What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
A psychiatrist is a physician (medical doctor) with a specialization in psychiatry, which generally refers to the study, assessment, and treatment of psychiatric illness. A psychiatrist’s treatment of choice is pharmacotherapy, which involves prescribing psychotropic medication based on a psychological diagnosis.
In Ontario, a Psychologist or a Psychological Associate holds a Doctoral or Masters degree, respectively, and they specialize in a particular field of psychology. A psychologist does not prescribe medications, as their treatment of choice is psychotherapy (also sometimes referred to as “Talk” Therapy). At Psychology Health Solutions, we provide clinical psychological services focused on the study of the structure and function of the brain and related behaviour and/or mental processes.
There is an overlap in the services provided by both professions. However, psychotic illnesses, which includes schizophrenia and severe mood disorders, are treated primarily by psychiatrists as medication is usually the main focus of treatment.
Please visit the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) website for more information on the role of a Psychologist.
Who Pays for Psychological Services?
OHIP does not cover Psychological services.
Many employers offer extended health insurance plans, some of which include coverage for psychological treatment. Unfortunately, in many cases such coverage is very limited. Since coverage varies among insurers, we strongly advise that you contact your insurance company regarding available funding.
Veterans Affairs may pay for psychological services if entitlement has been established.
In the case of a work related injury, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) may pay for psychological services.
In the case of motor vehicle accident, the auto insurance company may pay for psychological services.
In the absence of third party coverage, as indicated above, psychological services would be a privately paid expense.
Psychological services are a tax deductible health expense.
The Ontario Psychological Association’s (OPA) recommended professional fee for 2012 is $220.00 / hour.
Program fees vary according to the program being provided and are determined only after an assessment has been completed.
Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding coverage.
Do I need a referral to book an appointment?
Family Doctor’s referral is not required to contact our clinic.