About Professional Regulation

In Canada, the regulation of trades and professions is done at the provincial level. The typical model for professions is self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to an approach or system where regulatory powers are delegated (in our case, through the Regulated Health Professions Act by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care) to a body that is comprised of members of the profession and that has the responsibility of protecting the public’s right to safe, effective and ethical health care.

Although newly regulated, Ontario’s Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) have the knowledge, skills and judgment needed to regulate themselves and their profession through the College. The College is led by a Council of nine professional members elected by their peers and as many public members as are appointed by the provincial government. Working with College staff, the Council regulates the practice of psychotherapy in Ontario to protect the public interest. This work includes:

The professional regulator’s duty to protect the public interest makes its role different from other professional organizations, such as associations. Membership in professional associations is voluntary. These associations exist to advocate on behalf of and to serve their members through providing things such as networking opportunities, holding conferences/seminars/workshops, maintaining job boards and lobbying government to influence policy in furtherance of the economic, employment, professional and political interests of their members.

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What Psychotherapists Do

The scope of practice of psychotherapy includes the assessment and treatment of cognitive, emotional or behavioural disturbances by psychotherapeutic means, delivered through a therapeutic relationship based primarily on verbal or non-verbal communication.

As health care professionals, psychotherapists work in a wide range of settings. Settings include: private practice, hospitals, clinics, care facilities, rehabilitation centres/programs, employee assistance programs, universities, and more.

What to Expect from a Registered Psychotherapist

When you seek the services of a Registered Psychotherapist, you can expect to receive competent, ethical, quality care from a qualified professional who is registered with CRPO.

RPs are accountable to CRPO for the quality of care they provide and for their professional conduct. Only individuals who are registered with CRPO are able to use the title “psychotherapist”, “Registered Psychotherapist” or any abbreviation or variation thereof in any language, or to hold themself out as qualified to practise as a psychotherapist in Ontario (no matter what title they use).

Standards of Practice for Registered Psychotherapists

All RPs in Ontario must follow the established standards for the profession. CRPO’s Professional Practice Standards for Registered Psychotherapists are in place so you can be assured that your psychotherapist is practising in a competent and ethical manner. The standards provide clear expectations for RPs, covering everything from professional conduct to record-keeping and documentation.

CRPO holds all Registered Psychotherapists accountable for their conduct and practise.

If you have questions, please contact us at practice@crpo.ca.

How to Share Concerns or Make a Complaint About Your Care

CRPO staff are available to answer questions and provide assistance, and we have processes in place if you have concerns about the conduct or practise of your psychotherapist.

To learn more about the complaints process, visit the Filing a Complaint About a Member page of our website or contact us at complaints@crpo.ca.

If you think a Registered Psychotherapist may have violated a boundary with you or otherwise engaged in sexual misconduct or abuse, please visit the Sexual Abuse by Members page of our website and contact us at complaints@crpo.ca.

Is your psychotherapist registered?

Use the Public Register to verify that your psychotherapist is registered with CRPO and does not have a discipline history or concerns. You can search by name, language of practice and location. Results are listed in rows showing first name and last name. To open a Member’s full profile in the Public Register, click “View” to the right of the Member’s name.