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Psychotherapy soon to become a regulated profession

February 10, 2014

Of the many programs and services at Women’s College Hospital (WCH), the mental health department offers a special service that is soon to be regulated by the province of Ontario.

Psychotherapy, a treatment that can be provided by a range of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals, is poised to become one of the “controlled acts” under the Regulated Health Professions Act, triggering the formation of a College of Registered Psychotherapists. This college will include all psychotherapists currently working at WCH who are not already members of another professional college.

Within WCH, future registered psychotherapists are working at the Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women (BPCW) and the Trauma Therapy Program (TTP), part of the Women’s Mental Health Program.

The BPCW offers unique, time-limited psychotherapy for women with a variety of life challenges. Psychotherapy within the TTP aims to treat those who are struggling with long-term damages of childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

“Both the BPCW and TTP programs offer individual and group therapy sessions, giving patients the opportunity to find a treatment that will work for them,” said Almuth Weigeldt, mental health therapist at WCH. “The TTP program also offers a couples’ therapy program.”

Currently, the ministry is working with a transitional council, tasked with developing standards and regulations for registration with the college, to create a governing body for psychotherapists and standardize the profession. Based on the Psychotherapy Act, 2007, the governing body will work for the public’s interest. Regulation will offer public ease of accessibility and an increased level of accountability.

“Once regulated, all psychotherapists will be governed under a college. For patients, this means that they will be able to directly search and access qualified psychotherapists, while also having a governing body to reach out to with questions or concerns,” said Weigeldt.

The regulation process is expected to be finalized in spring 2014. In the meantime, the transitional council is expected to begin pre-registration starting in March.

To learn more about psychotherapy and other services under the mental health department, click here.

Psychotherapy team
Psychotherapy team from left: Eva-Marie Stern, Art Psychotherapist; Bonilyn Hill Mohamed, Mental Health Therapist; Tessa Colthoff, Mental Health Therapist; and Almuth Weigeldt, Mental Health Therapist.
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