Health Bulletins

New Psychotherapy Requirements to Support Patient Care and Safety

Psychotherapy Providers to Be Registered with a Regulatory College

December 21, 2017

Ontario is supporting patient care and safety by requiring individuals performing the controlled act of psychotherapy to register with one of six regulatory colleges.

Individuals who provide these services will have a two-year transition period, beginning December 31, 2017, to register with a regulatory college.

During this period, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario will provide more clarity on the meaning of the controlled act of psychotherapy and what practices would be exempt.

Unregulated individuals can work with the College to understand whether the services they provide involve the performance of the controlled act and if they will be required to register with one of the regulatory colleges. Until that time, patients and clients will continue to receive the same services.

This new requirement will support Ontario’s work to provide more access to structured psychotherapy, helping thousands living with anxiety and depression learn strategies to improve their mental health and be more successful in their daily lives. Ontario is working with Health Quality Ontario and other stakeholders to develop a provincial structured psychotherapy program, while also supporting the expansion of structured psychotherapy offered through existing partners.

Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

“We will continue to work with and support professionals through this transition as we move toward improving patient care and services. We are in full support of patients receiving the highest quality and safest psychotherapy services by ensuring all professionals have the appropriate training, oversight and accountability available to them.”
– Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Protecting the public and ensuring access to important mental health services is what the Psychotherapy Act is all about and proclaiming this final piece of the legislation enhances clarity, improves access, and makes sure Ontarians can continue receiving these vital services from highly trained Registered Social Workers and other qualified regulated professions. OASW welcomes today’s news which is important for the over 17,000 social workers in Ontario and the clients they serve every day. We are so pleased that individuals right across Ontario will be protected and have access to important mental health services from qualified practitioners.”
– Joan MacKenzie Davies, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Social Workers

“The Ontario Psychological Association is happy to see that the Ontario Government is making mental health a priority by striving to increase access to those in need of appropriate care. We look forward to working with the Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists in this transition period as the Controlled Act for Psychotherapy is implemented to ensure that patients are properly informed about navigating and utilizing the most appropriately trained mental health professionals. This will help address the mental health needs of Ontarians so they can lead better lives.”
– Dr. Sylvain Roy, President, Ontario Psychological Association

“Declaring psychotherapy a controlled act means that only regulated health professionals can perform this vital service and that is good news for Ontarians. Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are central to our health system and RNAO will work with government and the College of Nurses of Ontario to ensure that both RNs and NPs continue to independently initiate and deliver psychotherapy as they have been doing for decades. This is necessary to ensure continued access to critical mental health supports for Ontarians.”
– Dr. Doris Grinspun, CEO, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario



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