What Type of Therapist Should I See?
Finding the right therapist can feel like an overwhelming challenge.
You may know you want to start medication – but not what type of therapist can write you a prescription.
You may know you want to explore whether you can be diagnosed with a specific mental health condition – but not what type of therapist can diagnose you.
We’re here to help you get the answers you need to find the help you deserve.
Here at KMA, we’ve spent the last 14 years matching our clients with their ideal therapists. We’re passionate about teaching you how to get the mental health support you deserve – starting with what type of therapist you should see.
After reading this article, you’ll understand the types of therapists in Ontario, what services they can provide to you, and 4 things to consider when choosing a therapist.
What types of therapists are there?
There are several different types of therapists in Ontario. The term “therapist” covers many mental health professionals, including:
- Social Workers
While they all offer services that can help improve your mental health, the supports they can offer are different.
It’s important to know what you want to get out of therapy when finding a mental health professional.
What Should You Look for When Finding a Therapist?
Four key things to consider when choosing a type of therapist are:
1. Whether they can prescribe medication
2. Whether they can give you a diagnosis
3. Whether they use talk therapy
4. What insurance do they take
Considering these four categories will help you choose what type of therapist to see.
What therapists can prescribe medication?
If you’re looking to begin medication to manage your mental health symptoms, you need to see a psychiatrist.
While some psychiatrists also hold traditional talk therapy sessions, many do not.
If you’re looking to take medication and engage in talk therapy, you may benefit from seeing a psychiatrist and another mental health professional.
What therapists can diagnose you?
If you want to receive an official diagnosis of the mental health issues you’re experiencing, you need to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
Psychotherapists and social workers can greatly support your mental health, but they cannot give you an official diagnosis.
Your family doctor (or general practitioner) may also be able to give you an official diagnosis and prescribe you medication. However, psychotherapy training for family doctors is not regulated, and they will have varying knowledge of mental health.
What therapists use talk therapy?
If you aren’t looking for an official diagnosis or looking to receive medication, you likely want to meet with someone who can talk you through your challenges.
Speaking with a registered social worker or psychotherapist can be a great option to help you manage your symptoms and start feeling better.
Wait times are typically shorter for social workers and psychotherapists than for psychologists and psychiatrists. They also often have lower fees.
What therapists take insurance?
While speaking to your family doctor or seeing a psychiatrist are both covered by OHIP, other therapy services are not.
However, many college, university, and workplace insurance plans offer coverage for therapy under “Psychological Services.”
The type of coverage may vary depending on your school or employer – for example, some plans cover social worker visits while others do not. The amount of coverage you have will also vary.
It’s important to review your insurance plan to see what coverage you have available.
What if I don’t have therapy insurance?
If you don’t have any mental health insurance, look into therapists who offer a sliding-scale rate.
A sliding-scale rate means the amount they charge will vary based on your income. They will offer flexible payment plans to make sure you get the help you need at a price you can afford.
A great place to start your search is the Affordable Therapy Network, which provides you with low-cost options for therapists in the GTA.
Next Steps for Choosing What Type of Therapist to See
After reading this article, you now know what type of therapists practice in Ontario and how to choose the best type of therapist for you.
At KMA Therapy, our therapist team includes social workers, psychotherapists, and psychologists ready to support you in improving your mental health.
If you aren’t sure which type of therapist to see, your 50-minute introductory session will help you decide and match you with the ideal therapist for your unique challenges.
Register online to book your introductory appointment, or contact our team for more information.
If you aren’t ready to book an appointment, read these articles for more information:
- To learn more about introductory appointments, read: What Should I Expect in a Therapy Introductory Appointment?
- To know what qualities to look for in a therapist, read: How to Know if Your Therapist is the Right Fit
- To learn more about finding a therapist, read: How to Find a Therapist in Toronto