On Accessing Psychotherapy

Posted by: Trudi Wyatt on June 17, 2015 8:26 am

Open Minds is a recent Globe and Mail series exploring mental health in Canada. One topic is paying for psychotherapy, and one of the articles under this umbrella, “The case for publicly funded therapy”, by Erin Anderssen, is explored and reviewed in this post.

Ms. Anderssen’s case is built on two premises: that psychotherapy is an effective intervention for mental health issues — especially depression and anxiety; and, that because not everyone has the resources to pay for it, it should be paid for with tax dollars.

The first premise is obvious to me, though I admit my bias! As a Psychotherapist, I see on an almost daily basis how helpful this intervention can be. More broadly, as Ms. Anderssen points out, “Research has found that psychotherapy is as effective as medication – and in some cases works better,” “In randomly controlled trials, drugs often perform only marginally better than sugar pills”, and “we have 100 clinical trials [in support of talk therapy] and no one believes us”.

In building the second premise, Ms. Anderssen points out that not everyone is able to afford psychotherapy, or enough psychotherapy. She illustrates a range of scenarios: from people who can’t pay and are on public wait lists, to people with some but limited private insurance coverage, to people with ample coverage (including federal public servants, paid with tax payers’ money).

She also indicates where dollars (about $2-billion annually) are being spent on psychotherapy in Canada: About half are tax-collected dollars and go to physicians, including about $350-million to family physicians who may not be well-trained in psychotherapy, and about $650-million to psychiatrists who may maintain small practices that serve higher-functioning, higher-income patients, perhaps for years. Contrast this with Australia, Britain, and the United States, where publicly-funded psychiatrists serve more as consultants on severe cases (as other specialists do) than as psychotherapy providers.


The other $1-billion is spent by private insurance / workers’ compensation, and individuals directly (“out-of-pocket”). But despite $2-billion being spent ($272 per Canadian if one in five suffers from mental illness) (1,3), not everyone in need is receiving treatment.
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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Quality Assurance in Psychotherapy

Posted by: Trudi Wyatt on May 8, 2015 2:00 pm

Perhaps you have noticed the many ads lining Toronto’s TTC subways recently, asking “Do you know a psychotherapist?”? (1)

Indeed, there has been much ado about psychotherapy in Ontario lately, especially related to the province’s new College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), established on April 1, 2015, under two provincial Acts (2). CRPO’s mandate is “to regulate Registered Psychotherapists in the public interest, striving to ensure that practitioners are competent, ethical and accountable” (3).

At this time, over 1,700 practitioners — including many Canadian Certified Counsellors (CCCs) — in Ontario have already become registered with this regulatory College (4).

What do these developments mean for someone seeking psychotherapy or counselling? For one thing, because one of the Regulations under these Acts requires having a Quality Assurance (QA) program (5), if you choose to pursue therapy with a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), you will know that his or her regulatory College requires him or her to participate in the type of rigorous QA program described below (6).

Specifically, CRPO’s QA program encourages “the continuing competence and quality improvement of Members”(7). It includes professional development, and “professional self” assessment for all Members, as well as Peer & Practice Assessments in some cases.

The professional development component of the program requires Members to create a “Learning Plan” (6) with goals for professional development, and to record and describe which acceptable activities were pursued to meet those goals. My understating is that the specific details of these requirements have not yet been finalized, but I imagine that a goal example might be “maintain and sharpen competence in providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)” and that an acceptable supporting activity example might then be “attend a CBT seminar.”
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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

CCPA Applauds Ontario Government on New CRPO

Posted by: CC PA on April 7, 2015 9:55 am

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) congratulates the Ontario Government on the official proclamation made April 1st, 2015 that the Psychotherapy Act, 2007 has come officially into force by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

“Regulation of a profession requires commitment and collaboration amongst the government, the profession and key stakeholders. CCPA is proud to be part of this collaboration and this milestone for the profession”, said Blythe Shepard, CCPA President. “CCPA congratulates the Transitional Council of the College of Registered Psychotherapists on this significant accomplishment.  CCPA hopes that the regulation of the profession in Ontario hastens the regulation efforts in other jurisdictions of Canada.”

Read more here: http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/en/newsevents/newsreleases/details.php?id=127

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

MOT: SLCHG Pilot Project – “Out With the Old In With the New” [1]

Posted by: Linda AK Thompson on February 26, 2015 1:04 pm

According to the old saying [native speaking], the traditional idiom, “Out with the old in with the new” is said around new years implying change, a letting go of the past with a natural understanding that what one faces in the current concept at hand has no rational explanation nor reference to belonging or material things. I know and totally get this idiom!

lake-430508_640Transitioning out of the “regulated” helping professions and into a small practice in preparation for retirement, one’s golden oldie years, is an interesting shift. Reflecting upon one’s lifetime career, as I have been doing for the past two years is also an interesting process. I find myself recalling poignant words received from teacher’s throughout my 5 decades of service within the helping professions.

