In Ontario, only certain regulated professionals are allowed to use the title “psychotherapist.” These include registrants of the:

  • College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
  • College of Nurses of Ontario
  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario
  • Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Some psychotherapy tools and techniques are in the public domain, meaning anyone can provide them. However, the following kind of psychotherapy is a controlled act, meaning unregulated providers cannot offer it:

Treating, by means of psychotherapy technique, delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning.[1]

Individuals can review our online Self-Assessment Tool (https://www.crpo.ca/self-assessment-tool/) to check if they are doing the controlled act of psychotherapy. If they are, they would need to change their practice and advertising to ensure they are not doing the controlled act.

Under legislation, CRPO can take legal action to prevent someone from using a restricted title or performing the controlled act of psychotherapy.[2] In deciding whether or not to take legal action, we consider the strength of evidence that the person is engaged in unauthorized practice as well as the level of risk to the public.

If you are concerned about an unregulated practitioner, you can contact us. We will accept information about the practitioner and take appropriate action.

[1] Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, SO 1991, c 18, s 27(2), paragraph 14 http://canlii.ca/t/547j6#sec27

[2] Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, SO 1991, c 18, s 87 http://canlii.ca/t/547j6#sec87.

List of Unregulated Practitioners

If the College takes legal action against a non-member for illegal practice, we will post information about them here.

Sandra Fecht

Kathryn Walsh