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Important Note: This video was created in 2014. Things have changed since then, but be reassured, the Stop Psychotherapy Takeover team is still fighting this. Updated information appears below.
At a time when people by the millions are abandoning conventional treatments for emotional, mental and physical issues of life in favor of dignified, effective alternatives and holistic education, the ability of Ontario practitioners to lawfully offer alternative and natural therapies such as hypnotherapy, counseling, EFT, NLP, natural nutrition and spiritual ministering as well as holistic education may end in early 2015 if serious action is not immediately undertaken.
Anyone who is not a Registered Psychotherapist and who provides any sort of verbal or non-verbal therapy or counseling for emotional, behavioral and cognitive issues and especially those who do not sport a Master’s degree or an equivalent, including clergy, hypnotherapy, EFT, EMDR, Reiki and NLP practitioners and holistic educators will be severely affected.
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Ontario’s Dangerous New Legislation
Ontario’s newest controlled act of “psychotherapy”, contained in an amendment to RHPA (Registered Health Professions Act), makes the treatment of human disturbances a ‘controlled act’ that only registered psychotherapists and select other licensed workers can do.
This controlled act could be proclaimed, and thereby become enforceable by the secretive and unaccountable new regulatory College of Registered Psychotherapists, any day. Most of the other piece of problematic legislation – the Psychotherapy Act – was proclaimed without notice on April 1st, 2015 and now the College of Registered Psychotherapists has enforcement powers.
If the controlled act is proclaimed, only registered psychotherapists and select other licensed workers will be permitted to treat any issue of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception, reasoning, social functioning or memory. While the legislation refers to ‘by psychotherapeutic means’, the fact is ‘psychotherapeutic’ is never defined by the College and it is widely known that psychotherapists have appropriated many techniques from other modalities of treatment that they may now or later call their own, such as hypnotherapy and spiritual care.
Please go to our Controlled Act page for details on the wording of the Act, and how it applies to virtually all efforts to help another person navigate the bumps and bruises of life.
WE HAVE DISCOVERED THAT IN THE BACKGROUND of this takeover, THE PROFESSION OF PSYCHOLOGY HAVE BUILT UP DICTIONARIES OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY TO INCLUDE JUST ABOUT EVERY IMAGINABLE ALTERNATIVE, HOLISTIC AND SPIRITUAL CARE TECHNIQUE, INCLUDING HOLISTIC EDUCATION. A specific provision in the RHPA legislation allows the College to use this Dictionary to define ‘psychotherapeutic techniques’.
As we all know, there are hundreds of treatments that have nothing to do with psychotherapy, which everyone understands to be a medical model and not a mind-body-spirit approach.
What we do is NOT psychotherapy, we DO NOT call ourselves psychotherapists and we DO NOT use psychotherapeutic techniques. What we do is use mind-body-spirit approaches to assessments and treatments that are entirely different than the ‘treat-the-brain’ approaches of conventional lobby groups.
The assessment and treatment of human disturbances of all severities is an act of assessment and treatment; it is not an act of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is only one approach of hundreds. Thus, making all treatments (counselling, natural nutrition and family therapy included) a ‘controlled act of psychotherapy‘ is not fair to any Ontario citizen who does not want psychotherapy. Especially, it is not fair and not just that psychotherapy is presumed to be the best approach, given that the statistics show otherwise.
Further this lobby group alone will determine what may seriously impair the individual’s judgment, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning! The definition of ‘seriously’ and ‘disturbance’ is also left to the College of Psychotherapy and yet even the existence of the disturbances themselves are subjective. For example, a person may feel their social functioning is normal although they may be deemed ‘shy’ when assessed by others.
Such broad assessment and treatment powers as is afforded the College of Psychotherapy may allow them to categorize the shy person ‘mentally ill’ as does psychiatry because it also uses the DSM-framework.
There are presently 13 controlled acts under the RHPA, the controlled act of psychotherapy will be #14 once proclaimed. All have as a common denominator the fact that the acts, when undertaken, could increase the risk of physical harm to the patient.
However, few of us have ever heard of anyone who has died or even been injured from hypnosis or counseling treatments of any kind, with the exception of when psychiatrists and psychologists used combinations of hypnosis, drugs and counseling to cause the false memory, satanic cult and multiple personality issues of the early 1990’s. Only licensed professionals were involved in that scandal. Thus the act of treating anyone for human ‘disturbances’ with any treatment that is presently regulated (psychiatry, psychology) is not necessary whatever.
While the Transitional Council of the College of Psychotherapy’s webpage suggests that the purpose of being controlled is to prevent the public from being subjected to unethical, untrained practitioners who call themselves ‘psychotherapists’, the fact is that alternative, holistic, energy, therapy, counseling of all kinds DO NOT call themselves psychotherapists and DO NOT use psychotherapeutic techniques at all and in fact, the public finds us very safe which is why they are willing to pay out-of-pocket for our services.
While conventional groups may have problems with their own, there is certainly no problem with those of us who do not ever wish to do psychotherapy.
Only the best rise to the top in mind-body-spirit therapies and approaches, because folks pay out-of-pocket. Practitioners in these alternative practices are not artificially supported by government. We have to become successful entirely on our own merits. We can’t do that if we are unsafe or ineffective.
