What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, often referred to as “therapy”, is an approach aimed at helping to treat a variety of emotional, mental, psychological, and/or behavioural challenges that a person is experiencing, to improve quality of life, and a person’s overall ability to function and cope.

A core component of psychotherapy is a safe, supportive therapeutic relationship, which refers to the relationship between the psychotherapist and client. Through collaboration with their psychotherapist, individuals may gain insight, perspective, increased self-compassion, knowledge, strategies, and skills that can help improve their overall well-being and mental health. Decades of research have demonstrated that psychotherapy is effective. Having a strong and supportive therapeutic relationship is a critical factor in successful psychotherapy outcomes.

There are many different therapeutic approaches in psychotherapy. Some examples include: cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, narrative therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, internal family systems, and somatic experiencing.

Psychotherapy is a “controlled act” under Ontario law, which means it may only be performed by authorized health professionals and members of certain regulatory colleges.

To learn more about who can provide psychotherapy, read this fact sheet from the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

How Does Online Therapy Compare to In-Person Sessions?

Online therapy (also referred to as virtual therapy, teletherapy, telehealth, or online counselling) is a well-established method of providing therapy via video call or telephone. Our Registered Psychotherapists use an electronic record management software program called Jane for virtual therapy sessions. This software is compliant with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Research supports that online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy. It has the advantage of greater accessibility, comfort, convenience, and privacy for some individuals. It can help to reduce costs and barriers, including those related to time, energy, mobility, and transportation to access in-person psychotherapy with a qualified psychotherapist.

Online therapy also provides the opportunity to creatively make your therapy space your own. Read more for some tips on how to prepare for your therapy session on our blog at this link here.

As compared to in-person therapy, there are unique challenges that may come up in online therapy, such as technological disruptions or reduced feedback through body language, particularly over the phone. You can discuss whether online therapy is a good fit for you with your therapist during an initial consultation.

What Issues Can Be Addressed Through Psychotherapy?

Here are some common issues that can be addressed through psychotherapy:

  • Depression and other difficulties with mood
  • Anxiety, including social anxiety, generalized anxiety, health anxiety, relationship anxiety, performance anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and chronic worry
  • Transition-related stress and coping with significant life changes
  • Family, relationship, friendship, and parenting stress or conflict
  • Loss, grief, and bereavement, including death of a loved one, complicated grief, traumatic grief, pet loss, breakups/divorce, and other types of losses
  • Trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and complex trauma, which may include various forms of abuse throughout the lifespan, witnessing or experiencing violence, traumatic grief, racism, gender-based violence, institutional violence, and poverty
  • Issues related to self-image, self-esteem, assertiveness, people pleasing, or confidence
  • Body-focused repetitive behaviours, including hair pulling and skin picking
  • Perfectionism 
  • Substance use and addiction
  • Self-harm, self-injurious behaviour, and suicidal ideation
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Managing and coping with difficult emotions, such as anger, guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness
  • Coping with chronic pain and other physical health difficulties
  • Issues related to meaning or purpose in life
  • Difficulty with other thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that are adversely affecting your daily life

This is not an exhaustive list. If you are coping with something that you do not see listed above, let your therapist know. They may be able to help you or guide you in the direction of other support and resources.

Do I need to have a diagnosis or a doctor’s referral to receive psychotherapy?

No, you do not need a diagnosis or a doctor’s referral to receive psychotherapy. You do not need to have a serious mental health disorder or be experiencing a crisis in order to receive psychotherapy. Some doctors will recommend psychotherapy to their patients, but it is not necessary to have a doctor’s referral to start psychotherapy (you can self-refer). Whether you are dealing with everyday stressors or more significant challenges, our doors are open to you.

Are Online Therapy Sessions Confidential?

All information you talk about in therapy sessions is kept confidential and will not be shared without your consent. There are a few situations where your therapist may be legally required to disclose information that you have provided. In these limited circumstances, safety is prioritized. For example, your therapist may disclose information if it is necessary to eliminate or reduce significant and imminent risk of harm to you or anyone else. Your therapist will discuss these limits to confidentiality with you at the start of therapy.

What Are the Qualifications of Your Therapists?

All therapists at Aurum Medicine & Wellness Clinic have a masters degree in a counselling field, such as counselling psychology or social work. They also have a professional designation, as a Registered Psychotherapist or Registered Social Worker, and they are registered with their respective regulatory colleges (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario or College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers). Our therapists also participate in ongoing consultation and professional development.

To learn more about the background and qualifications of our therapists, check out Our Team.

Additional Psychotherapy FAQs

Can I Access Virtual Psychotherapy Services Anywhere in Ontario?

Yes! We offer virtual psychotherapy sessions to adults living anywhere in Ontario. We can also provide psychotherapy via telephone if you prefer this option.

What is the Cost of Virtual Psychotherapy?

The cost of psychotherapy sessions is $165 plus HST for a 50-minute session. Please visit our online booking site for more detailed information on each provider’s fees.

What is the Cost of Virtual Psychotherapy?

The cost of psychotherapy sessions is $165 plus HST for a 50-minute session. Please visit our online booking site for more detailed information on each provider’s fees.

Are virtual psychotherapy sessions covered by OHIP?

Psychotherapy is not covered by OHIP.

Are virtual psychotherapy sessions covered by my health insurance plan?

Many health insurance plans cover psychotherapy. We recommend you check with your insurance plan provider to confirm if you have coverage for psychotherapy or services provided by a Registered Psychotherapist (RP). You will be provided with a receipt after your session that you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.

Psychotherapy consults available can be booked or viewed online at this link here, and booked by emailing

Mental Health Therapists are pre-licensed therapists and current psychotherapy students practicing therapy under the supervision of a Registered Psychotherapists.

Therapists are also available for free consults at this link here.

For more information on our group therapy sessions visit our services page here.

Book your free initial consultation now and connect with experienced therapists for personalized online therapy from anywhere in Ontario. Take the first step towards emotional well-being and mental health. Start your path to healing.