April 3, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Therapists

The word health is often attached solely to physical health and not so much mental health. We focus on our physical well-being, but we often neglect that our mental health is just as important. After all, mental health issues can affect anyone at any time, and seeking help from a board-certified therapist is definitely an effective way to manage these issues.  

A therapist is a trained professional who provides support and guidance to those who are struggling with mental health issues or even just difficult life situations. But it can be confusing since there are many different mental health professionals out there. If you're looking for help in Canada, here’s everything you need to know about therapists.

Types of Therapists

Not all therapists are created equal. Each type of mental health professional serves their purpose and attends to your needs according to their expertise. It’s especially important when you’re seeking therapy that you have a basic understanding of the different types of therapists available to you.  

1. Psychologist

A psychologist is a licensed mental health professional with a doctoral degree in psychology (or just a master’s degree in psychology, which depends on the licensing province). In Ontario, we also have psychological associates, who are master’s level clinicians with an additional four years of supervised practice.  

Psychologists and psychological associates typically use evidence-based approaches, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to help individuals manage their mental health issues. They often specialize in certain areas, such as addiction or trauma.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Psychologist in London, Ontario for Your Needs

2. Psychological Associate

A psychological associate is a mental health professional with a master’s degree in psychology and is licensed with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.  

Psychological associates must complete 4 years of practice under the supervision of a psychologist before they can apply to become licensed. To qualify, they must also pass two rigorous exams, as is also the case when licensing to become a psychologist.

3. Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health. They can prescribe medication to manage mental health issues, in addition to providing therapy. Psychiatrists often work with individuals who have severe mental health issues, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

4. Registered Psychotherapist

A registered psychotherapist is a therapist who has a master's degree in counselling and is licensed to practice therapy. They use a variety of approaches to therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or person-centred therapy.

These types of therapies are used to help individuals manage their mental health issues. Registered psychotherapists may also specialize in certain areas, such as grief counselling or trauma therapy.

5. Social Worker

A social worker is a licensed professional who helps individuals and families with social and emotional issues. They may work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals or community organizations, and may provide individual or group therapy. Social workers often work with individuals who are dealing with issues such as poverty, addiction, or domestic violence.

Read More: Child Psychologists: What They Do & How They Help

Read More: Helping Your Children Cope with Divorce

Why are Psychologists the Best Kind of Therapists?

When it comes to seeking therapy for mental health concerns, psychologists stand out as the best option for a multitude of reasons. One of the strongest arguments for this would be that psychologists undergo the most comprehensive and rigorous training of any type of therapist.

Psychologists are required to undergo postgraduate training lasting anywhere from 2 to 6 years. This extensive training includes supervised clinical experience, passing the jurisprudence and ethics exam, and a national licensing exam.  

Psychologists are regulated professionals, which ensures that they provide competent care while protecting client confidentiality. They are also legally permitted to diagnose mental health conditions, providing a more accurate and thorough understanding of a client's needs.  

These factors make psychologists the top choice for anyone seeking high-quality mental health care.

Read More: All About Virtual Therapy

How to Choose a Therapist

Choosing the right therapist can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to find a therapist that's right for you. Here are some tips on how to choose a therapist:

1. Getting recommendations from friends and family

One way to find a therapist is to ask for recommendations from friends and family members. They may have had positive experiences with a therapist and can provide valuable insight into the therapy process.

2. Researching therapists online

Many therapists have websites or profiles on therapy directories, where individuals can read about their qualifications and approach to therapy. Researching therapists online can provide a good starting point for finding a therapist who may be a good fit.

3. Checking therapist credentials

It's important to ensure that the therapist you choose is licensed and has the appropriate credentials to provide therapy. In Canada, therapists must be registered with a regulatory body, such as the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, or the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

4. Finding a therapist who meets your needs

It's important to find a therapist who meets your needs. This may mean finding a therapist who specializes in a particular type of therapy or who has experience working with individuals who have similar issues to you. It's also important to find a therapist who makes you feel comfortable and who you feel you can build a therapeutic relationship with.

Choosing the right therapist can make all the difference in the success of your therapy experience. By taking the time to research and find a therapist who meets your needs, you can set yourself up for a positive therapy experience.

Read More: The Benefits of Teletherapy: How Online Counselling Can Improve Mental Health

Psychologist London Ontario

Misconceptions About Therapists and Therapy

Misconceptions about therapists and therapy are not uncommon. These preconceived notions can sometimes prevent people from seeking therapy or from getting the most out of their therapy sessions. In this section, we will explore some of the most common misconceptions about therapists and therapy and debunk them one by one.

Misconception: Therapists only welcome people with mental health problems.

One of the most common misconceptions about therapy is that it is only for people with mental health problems. While therapy is an effective treatment option for people with mental health issues, it is not limited to this population. Therapy can help anyone who is struggling with life's challenges and looking for support and guidance.

Misconception: Therapy is a sign of weakness.

Many people believe that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness, which could not be further from the truth. In fact, seeking therapy is a sign of strength, as it takes courage to acknowledge that you need help and to take steps to improve your mental health and well-being. It is important to remember that everyone can benefit from talking to a therapist, regardless of their level of mental health.

Misconception: Therapists will judge you.

Another common misconception about therapy is that therapists will judge you. This is not true. Therapists are trained to be non-judgmental and to provide a safe and supportive environment for their clients. They will listen to you with deep understanding and work collaboratively with you to help you achieve your goals.

Misconception: Therapy is a quick fix.

Some people believe that therapy is a quick fix and that they will see immediate results after just one or two sessions. While some people may experience positive changes early on in therapy, it’s important to remember that therapy is a process. It takes time and effort to work through issues and make lasting changes.

Therapists at Archways Centre for CBT

Choosing a psychologist or therapist who is highly qualified and regulated is an important part of the therapy process. At Archways, we are proud to have a team of psychologists and therapists who have completed rigorous training and education. Psychologists are held to high ethical and professional standards.

At Archways, we believe in ongoing professional development and training for our therapists, staying up to date with the latest research and developments in the field, so they can provide the best possible mental health services to their clients. You may reach us at (519) 472-6612.