Psychologists have a master’s and/or doctoral degree in psychology and specialize in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of difficulties in thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Although knowledgeable about the treatment of psychological disorders with medication, psychologists are not licensed to prescribe medications in Ontario. For more information about psychologists, please visit the Ontario Psychological Association.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental health disorders. Psychiatrists often use medication in treatment, as well as psychotherapy. For more information about psychiatry, please visit the website of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
Psychotherapists must complete a recognized education and training program in psychotherapy, a well as 450 direct clinical contact hours, and 100 hours of supervision. They focus on 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. For more information about psychotherapy, please visit the website of the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association.
For a useful comparison chart of different mental health professionals, please click here.