How to Find a Psychologist in Toronto
When life becomes overwhelming, we often lean on friends for support, investigate self-help books, and become detectives on Google as we try to figure out how to improve our mental health.
While these strategies can work for a while, we may reach a point where we need to seek help from a professional.
You may have decided that it’s time to speak to a psychologist, but what does a psychologist actually do? What makes them different from any other mental health professional?
Here at KMA, our supportive team of therapists includes counsellors and psychologists alike. For over fourteen years, we’ve been helping people like you to find the best therapist for them. We’re here to give you all the information you need about whether a psychologist could be the right fit for you.
By the end of this article, you’ll understand the qualifications it takes to become a psychologist, the services a psychologist can provide, and questions to ask to find the best psychologist for you. This will equip you with four easy steps to find a great psychologist in Toronto.
1. Understand the Qualifications of a Psychologist
You may also be curious about the difference between seeing a psychologist or another mental health professional.
In Ontario, a registered Psychologist is someone who has received a Ph.D. in Psychology. This is different from social workers and counsellors, who generally have a Masters level of training.
This is also different from Psychiatrists, who have gone to medical school. This makes them the only mental health professional who can provide medication as a form of treatment.
When searching for a psychologist, it’s important to remember that the terms “psychotherapist” and “counsellor” are not regulated in Ontario. Make sure to look for the specific title of a psychologist if you’re looking for someone with a Ph.D.
Understanding the qualifications of a psychologist will help make sure that the services you’re seeking can be adequately provided by a psychologist.
2. Determine What Services You’re Seeking From a Psychologist
Psychologists provide services to support mental health in a variety of ways. These include:
- Insurance-covered therapy
- Family and Marital therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioural therapy
- Exposure and Response Prevention
- Psychological testing and evaluation
A psychologist can help you by finding evidence-based treatment techniques for the mental health challenges that you’re facing. They can also work with a psychiatrist to help you access medication if you decide that this is something you could benefit from.
Understanding what services psychologists provide will help to narrow down the potential questions you have for a psychologist, and have a better understanding of the support you can expect to receive.
3. Explore What Questions To Ask a Psychologist
When first meeting with a psychologist, they will likely ask you questions about your mental health background, the challenges you’re experiencing, and what you hope to get out of your time together.
This is also a time for you to ask any questions you may have to the psychologist. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, so here is a list of questions to ask a psychologist:
- What are their areas of expertise?
- What is their approach/what type of therapy do they use?
- What experience do they have with clients facing challenges like yours?
- How many sessions do they expect it will take to find a solution to the challenges you’re experiencing?
- Do they have experience with other areas of interest (for example, if you would like a psychologist who has experience with LGBTQ+ issues)
Knowing the answers to these questions will make sure that whatever psychologist you choose will be the best fit for you, in all areas of your life.
4. Review the Other Considerations for Finding a Psychologist in Toronto
While a psychologist’s professional skills are important in determining whether they’ll be the right fit for you, it’s also important to consider the logistics of seeing them.
Some other important questions to consider while finding a psychologist include:
- Do they have positive reviews from previous clients?
- Are they taking new clients, or do they have a waitlist?
- Where are they located, and do they offer virtual sessions?
- How much do they charge, and do they accept your insurance?
- Do they offer sliding-scale appointment costs based on clients’ income?
These final questions can help you feel confident in your ability to choose the best psychologist for you.
Next Steps for Finding a Psychologist in Toronto
After reading this article, you now have an understanding of the education it takes to become a psychologist, the services a psychologist can provide, and a list of questions to help you find the best psychologist for you.
All of our therapists here at KMA hold a Masters level of education, and many hold doctoral degrees or are studying to receive a doctoral degree.
Book an introductory session with us to learn more and to find a psychologist who will be an excellent fit for you. If you’re still deciding whether a psychologist or another type of therapist will be the best fit for you, we will help you figure it out.
If you’re not yet ready to meet with a member of our team, you can check out these resources for more information:
· To learn more about your coverage options, check out: Is Therapy Covered by OHIP?
· For other types of therapists, check out: How to Find a Therapist in Toronto
· To learn more about what might be the best fit for you, read: What’s the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Therapist? How to Choose