There have been no posts from me concerning trauma counselling and my last two posts: Collaborating and Simply Holding Healing Spaces. Much has transpired for me and I have been listening, consulting and contemplating, quite deeply this past 9 months, which is metaphorically the ideal time-span for delivery and birth of a new life. I did start this article back in September 2014 and have revised it many times, however, I am unable to achieve clarity on the contents, so I believe it is best to simply let it go and move on to my new year, focus, projects and service.

I am trying to find a photo of me from 1965, and as soon as I do I will begin to recall and reflect upon my teacher’s words and my career path, however most importantly, I do want to share with you how I am going to celebrate this professional milestone. It was suggested to me that perhaps, my career story might be an interest post.

Author: Linda AK Thompson, CCC Healing Trauma, Exit + Grief Counsellor
Owner, Matrix of Trauma (© MOT ™): Research, Advocacy, Healing


  1. www.usingenglish.com



*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

What Can You Learn From the Edge of Town to Enrich Your Career and Life?

Posted by: Mark Franklin on March 6, 2012 3:23 pm

Interesting people, unusual sights, sounds and smells, and serendipitous experiences show up in the transitional area between city and countryside. See for yourself in this short video we made last week on the outskirts of a town in Nicaragua, when we were leading the CareerCycles ‘enriching lives and careers trip.’

Metaphorically, the edge of town is linked with career and life changes:

  • City / TRANSITIONAL AREA / Countyside
  • Comfort zone / LEARNING ZONE / Anxiety zone
  • Ending, Losing, Letting go / NEUTRAL ZONE / New beginning

For those of us who live in cities, as we leave town, we often feel a sense of relaxation and relief from the busy-ness of our lives to the calming effect of the countryside.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

The Career Statement: A Revolutionary Tool For Career Management, For 2012 and Beyond

Posted by: Mark Franklin on January 5, 2012 4:39 pm

As Career Professionals, it is powerful and gratifying when our clients become empowered to articulate their strengths and career aspirations clearly and confidently. Many Career Professionals intuitively facilitate clients toward this outcome, yet few if any consistent and widely embraced methods exist to guide clients toward such an authentic and effective statement.

Increasingly, CareerCycles Associates and trainees have been fine tuning a narrative method of practice to distil what matters from what happened to guide clients toward the creation of their unique Career Statement. Over the past five years, 120 Career Professionals across Canada and the U.S. have been trained in the CareerCycles narrative method of practice. In the same time, more than 2000 clients have benefited from creating their Career Statement, with consistently excellent results and feedback.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

The Professor Tony Watts Interview: “Organizations create careers, but also, careers create organizations”

Posted by: Mark Franklin on June 11, 2011 5:23 pm

If you’ve ever wondered how meaningful your career is to your employer, or how important your contribution is in transforming your organization, you’re in luck, because Professor Tony Watts has some powerful things to say about it.

“Organizations create careers, but also, careers create organizations. It’s the way people develop their talents, through movement, that actually creates dynamic organizations,” said Tony Watts, Visiting Professor of Career Development at the University of Derby, England. “Some organizations do absolutely understand that, not all do. Encouraging organizations to take the careers of their staff seriously is very important.” Tony Watts has lectured in over 60 countries, and written books, articles and commissioned studies, recently focusing on the use of internet technology to support career development. Mostly though, Tony is an impassioned advocate  for widespread career wellbeing through government policy, educational institutions, and organizations. He was a guest on our radio show, Career Buzz, on June 10, 2011.

Isn’t it refreshing to consider that your career helps to create your organization? And if that’s the case as Tony Watts suggests, doesn’t it make sense to establish a healthy share of the responsibility for developing our careers for the future? Of course it’s still true that, as Professor Watts says, “Security lies in employability not employment” so we all should be staying sharp and employable, and experts suggest that we take 70% of the responsibility for our careers. What about the other 30%? That’s where organizations could be supporting employees through career conversations, mentoring, job shadowing, skill development and annual career check-ups with a career professional.

But do people want help developing their careers for the future?

You bet they do.  And to illustrate the demand for career services in the UK, Professor Watts told about a career program supported by a marketing program. TV commercials and social media were used to spread the word on a career helpline and web-based services. “The results when we set up these call centres was that we received a million calls a year. So the demand is absolutely there.”

The whole episode of Career Buzz is worthwhile listening, including insights from Heather Turnbull, international president of the Association of Career Professionals International. Or tune in to the five minutes from 32:11 to hear Tony Watts talk about the themes in this post.

What’s your perspective on this? If you’re an employee, what support have you received from your employer to help you develop your career? If you’re a manager or organizational leader, what are your hopes and fears about providing career help to employees? Post a comment, get involved in the conversation!

–Mark Franklin  www.careercycles.com

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA