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Oakville Psychology provides psychoeducational assessments, mental health assessments, and psychological interventions for children, adolescents, adults and families.

Values

A Psychologist's work is based on the fundamental acknowledgement that all people have the same human value and the right to be treated as unique individuals. We treat all people - both clients and colleagues - with dignity and respect and will work with them collaboratively as partners towards the achievement of mutually agreed goals. In doing this, we adhere to, and are guided by, explicit and public statements of the ethical principles that underpin the psychological profession.

Approach

Clinical values at Oakville Psychology are consistent with the Scientist-Practitioner model, the core tenets of which include:

  • Delivering psychological assessment (psychological testing) and psychological intervention procedures in accordance with scientifically-based protocols;
  • Accessing and integrating scientific findings to inform healthcare decisions;
  • Framing and testing hypotheses that inform healthcare decisions;
  • Building and maintaining effective teamwork with other healthcare professionals that supports the delivery of scientist–practitioner contributions;
  • Research-based training and support to other health professions in the delivery of psychological care;

Contributing to practice-based research and development to improve the quality and effectiveness of psychological aspects of health care.

What is a Psychologist?

The scientific study of behaviour, feelings, motives and thinking is the basis of psychology. Psychologists also study the biological and physiological bases of behaviour because of the interdependence of mind and body. The job of the psychologist is to apply this knowledge to help people solve personal problems or to enable a group - a family, a school or a corporation - to function better. As a field of study, psychology is a science. As a practice, it is a profession. While there are several branches of applied psychology, the core training of these professionals is much the same.

To become a psychologist in Ontario, an individual must earn a doctoral degree in Psychology, which means a minimum of nine years of intensive academic training in a university program recognized by the College of Psychologists. The psychology candidate is expected to be knowledgeable in the biological, mental, emotional and social bases of human behaviour. The candidate must also be proficient in research design and methodology, statistical analysis, scientific and professional ethics and standards, and their particular area of special interest (for example, clinical, educational or organizational psychology).

What is a Clinical Psychologist?

Clinical psychology is concerned with identifying and treating problems which adults and children have both within themselves and with other people. These conflicts can involve emotions, thinking, learning , as well as social and sexual problems. A psychologist practicing in the area of clinical psychology can provide diagnostic, therapeutic and counselling services to an individual, a family or a group sharing similar problems. The word "clinical", used to describe the psychologist, does not mean that he or she works in a clinic. It means that he or she has skills to work directly to help people who have the type of problems mentioned above. "Clinical" distinguishes these psychologists from research psychologists, educational psychologists, organizational psychologists and so on.

The psychologist helps people achieve changes in lifestyle or habits that can correct health problems and result in more productive living - such as overcoming alcohol and drug addiction, controlling fears, alleviating depression, reducing anxiety and stress, overcoming feelings of low self-esteem and so on. Psychologists sometimes work with patients with physical problems such as persistent headaches, chronic pain, hypertension and ulcers, sometimes in conjunction with medical treatment.

Psychologists are trained to apply a wide range of methods to assess the clients' needs for treatment and to develop programs of therapy. Psychologists tailor the treatment to the needs of the clients. Psychologists have been in the forefront in developing new and better treatment procedures and have an ethical responsibility to continue their education and maintain their competence. In Ontario only health care providers registered and regulated by the College of Psychologists can call themselves psychologists. Thus, clients are assured of high standards of practice and health care delivery when they consult a clinical psychologist.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychotherapist?

Most clinical Psychologists do psychotherapy but a general psychotherapist is not the same as a Psychologist. Psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists. Soon, those with much less education and training will be able to be regulated by the newly established College of Psychotherapists. They will not be Psychologists and cannot use the restricted title of Psychologist. Psychologists have the legal right to use the title “doctor” while psychotherapists cannot. Also, clinical Psychologists are authorized in law to diagnose mental disorders while psychotherapists are not.

The entry requirements for someone to become registered with the College of Psychotherapists are much lower than the requirements for becoming a Psychologist. As discussed elsewhere on this web site, psychologists must have three degrees in psychology, including a Ph.D., Psy.D. or D. Ed. These doctoral degrees are the highest awarded by universities and represent many years of scholarly and clinical work and training (a minimum of 10 years of university). Psychologists have been regulated in Ontario since 1960. In 1993, the Regulated Health Professions Act came into force, regulating and licensing psychologists and many other health care providers, such as physicians, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and so on.

More recently, the College of Psychotherapists Act of 2007 was passed in order to regulate other psychotherapists and counsellors who did not meet the highly demanding entry criteria that were established for psychologists. At this time, no one is yet regulated as simply a Psychotherapist. This is because the Transitional Council for the College has only recently begun to undertake the very complicated job of determining what the admission standards for the College of Psychotherapists (regulatory body) will be and what standards of care and regulations will govern those who are admitted to this College. What is known at this time is that this College will eventually govern a very widely diverse group of mental health providers who were not eligible for the Colleges which license the others who do psychotherapy.