OTs Performing Psychotherapy

OTs working in mental health may be aware of the new College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta that is planned to come on stream in the future – this new College is proposed to regulate approximately 5,000 currently unregulated addiction and mental health therapists with current titles such as marriage and family therapists, counselling therapists, art therapists, spiritual care therapists and others.

At one point it was proposed that Counsellors with the new College would have sole use of the title “psychotherapist”, while existing health professions (nurses, physicians, OTs, etc.) that can do psychotherapy would continue to do so under the restricted activity of “psychosocial interventions” and the use of title of “psychotherapist’ would be reserved for Counselling Therapists. Note that the restricted activity of psychosocial interventions in the Occupational Therapists Profession Regulation has always included provision of psychotherapy by OTs.

ACOT has been advised that Alberta Health is now exploring the use of the title “psychotherapist” by existing health professions as well as the new Counselling Therapists.

ACOT will keep you updated as this use of title issue progresses. In the meantime, to avoid confusion, those OTs who have demonstrated they are competent to provide psychotherapy are able to continue describing themselves as OTs who provide psychotherapy.