Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to some of the most common questions about psychotherapy. If you have additional questions, send them to us at info@torontopsychotherapygroup.com.

Can I refer someone else to a Toronto Psychotherapy Group therapist?

Yes. You can encourage someone to meet with a psychotherapist, but the person in question will need to want and be ready for change. Meeting with a therapist is a highly personal decision that individuals must make for themselves. Our therapist profile pages include a link that permits you to email that therapist’s information to yourself or another individual.

 

Is what I say to a therapist confidential?

Yes. The honesty and privacy of the process are critical to its success. All of our therapists are bound by the CTP code of ethics and the CAPT code of ethics. The only circumstance under which confidentiality may be broken occurs when someone is at risk of criminal harm. Although many therapists discuss client issues with senior therapists and experts in the field, these discussions are strictly confidential. Do not hesitate to discuss your confidentiality concerns with your therapist.

Do Toronto Psychotherapy Group therapists offer phone or Skype sessions?

Phone or Skype sessions are available with some but not all TPG therapists. You will find this information on their individual profile pages.

What do I do when I want to meet with a Toronto Psychotherapy Group therapist?

Contact the therapist you’re interested in meeting with directly. You will find contact information (phone and/or e-mail) on each individual TPG profile.

How much does psychotherapy cost?

Fees generally range from $60–$125 per session. Therapists set their own fees and may be able to negotiate rates in cases of financial hardship. However, this is at the therapist’s discretion. Check the individual profiles on the site for more specific information about each therapist’s fees.

Is psychotherapy with Toronto Psychotherapy Group therapists covered by OHIP?

Psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP. However, fees may be covered by a workplace or privately held insurance plan—please check with your plan holder for further clarification.

Do I need a physician’s referral?

No. You do not need a doctor’s referral before contacting a Toronto Psychotherapy Group therapist. However, if you have an insurance plan that covers treatment with a psychotherapist, your insurer may require a doctor’s note prior to a therapy session. Check with your insurer to see if this is the case.

What makes the therapists listed with Toronto Psychotherapy Group different than those on other sites?

All Toronto Psychotherapy Group psychotherapists are graduates of the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (CTP), which means they have received extensive academic training, as well as practical experience with their own therapists and in therapy groups. The CTP offers a minimum 6-year course of study that is among the most intensive in the country. You can browse the CTP website to get a sense of its course requirements, curriculum, and teachers, or visit our Training Information page. Some therapists are trained in multiple kinds of therapy. See Therapy Approaches for further information. As graduates of CTP, the qualifications of Toronto Psychotherapy Group therapists exceed the professional requirements set out by the College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario. Once the regulation is in place in 2014, they will all hold the title “RP,” or “Registered Psychotherapist.”

Is the practice of psychotherapy regulated?

So far, psychotherapy has not been a regulated health profession in Canada, which means it has been hard to find a psychotherapist you know will be competent. The College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario will begin to oversee the practice of psychotherapy in Ontario beginning in 2014. All TPG psychotherapists are graduates of the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy, and their qualifications exceed the professional requirements set out by the College. (For more information, see our section on Certification.) Once the regulation is complete, they will all hold the title “RP,” or “Registered Psychotherapist.”

How is psychotherapy different from talking to a friend?

Friends are an important part of anyone’s support network, but what they offer is different from therapeutic conversation. A good therapist will help you understand what it is about certain situations, thoughts, or ways of being that are driven by something you (and your friends) may not have been able to see about yourself. As trained professionals, psychotherapists listed with Toronto Psychotherapy Group have greater objectivity than personal friends, and also more practice at recognizing the impact that your history might have on your feelings and choices now. While friends often seek to make you feel better quickly, a therapist helps you to gain a wider understanding of how the problem developed, how it might be viewed differently, how it relates to other aspects of your life, and how your response to it could be different.

How is a psychotherapist listed with Toronto Psychotherapy Group different from a counsellor or life coach?

Counselling and coaching usually involve receiving advice about how to reach your life goals. Psychotherapy is better described as working with someone else to find your own insight into your past experience and choices. Psychotherapy also involves looking at the unconscious: the parts of yourself that you have not been aware of. In this way psychotherapy deals with “depth”: with aspects of the personality that are not always obvious and that may interfere with the goals you set in life.

