What is Psychotherapy? How might it benefit me?

Nov 17, 2021

Mental wellness is crucial for navigating through today’s challenges especially as we make our way out of the last year and a half of uncertainty. Continuing to focus on building our self worth and resiliency remains central. However, our experiences with Covid, have helped us realize that we can’t always do these things alone. Tackling the bigger, now more glaring issues that may have presented themselves like anxiety, depression, and addiction, without professional guidance is almost impossible. Finding the right practitioner can be confusing, but we can help you to take the first step and start the conversation which is critical in beginning your mental wellness journey! Don’t assume that therapy is only for the “big” issues either! Therapy can help you work through the day-to-day pressures or navigate through an especially difficult moment or trying time. Life itself can present small and large challenges and it’s not always easy to share your honest and authentic feelings with those around you. A therapy session provides a safe and validating space to explore life’s challenges and concerns and can help you develop skills and new ways to deal with your difficulties. A Psychotherapist sets aside time regularly just for you and has your best interests at heart at all times.

There are many types of mental health practitioners, finding the right one can sometimes be confusing. The key is to get started at some level. Once you get started, your practitioner will be able to refer you to someone else if necessary. Often the easiest way to begin is to book that consultation, open the door and make a connection and then taking the next step is much easier knowing who you’re going to speak with and that they are a good fit for your needs.

What is a Registered Psychotherapist? Let’s review:

In December of 2017, the “controlled act of psychotherapy” was put into force in Ontario, meaning that mental health practitioners in Ontario could no longer call themselves “psychotherapist” and use this title interchangeably with “counsellor” (as many had often done prior to this) and that only those registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) were deemed qualified to use this title and practice psychotherapy.  

The whole intention behind this new legislation is to PROTECT THE PUBLIC, ensuring that when seeking psychotherapy, people can be 100% confident with their search and that when choosing a Registered Psychotherapist, they can know, without a doubt, that they are seeing a qualified and competent professional who abides by very strict ethical standards and whose practices were are being consistently monitored by the CRPO.  And the great news is that as of September 2019, Registered Psychotherapy has been added to most Extended Health Coverage (EHC) packages (also known as benefits plans) in the Halton region! 

A Psychotherapist will adjust their approach according to the presenting problems and goals of their client.  There are many different approaches to psychotherapy and Registered Psychotherapists may specialize in one or more of the following:

  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Client Centred Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy

Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” is a way to help people learn to deal with a variety of mental and emotional challenges. Difficulties coping with everyday life, illness or loss like the death of a loved one, trauma, depression and anxiety are some of the things that a Psychotherapist will work with and although they cannot diagnose, or prescribe medication, they can combine their practice of talk therapy with properly prescribed medication (psychiatrist/physician) and a possible diagnosis (psychologist/psychiatrist) to best meet each client’s individual mental wellness goals/needs.

Most Psychotherapists will offer a complimentary consultation via phone or virtually, to see if they are the right fit and offer the best approach for your therapy goals. Often, there are many professionals involved in one’s wellness, and with your consent, Psychotherapists will work with Physicians, Psychologists or Psychiatrists to provide the talk therapy piece of the wellness plan.

In discussing psychologists or a psychiatrist, these are the practitioners with a Dr. title and they focus primarily on research, assessing, diagnosing and treatment / therapy.  Only psychiatrists and physicians are qualified to prescribe medications, as they have a medical background.  Extended Health Plans usually include psychologists and registered psychotherapists in their packages, whereas a psychiatrist is usually the “specialist” that family doctors refer their patients to (as they are covered by OHIP) and these visits often result in a medication prescription (which is also very important and helpful for some cases, but not for all).  Most family doctors are now also becoming aware of the vital role that psychotherapy plays in the integrative treatment of their patients, recognizing the role and connection of the mind and body.  So, we are slowly welcoming more and more doctor referrals and are excited to see this shift and change in the new wave of integrative health.

Psychotherapy is a valuable tool in our wellness toolbox and can help us manage our mental and emotional wellbeing. There doesn’t need to be something significant to start talk therapy, life can be overwhelming and sometimes we just need an unbiased person who is consistently in our corner rooting for us.

Learn more about our Registered Psychotherapist, Erin Haber here .

Connect with Erin Haber, Registered Psychotherapist M. Ed, at erinh@thrivemassagewellness.com to book your complimentary consult or initial session, or call/email our administrative team: thrivemassagewellness.com

Therapist listening to her talking patient at therapy session