Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a collection of our most frequently asked questions. If you have any other burning questions, feel free to email us at hello@ottawapsychotherapycenter. We will happily answer them all.
Do you offer free consultations? Yes! At the Ottawa Psychotherapy Center most clinicians offer free 20 minute consultations to new clients. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the process of Psychotherapy, the clinician's work specifically and to get a sense of the therapeutic fit.
What is psychotherapy? Psychotherapy is primarily a talk-based therapy intended to help people improve and maintain their mental health and well-being. Psychotherapy occurs when the Psychotherapist and client enter into a psychotherapeutic relationship where both work together to bring about positive change in the client’s thinking, feeling, behaviour and social functioning. Psychotherapy can be done in individual, couple and group settings. Please note: the answer to this question was informed by the definition of the term ‘Psychotherapy’ on the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) website. Here is the link: https://www.crpo.ca/find-a-registered-psychotherapist/what-is-psychotherapy/
What is the difference between Psychotherapists, counsellors, Psychiatrists and Psychologists? Good question, the different labels can be confusing! Psychiatrists are medical professionals specializing in mental health who are able to diagnose and prescribe medication. Psychologists are trained in administering psychometric tests that aid in diagnosing individuals. Psychotherapists are specifically trained in talk-therapy and do not diagnose clients. Psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers often have training in psychotherapy. Counsellors are not regulated and do not have a licencing body (which means anyone is free to use the term without having the adequate credentials). At the Ottawa Psychotherapy Center, the term “counsellor” is used for students completing their Master’s degree in Psychotherapy during a practicum period under the supervision of one of our registered Psychotherapists. All counsellors at the center are practicing Psychotherapy under the license of their supervisor.
Can you diagnose me? No. The Ottawa Psychotherapy Center team consists of Psychotherapists and we do not provide any diagnoses. Please refer to the question above.
How do I choose a therapist? The therapeutic alliance is one of the most important factors in Psychotherapy and choosing a therapist can seem daunting. We recommend narrowing down your search by location, the services the Psychotherapist provides, language, specialization and demographics. Once you have completed the “basic filtering” we recommend you read the profiles of the Psychotherapists you are considering. Follow your intuition if any of them gives you a better feel. Lastly, we recommend scheduling a 20 minute free consultation with one (or more) of these therapists to help you meet them, discuss the psychotherapeutic process and see how you feel in conversation with them. Keep in mind, there is no “right” or “wrong” choice. If you begin working with someone you end up realizing is not a good fit for you, you can always ask for a referral. Most therapists will want you to find the person you feel most comfortable with. Some questions you may want to ask yourself: 1) Do I have any budgeting needs? What could I afford on a weekly/biweekly or monthly basis? 2) Do I have any location or accessibility needs? Would I prefer to do in-person or virtual sessions? 3) Do I have any scheduling needs? Some Psychotherapists have limited availability, some work weekends/evenings and others don’t. 4) What qualities do I deem important for my Psychotherapist to have? Do age, gender, race, cultural background, specific identities or lived experiences influence my comfort with someone?
What online platform do you use and is it secure? All members of the Ottawa Psychotherapy Center clinicians utilize JANE, a PIPEDA* and PHIPA* complaint software to secure client files and practice teletherapy. Please visit the following link for additional information: https://jane.app/legal/privacy-policy PIPEDA* Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act PHIPA* Personal Health Information Protection Act
Do I need a referral? No, you do not need a referral to access our services. Please check with your third-party insurance provider to verify if they require a referral for your coverage.
Can I access your services if I don’t live in the Ottawa region? Yes, we offer virtual services to individuals living outside of the Ottawa region. Some of our members treat clients located Canada-wide and internationally. Check in with your clinician to verify their location policies.
Do you offer in-person or virtual sessions? Yes, the Ottawa Psychotherapy Center offers both in-person and virtual sessions (including phone and video). Some clinicians only offer virtual sessions and others have limited in-person availability. Please contact us for more information or visit the clinician’s page.
How do I book a session? You can contact us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a session or contact us through the “Book a Free Consultation” button at the top of the page.
What is the fee per session? Each clinician has their own fee structure based on their qualifications, experience and specialty. Please consult the clinician’s page on our website to find out their specific pay structure.
Are your services covered by OHIP? No, private practice Psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP. If you have a third-party insurance provider, please verify whether they cover Psychotherapy services. Additionally, please keep in mind there are several Professional Regulatory Colleges that oversee the Controlled Act of Psychotherapy and you should check which ones are and aren't covered by your insurance provider.
How does insurance work? In the case your sessions are covered by your insurance provider, you will need to pay for the session upfront and submit a claim to be refunded for your allotted percentage. Direct billing is currently unavailable. Please note, a receipt will be provided for all paid sessions.
Do you offer a sliding scale? Yes, some of our OPC members offer a limited number of sliding scale spots, this is something you can discuss with them upon contact. Additionally, the Ottawa Psychotherapy Center proudly supports a Low-Cost Program, as we are deeply committed to making our services as accessible as possible. Our low-cost program will pair you with an intern who will be committed to your growth and healing. All of the interns at the Ottawa Psychotherapy Center are finishing their Master's Degrees and are under the supervision of an Ottawa Psychotherapy Center member. The fee per session to see a low-cost program counsellor is $60 to $100 + HST.