Psychotherapy / Psychotherapist and Therapeutic Approaches

The controlled act of Psychotherapy:

As of December 31st, 2019, performance of the controlled act of psychotherapy is restricted under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 to members of six regulatory colleges including members of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

The controlled act of psychotherapy is defined in the RHPA (Regulated Health Professions Act – 1991) as follows:

Treating, by means of psychotherapy technique, delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception, or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning.

Members of the College of Social Work are authorized to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy in compliance with the Social Workers and Social Service Workers Act – 1998, its regulations and bylaws. Members must practice in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Handbook, Second Edition, 2008.

Social Workers who are active and in good standing with the College of Social Work can identify themselves as Psychotherapists performing the controlled act of Psychotherapy.

Therapeutic Approaches:


Many referring sources send people for CBT or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
CBT is a well known and effective therapy for many situations, and it is important to understand what it is:

CBT defined: (

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy which can be used to treat people with a wide range of mental health problems. CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) all interact together.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has three main goals:

  1. To relieve symptoms and resolve problems.
  2. To help acquire skills and coping strategies.
  3. To help modify underlying cognitive structures in order to prevent relapse.

CBT is an effective and well-known therapy. There are many other therapies that can help during the therapeutic process. It is important to talk to your therapist about what therapies are used and what is the best approach for you.


It can be defined as a mental state that involves being focused in the present moment. The acknowledgement of your thoughts, feelings and sensations without judgment. The practice teaches you to slow down the thoughts, let go, and reconnect the body and mind.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy:
DBT is a form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in which people are taught two seemingly opposite strategies: acceptance (that their experiences and behaviours are valid), and change (that they need to make positive changes to manage emotions and move forward). DBT was developed for people with Borderline Personality Disorders but it is also helpful with other mental health issues such as: suicidal behavior, self-harm, substance use, PTSD, depression and eating disorders.
DBT uses the following skills to help people: Mindfulness, Distress tolerance, Interpersonal effectiveness, and Emotion regulation.

Play therapy
The use of play in therapy is a common practice for children between the ages of 3 and 11. Play offers children a way to express their feelings, worries and needs in a safe natural setting. The use of play assists children to face their struggles in a modality suited to their development.

Most therapists using play have had specialized training in working with children. They are trained to observe and interact with children in a way that assists them to develop coping skills and healing.
Along with play therapy, children can benefit from talk therapy, relationship building (theraplay) and other forms of art, music and dance.

Couples Therapy
Couples therapy is a form of therapy in which two people involved in a romantic relationship attend session together to gain insight into how their patterns as individuals interact within the couple relationship.

The goals in therapy are often resolving conflict, healing hurts, developing deeper connection and shifting to view the relationship in a more positive light.

Couples are encouraged to attend therapy as soon as there are unresolvable issues that impact daily functioning and before the relationship is at a breaking point. We will also assist couples who feel they are at a breaking point in their relationship to determine how to move forward.