FAQs

What are your fees and are services covered by health insurance?


Psychologists’ rates are based on guidelines published by the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA).  Psychology services are not covered by The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Psychological services, are however, covered by most extended health insurance plans, or employee benefit groups (such as Sun Life). Psychotherapists at Psychology West are supervised under a registered Psychologist, and are therefore usually covered by these plans as well. Each insurance plan is different, so please check with your individual provider to determine coverage, as well as whether or not a letter of referral is required from your family physician. We are unable to provide sliding-scale or reduced-fee services. Psychological services are exempt from GST and can also be submitted as a deduction on your annual tax returns for medical expenses. 

 

Fees are payable at the end of each session and a receipt will be issued that you can submit to your extended health coverage agency. 

 

Therapy Fees are in line with the guidelines suggested by the Ontario Psychological Association and are billed per 50-minute session (the final 10 minutes of each session is reserved for documentation and preparation). The first therapy session is 90 minutes and billed at two hours in order to allow completion of questionnaires and their associated fees. Our receptionist will review all fees with you prior to your first appointment. 

 

Psycho-educational Assessment Fees usually involve a total of 13.5-15.5 hours of billable time that includes all paperwork, intake interview and questionnaires, between two and four assessment sessions (each two hours in length), a feedback session, scoring, and report writing. Assessments are individualized and tailored to the needs of the client. Some types of assessments (e.g., French academic, autism assessments) are associated with a higher cost and these are discussed with you as part of the informed consent process. 

 

For your convenience, payment by cheque, cash, major credit card, and interac are accepted. 

 

Clients should expect to prioritize their sessions in order to achieve maximum benefit from our services. Missed appointments will be charged at a rate of $100 if cancelled less than 48 hours in advance (covid exceptions apply).

What is the difference between a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, and Psychotherapist?

  • Psychologists, psychiatrists, and family physicians are the only professionals who are legally allowed to diagnose mental health disorders.

  • Psychologists who have a Ph.D. are one of only five healthcare professionals legally allowed to use the title of “Doctor”.

  • Insurance companies will provide reimbursement for psychologists' fees but not with an unregulated provider or psychotherapist. Psychotherapists fees are provided reimbursement only when they are supervised by a psychologist. 

  • Psychiatrists focus on the biological aspects of mental health and focus their practice on biochemical imbalances as a model for mental health difficulties. Their practice is largely focused on medication management. Psychologists adhere more to a biopsychosocial model of mental health. Psychologists and psychiatrists often work closely together.

  • Psychiatrists have less training and emphasis in psychological test administration and perform less psychological testing compared to psychologists, particularly IQ testing. 

  • Clinical psychologists have a minimum of 9 years of university as well as residency training in psychology. Psychiatrists first have medical degrees and then achieve specialization in psychology. After attaining their doctorate, psychologists complete the process of postdoctoral licensure with the province of Ontario, which includes supervised experience, two comprehensive examinations, and and an oral examination, with this period spanning another year after attaining their doctorate. By the time clinical psychologists are fully registered with the province of Ontario, they often have over a decade of intensive training and experience. 

  • Compared to psychotherapists, only psychologists and psychological associates can use the title "psychological" and "psychology". In Ontario, one must attain a doctoral degree in order to use the title "psychologist". Some psychological associates (having their Master's degrees) are able to use the title "psychologist", only if they have been licensed and transferred from a jurisdiction where this is legally sanctioned. 

  • Psychologists and psychological associates are licensed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario, who has the power and authority to discipline and revoke the licence of psychologists who are not practicing within the standards of the profession, thus offering clients recourse. Clients can be assured that psychologists have an exceptionally high level of proficiency, expertise, and adherence to ethical practices when practicing psychology. 

  • Psychologists have doctoral degrees and psychological associates have a masters degree in psychology. Both specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, care planning and treatment of impairment in cognition, emotion, thought, personality, and behaviour.

 

*Please note that some of the above information is adapted from the Canadian Psychological Association, Ontario Psychological Association, as well as Dr. Iris Jackson (2017). Please see these resources for additional information. 

Do I need a referral?

No. Clients are able to self-refer. You can contact us directly to make a self-referral. 

 

Our confidential receptionist will ask you to briefly describe your reasons for seeking our services and which type of services you are wanting to access. From there, we will either make an appointment or suggest a referral to another professional if we feel that we are unable to help you or that you would benefit from the services of another professional instead of us, or prior to seeing us. We maintain strong relationships with other offices in the city and always put our clients’ needs first in order to optimize your care. 

 

Our clients can also be referred from other psychologists, family physicians, psychiatrists, other medical professionals (such as speech language pathologists or occupational therapists), tutors, or schools.