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Choosing between practitioners for therapy

Mental Health Practitioners

When people begin their process of searching for therapists, often they realize the different mental health practitioners that offer services. This may cause some questions about which you should reach out to begin this journey. There are different professional and educational backgrounds to consider including psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, and nurses but for this article it will focus on Registered Social Workers and Registered Psychotherapists.

Registered Social Workers (RSW)

Social work is a broad profession that sees practitioners in many settings including schools, hospitals, research, policy, governments, non-profit, and private practice – to name a few. There is a subset of RSW’s that are trained for clinical practice that entails assessment and treatment. People who have a Master of Social Work Degree and who are registered can practice psychotherapy and even identify as psychotherapists. Clinical Social Workers have the skills and training to assess biological, psychological, social, emotional, and cultural needs. Although Social Workers work with individuals through mental health challenges, they are not able to diagnose or to prescribe medication. 

Social work counsellors/psychotherapists take into account the many factors that influence a persons life and their challenges. Often social workers are considering the influence of family dynamics, workplace factors, social and community supports, political, and cultural contexts. This allows for a more fullsome picture of all the factors that are contributing to emotional distress. 

Social Workers are regulated through the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Typically fees for a 50-min session range between $120-$180 per hour, with the average being $150. Social Workers do not have to charge HST/GST for services rendered for psychotherapy and are covered by most third-party health plans. 

To learn more about the College of Social Workers in Ontario click here or Find a Social Worker here.

Registered Psychotherapists (RP) 

An RP is an individual who is trained and has a license in psychotherapy in Ontario. They have the qualifications and training necessary as set out by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. They typically specialize in providing counselling on various levels including interpersonal, social, and psychological that have come up due to a mental health challenge. Depending on the psychotherapist and their educational background, they will have their own approach and therapy methods to work with various people. 

Their fees in Toronto and surrounding areas typically ranges from $110-$180 with an average of $135+HST (RPs are not currently tax exempt). To learn more or to find a therapist near you go to College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario

Tips for helping in your therapy search

Often the first step is the hardest, but it is worth it and you deserve the healing you seek.

Knowing the various professions that offer psychotherapy services, does not always narrow down the list. That is why I wrote a post about 5 top tips on finding the right helping professional for you please read here.

Therapy session with one person sitting on the couch cross-legged and a person sitting in a chair across. No faces are shown, only feet. Glass table sits in front of them with glasses of water, a notepad, and a pen.

Go straight to appointment booking: