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Regulated Professions (Ontario)

The regulatory landscape is rapidly changing for some healthcare professions in Ontario. This page provides commentary on the issues.

Psychotherapy Takeover Fears III: Call for Feedback

The PDF version of this document is available here.

This discussion paper provides a brief update on the controlled act of psychotherapy in Ontario. It builds on two other papers, available here and here. None of this commentary should be construed as legal advice.

Those following regulation of psychotherapy in Ontario will recall that the controlled act of psychotherapy has not been proclaimed. This means the legal definition of psychotherapy is not yet in force.

In spring 2015, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) directed the six regulatory colleges whose members will be authorized to perform the controlled act to work together in clarifying the legal definition.

CRPO Requesting Feedback – Survey

Last week, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) finally released the working group’s document and a YouTube video to clarify the meaning of the controlled act of psychotherapy. The document is meant to make the definition transparent to members of the six regulated professions, potential applicants and the public. The CRPO is now seeking feedback on the document until February 7, 2017 with a survey available here.

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Psychotherapy Takeover Fears II: Québec’s Example

This discussion paper was originally published June 26, 2015. The full text is available here.

As most of those following this issue are aware, the Psychotherapy Act was proclaimed on April 1, 2015. It has gone through all of the steps necessary to become law.

The problematic definition of the controlled act of psychotherapy and other sections of the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) were not proclaimed. For now, the title, not practice is restricted in Ontario. In its May 11 Communiqué, the College of Regulated Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) explains that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care prompted the six regulatory colleges whose members will be authorized to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy to further define its meaning.

This ought to be good news. However, as previously discussed, the definition is overbroad and leaves many practitioners wondering whether they risk facing enforcement actions from the CRPO. Please continue putting pressure on your MPP, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the CRPO by explaining how your practice may be at risk because of the lack of clarity between counselling and psychotherapy definitions. Your professional associations should have clear standards and scope of practice guidelines, as discussed in the earlier paper. It’s important for these groups to be providing leadership on your concerns as well.

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Psychotherapy Takeover Fears

This discussion paper was originally published September 21, 2014. The full text is available here.

Ontario is in the process of regulating various health modalities, one of which is psychotherapy. The Psychotherapy Act is currently drafted to make the practice of psychotherapy a controlled activity. In other words, only members of the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and other specified regulated professions (MDs, nurses, OTs, psychologists, social workers) will be allowed to practice psychotherapy.

Some natural health practitioners and counsellors are worried that they will no longer be able to practice their modality because psychotherapy is defined too broadly. An exception for counselling already exists in the legislation but neither definition provides much guidance given the significant overlap between psychotherapy and counselling. Individuals cannot determine exactly what is and is not prohibited. It is also unclear to what extent counselling could be subsumed by psychotherapy techniques or specialties.

The following pages detail the law, the Transitional Council for the CRPO’s (TC) position, consequences of contravening the legislation, and steps you may wish to take if you feel the regulatory scheme will negatively impact your practice.

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