Quite simply, you need therapy if you make the decision to see a therapist. This is a personal choice that depends on a lot of factors. Some people seek the services of a therapist to help them through major life events, such as divorce, job loss, or the death of a loved one. Others have difficulties rooted in trauma or mental illness.
But not everyone who decides to see a therapist is having difficulty. Some people simply want to explore ways to make further improvements to lives that are already going well.
Therapy can be extremely beneficial as long as you and your therapist are compatible. Generally, you can tell after one or two sessions whether you and your therapist have the right kind of connection.
It is important to note that therapy is not a quick fix. Although you might start to notice some changes within yourself fairly soon, therapy is a process that, for most people, lasts months or years.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the medical treatment of mental disorders, and who has the ability to prescribe medication if needed.
Psychologists can be referred to as “scientists of the mind”. They engage in research about mental health and mental processing.
A psychotherapist is someone who has undergone the training to provide talk therapy and experiential therapy through non-medical means.
Neither a psychologist nor a psychotherapist can prescribe medication.
Psychotherapy is not intended to be a replacement for friendship. We all need trusted friends we can talk to, seek advice from and spend time with.
Psychotherapy provides the opportunity for you to talk to someone who is completely objective and bound by confidentiality, who has the training to help you work through your thoughts and feelings, and to help you deal with the traumatic effects that sometimes come with delving into painful issues or memories.
It is impossible to put a time frame on psychotherapy. The results – and the time it takes to achieve them – are different for each individual. Instead of giving your expectations a timeline, it is better to allow the process to evolve naturally.
In the early stages of psychotherapy, it may feel as if you are becoming dependent on your therapist. But as you gain the tools and confidence to explore your thoughts and feelings, and to build a positive life and relationships, you will find yourself becoming more emotionally self-sufficient. Many people who start with weekly psychotherapy sessions find that eventually see their therapist once a month, or only when they need to.
Yes. Ontario psychotherapists are regulated by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). An individual may not practice as a psychotherapist without meeting Ministry standards. Any complaints or concerns should be addressed to the CRPO at www.crpo.ca
Your psychotherapist is bound by confidentiality, and may not disclose any information about you or your sessions to anybody. The only exceptions are if you threaten to kill or harm yourself or someone else, if you report knowledge of abuse on a minor, a senior citizen or a person with a disability, or if a court issues a subpoena for information.
Psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP. However, most private health insurance companies offer policies that cover a portion of psychotherapy fees.
As its name suggests, holistic health care is the practice of promoting wellness by looking at the “whole” person. It is based on the philosophy that there is an interconnectedness between our physical health, our mental health, and the socio-environmental conditions that we live in.
Although treatment of illness is part of what a holistic practitioner done, this form of care is more focused on health and wellness. It is aimed at either maintaining or restoring the natural balance of the body by strengthening the immune system and ensuring that all of the systems work together effectively.
Holistic health care is generally more proactive than conventional medicine. Health care systems are set up to encourage people to only see a doctor if there is something wrong. We encourage you to seek the services of a holistic practitioner regardless of the current state of your health. We believe that health is so much more than merely the absence of disease. If you are sick, we aim to uncover and resolve the underlying cause instead of just treating the symptoms. If you are well, we aim to ensure that your immune system works efficiently to keep you healthy.
Holistic health practitioners do not regard health as a desired end state. To us, health is an ongoing process that involves physical, mental, spiritual and social wellbeing. Our treatment methods are natural and non-invasive, and they are aimed providing long-term benefits.
If you are sick or injured, a holistic health practitioner will work with you to uncover the underlying causes instead of just focusing on the symptoms. By the time your illness or injury is gone, you will be in a better state of health than you were in originally.
If you are well, we can work with you to discover ways to further enhance the functioning of your body and mind. Through lifestyle changes and treatments aimed at strengthening your immune system, you will feel stronger than ever before.
There are several differences between holistic health care and traditional medicine. These include the following:
While conventional medicine makes extensive use of technology and manufactured medicines, holistic health practitioners believe that everything we need to restore and maintain good health is provided for us by nature. Through safe and effective use of natural substances, we treat causes rather than symptoms and help our clients develop stronger immune systems.
Holistic health care is more focused than conventional medicine on the provision of non-invasive treatments. Instead of only looking at a particular set of symptoms, a holistic health care provider looks at those symptoms in relation to the whole person. Treatment is based on creating a healthier “whole”. By contrast, many conventional medical treatments provide quick relief for symptoms but cause problems elsewhere in the body. For example, antibiotics that are prescribed to treat an ear infection can lead to digestive upsets.
Conventional medicine is focused on quick relief of symptoms. Holistic health care is focused on creating a superior state of health that will last for a long time. Conditions that are treated using holistic methods have less chance of recurring, but the results to take a longer time to accomplish.
It is important to note that while holistic health care is the better approach for long-term health and wellness, conventional medicine is very good at certain things, such as emergency medical treatment. If you are having a heart attack, or you have sustained a severe head injury in an accident, a hospital is the right place for you. And in some cases, interventions like antibiotics and chemotherapy can save lives.
Holistic health care has generally been regarded as an alternative to conventional medicine, with many family doctors flat-out rejecting the principles of holistic health care. Fortunately, there is a growing number of doctors who are willing to work with holistic health care providers, so that clients get the best of both worlds.
Holistic health care providers undergo years of training, and the treatments they provide have to adhere to strict standards. A licensed practitioner uses treatments and techniques that are completely safe when used correctly and responsibly. Holistic methods are as safe – and in some cases, safer than – conventional medical methods.
We advise our clients to do the same thing they would do in a doctor’s office: ask plenty of questions and find out as much information you can about a treatment method or product.
Health Canada and the World Health Organization have formulated guidelines to the use of natural remedies. For more information, see Health Canada – Natural Health Products Directorate.
Most holistic health care treatments are not covered by OHIP, but most insurance companies will pay for a portion of costs for treatments like massage therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture. Since most holistic providers customize their treatment plans for each individual they work with, the costs vary. Before signing up for care, speak to your holistic health care provider about what the costs are and what payment plans are available.
You do not need a referral in order to access holistic health care services. All it takes is for you to make the decision that this form of treatment is the right one for you.