E: General Inquiries
For several years now, the regulation of psychotherapy has been the focus of much attention and interest for members. The College has been involved in various aspects of this issue throughout this time. Activities have intensified over the past couple of years, as changes to the regulatory framework become more imminent.
Psychotherapy has been identified as a controlled act under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). A controlled act is an activity thought to have the potential of posing a risk of serious harm to the client. As such, the RHPA restricts the performance of controlled acts to certain regulated professionals who are legally authorized to perform them. The RHPA stipulates that a member of the OCSWSSW is authorized to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy in compliance with the Social Work and Social Service Work Act (SWSSWA), its regulations and bylaws. The SWSSWA provides that a member of the OCSWSSW who is authorized to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy may use the title “psychotherapist” if the member complies with certain conditions.
These new developments mark a significant milestone for the OCSWSSW and its members: this is the first controlled act that members of the OCSWSSW have been authorized to perform. The provisions in the RHPA and the SWSSWA pertaining to the controlled act of psychotherapy and use of the “psychotherapist” title have not yet been proclaimed in force. The regulation of psychotherapy is an evolving issue; at this time, proclamation is expected in the Fall of 2014.
Bill 171, the Health System Improvements Act, 2007 amends a number of Acts, including the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), and also includes new Acts, such as the Psychotherapy Act, which establishes the new College of Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario. The Act creates a new controlled act of psychotherapy, and in its original form, authorized only physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, and members of the new college to perform it.
After a great deal of work by the OCSWSSW, the Ontario Association of Social Workers and a number of College members, an amendment to the legislation was introduced authorizing members of the OCSWSSW to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy in compliance with the SWSSWA, regulations under the Act and the bylaws approved by Council.
Additionally, in its original form, the Psychotherapy Act restricted the use of the titles “psychotherapist” and “registered mental health therapist” to members of the new College of Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists. However, in May 2009, Bill 179, the Regulated Health Professions Statute Law Amendment Act, 2009 amended the title protection provisions in the Psychotherapy Act and amends the Social Work and Social Service Work Act to provide that a member of the OCSWSSW who is authorized to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy may use the abbreviated title “psychotherapist” if the member complies with certain conditions.
For more information regarding the regulation of psychotherapy, please email the Professional Practice Department or call 416-972-9882416-972-9882 or 1-877-828-93801-877-828-9380.
For more information please contact:
Professional Practice Associate
Toll-Free: 1-877.828.9380 ext. 224
March 6, 2015
9:00 am to 4:00 pm