How is a TPG psychotherapist different from a psychiatrist or a psychologist?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) specializing in the treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists are trained to treat psychological symptoms with medication, though some also offer talk therapy. Working with a psychiatrist usually involves receiving a diagnosis and often the prescription and management of medication to control and relieve symptoms (such as those associated with anxiety and depression). Working with a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist at the same time has proven very beneficial to many clients, particularly those who find their symptoms acute enough that they make daily functioning a problem.

A psychologist is a researcher with a graduate university degree in psychology. Psychology is the science of the mind and involves the study of individuals, groups, and societies, as well as patterns in behaviour and thinking. Working with a psychologist will often involve examining patterns in your thought and behaviour and finding strategies and tools you can use to change them.

A psychotherapist is an individual who has been trained to work with clients specifically through talk or depth psychotherapy. Both psychiatrists and psychologists can practice psychotherapy, and there are many other forms of training available. Toronto Psychotherapy Group psychotherapists have graduated from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy, which means they have gone through their own extensive group and individual therapy as well as academic study. Working with a TPG therapist involves exploring current and past experiences, emotions, thoughts, behaviours and relationships. The goals include greater insight, awareness, and choice as well as controlling symptoms and changing behaviour. A psychotherapist seeks to create a therapeutic collaboration with each client, which is somewhat different from taking the stance of an “expert.”

Is therapy effective?

Many people find that, over time, working with a therapist provides significant, enduring relief from chronic emotional issues. It provides individuals with greater clarity and a real sense of empowerment. However, it is important to know that while the effects of ongoing therapy are not immediate, they are enduring. You will likely have some sense of the potential usefulness of therapy for you after a few sessions with your therapist. If you are concerned about whether your experience in therapy is benefiting you, you and your therapist should discuss your experience and expectations.

How does psychotherapy work?

Psychotherapy works by bringing forward and illuminating your emotions and thoughts as they emerge in therapeutic conversation. If we have limiting patterns or a too-narrow range of feeling and behaving, these were formed to a significant degree in our relationships with others. Over time these defences, which were initially helpful, might no longer serve us as they once did and become problematic. In therapy, you and your therapist have a chance to examine these patterns, understand them more deeply, and alter the ones that are no longer serving you well.  For example, it may have been adaptive early in some people’s lives to disconnect from their difficult emotions, but later they find that they are unable to feel anything deeply, including joy. Understanding the problem that led to this defence and realizing that it is no longer necessary makes a different response possible now. This approach toward healing can happen in any meaningful relationship, but with a psychotherapist you will be guided through the process of change by someone who has been specially trained to create an environment for growth.

 

What are the goals of psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a highly individual process that is shaped by the goals of each person who enters it. Generally, the goals of psychotherapy can include breaking destructive patterns, alleviating unnecessary suffering, increasing awareness and choice, improving relationships, and finding new and different ways to cope with past and present challenges. It also often involves a movement towards greater spontaneity, creativity, and capacity for pleasure in living.

 

What issues are addressed by psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy addresses most mental health issues, from depression and suicidal feelings, to addictions, obsessions, mood disorders and relationship difficulties. The list is as comprehensive as the human experience. Our Issues section describes psychological and emotional issues that therapists listed with TPG work with. Note that a psychotherapist cannot make a formal diagnosis nor prescribe medication.

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment that addresses emotional difficulties and psychological suffering within a collaborative working relationship between a client and a trained therapist. The emphasis in psychotherapy is on the full range of human experience, including thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Your  memories, dreams, and aspirations are all relevant material to therapy. Therapeutic conversation involves seeking solutions to underlying or “deep” issues as opposed to only alleviating symptoms. For example, psychotherapy looks beyond the expression of a problem such as social anxiety to the past experience and conflict that caused it. Each practitioner listed with Toronto Psychotherapy Group has a particular approach, but the emphasis on building a productive therapeutic experience, and on promoting insight and change from within the client, is common to all psychotherapies.