatrist obtains a medical degree and then completes specialized training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists primarily prescribe medications and typically emphasize medication management in the treatment of mental health difficulties.

Psychologists receive a doctoral degree in psychology and are registered by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. A psychologist receives specialized training in psychological interventions including assessment and psychotherapy. They are trained in the integration of scientific knowledge with clinical practice. They do not have the authority to prescribe medication.
 

How do I choose a psychologist?

 

There are several ways to find a psychologist suitable for your needs. The College of Psychologists of Ontario has a list of all registered psychologists in the province and they can be contacted to assist with an appropriate referral in your area. Psychologists' employ a variety of therapeutic approaches and it is acceptable to interview the psychologist regarding their approach and if they have experience working with your issue. Research has proven that the strength of the therapeutic relationship is one of the best determinants of therapeutic success. You have the right to feel comfortable with your therapist.

 

Confidentiality?

 

The information discussed with me is confidential. I do not discuss confidential information without permission unless one of a few specific circumstances arise:

  • Concern that a child is being abused. If during our sessions I learn that a child is being harmed or at risk of being harmed, I will report this situation to the Children's Aid Society

  • A person in serious danger. If there is an immediate danger that you might seriously injure yourself or harm someone else, then I will do what is necessary to protect personal safety

  • Sexual misconduct by another health professional. If it is revealed that another health professional has interacted with you in a sexually inappropriate manner, then I am required to report them to their college

  • Review by the Ontario College of Psychology. If requested as part of an investigation or quality assurance audit, I must open my client files to the College of Psychology

  • Consultation. I may discuss client matters with other professionals whom I feel could provide helpful suggestions. I will not mention your name or any other identifying information to any other professional unless I have your permission in advance.

What is psychotherapy?

 

Psychotherapy is defined as, “A therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client.”
 
Psychotherapy is much more than just “talking about your problems”. It is based on a professional, therapeutic relationship and integrates various therapeutic skills, structures and techniques which are designed to assist the client.
 
There are many different types of psychotherapy, however my practice employs several therapeutic strategies which are anti-oppressive in nature and are employed to promote the best interests of each client.

 

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