Ontario’s ‘controlled act of psychotherapy’ includes the phrase:

“…SERIOUS DISORDER of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgment, insight behavior, communication or social functioning“:
                        Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), 1991, 27(2)14

Serious Disorder:  This term is also not defined in the psychotherapy-related legislation, and the regulatory College explicitly refuses to define it.  However, it  is already well defined.

The psychiatrists’ ‘Bible’ (DSM-5) lists hundreds of ‘serious disorders’ – one or more for virtually everyone on the planet.

Here is important information about Ontario case law.

Virtually any client, or recipient of assistance, could be classified as having a serious disorder, at any time, at the SOLE discretion of the College, and any practitioner could be accused of having treated one or more clients who have a ‘serious disorder’.

Seriously Impair:  This term is also not defined in the legislation, and the regulatory College explicitly refuses to define it as well.  However, again, virtually any client or recipient of assistance can be classified as being seriously impaired at the SOLE discretion of the College.

Also, please note the word ‘may’ in front of this term.  To fulfill the definition of the controlled act, the client’s ‘serious disorder’ does not have to ‘seriously impair’ anything – it is only required that it ‘may’ do so, and this will be determined at the SOLE discretion of the unaccountable regulatory College (a corporation that is exempt from the Corporations Act) that has been given the power to prosecute competing practitioners.

Important: Please visit our Case Law re: Definition of Serious Disorder and Serious Impairment page for a review of Ontario Case Law.


Here is the definition of “serious mental illness” as provided to the US Congress:

Note that the definition refers to a diagnosable disorder – the disorder need not actually be diagnosed.

“Adults with a serious mental illness are persons: (1) age 18 and over, (2) who currently or at any time during the past year, (3) have a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-III-R, (4) that has resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities…  All of these disorders have episodic, recurrent, or persistent features; however, they vary in terms of severity and disabling effects.”
(Federal Register Volume 58 No. 96 published Thursday May 20, 1993, pages 29422-29425)

Regarding part (3), above: psychiatrists can use the unscientific DSM to come up with at least one diagnosis for virtually everyone on the planet.  Therefore, a prosecutor could easily find an expert witness willing to state that any client had, within the last year, a “diagnosable disorder“.

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