One of the problems in our health care system is that there is no evidence-based assessments made before lobby groups are given legislative powers over the population. The lobby group that yells the loudest and has the most money gets to make claims without any scientific evidence that their claims are valid. Then they get to make claims that our methods are not valid, yet the public says differently, because they see personally that the mind-body-spirit, drug-free, diagnosis-free treatments we offer work.
We now have a situation where the very profession that has been exposed as being the one that designed and implemented the torture/enhanced interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay will be in charge of regulating the rest of us. This is indeed very, very scary!
Another reason given for wanting to make ‘psychotherapy’ a controlled act, is to ensure standardization of practice. Again, that what psychotherapists do is not presently standardized across their ‘profession’ does not pose a risk of physical harm to the public and it does not require the practice of psychotherapy to become ‘controlled’ in order to standardize itself!
If the mind-body-spirit treatments are forced to become ‘standardized’ according to the agendas of those who do not believe in such treatments in the first place, it is easy to see that first they will be watered down to ineffectiveness and then eliminated one at a time. This would explain why there are no sub-categories of registered psychotherapists.
In any event, it is absurd that a ‘profession’ that has no definition and no specific, identifiable techniques except the ones they’ve decided to award themselves are given such powers over an entire population. The word psychotherapy itself is regarded as a general term used to imply ‘psychological intervention’.
Which raises another point…if psychotherapy is considered a broad term for psychological intervention, the practice of psychotherapy should then become controlled under the Psychology Act and does not need it’s own ‘act’. It appears the general term ‘psychotherapy’ with unspecified and non-standardized techniques is seeking to become regarded as a ‘profession’ by defining itself with such broad strokes that any individual verbal and non-verbal interactions offered as ‘treatment’ is ‘psychotherapy’.
Background of Psychotherapy Takeover of Healing Treatments
It has been learned that once various reports came out in 2006-2007 showing that alternatives had become a $7 Billion industry, psychologists moved in quickly to ‘protect’ their turf, side-by-side with the pharmaceutical industry.
While most mental health professionals heavily criticized the effort to make all assessments and treatments of human disturbances a controlled act back in 2006-2007, psychologists lobbied the Minister of Health hard and prevailed in 2009. Presently, under the law, there is only one acceptable approach to the treatment of any human disturbance…the medical/drug model approved by psychologists and psychiatrists.
The Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (CSCH) is adamant that the provision of treatments involving hypnosis for example, be restricted to licensed professions, even though the term ‘hypnosis’ has never been officially defined either. Further there is no evidence that licensed professions are any more effective or ethical with the use of hypnosis than non-licensed professionals.
In 2009, the Psychology Act, the Psychotherapy Act and most importantly, the Registered Health Profession Act (RHPA) were amended under a huge Omnibus Bill 171. The resulting Transitional Council of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) was established with the background support of the Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis (CSCH), a society whose membership is open only to licensed health care professionals (psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, etc).
As described in the legislation below, practically any natural human reaction to life’s bumps and bruises can be referred to as a ‘disturbance’ and the treatment of this ‘disturbance’, a ‘controlled act of psychotherapy’.
THE ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT OF A ‘DISTURBANCE’ IS AN ACT OF ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT, NOT AN ACT OF PSYCHOTHERAPY.
Psychotherapy is only one assessment and treatment approach!
From the RHPA:
New Controlled Act: 27.(2) 14. Treating, by means of psychotherapy technique, delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning.
30. (2) Subsection 27 (1) does not apply with respect to a communication made in the course of counselling about emotional, social, educational or spiritual matters as long as it is not a communication that a health profession Act authorizes members to make. 1991, c. 18, s. 29.
Thus the law states that registered psychotherapists are the only health professionals authorized to treat human disturbances Exemptions are given later in the RHPA for psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and psychologists.
It would seem that the law seeks to give psychotherapy legitimacy it does not have on its own and in fact, seeks to define a therapy previously undefined but understood to be psychiatry without drugs and electroshock. It also goes further to use undefined terms such as psychotherapeutic techniques, which again, because even the term psychotherapy is not defined, are not defined. This leaves the College to claim any technique as their own.
The definitions of ‘serious’, ‘impairment’ and so on are left to the discretion of the College of Psychotherapy; the treatment for same can only be that deemed acceptable to the College despite the fact that many treatments are effective and acceptable to the public while not being deemed acceptable to the College because there is no definition of psychotherapy, let alone ‘psychotherapeutic techniques’.
There are no subcategories of psychotherapists at the College or in the legislation to ensure mind-body-spirit treatments and practitioners can continue with their chosen modalities, therefore even if one joins the College, they will not be permitted to continue their own modalities, but will be regulated by the medical, DSM-framework approach as all others.
Psychotherapists adhere to conventional psychiatric paradigms and psychological theories and of course are entirely influenced by the dictates of the pharmaceutical industry.
Even the highly effective hypnotherapeutic treatment of chronic pain and Irritable Bowel Syndrome will now be regulated by the College of Psychotherapy, as all of these involve some serious emotional, cognitive and behavioral component.
Psychotherapy Act, 2007, s. 3, 4, 10.
Scope of practice
- The practice of psychotherapy is the assessment and treatment of cognitive, emotional or behavioural disturbances by psychotherapeutic means, delivered through a therapeutic relationship based primarily on verbal or non-verbal communication. 2007, c. 10, Sched. R, s. 3.
- In the course of engaging in the practice of psychotherapy, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to treat, by means of psychotherapy technique delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning. 2007, c. 10, Sched. R, s. 4.
- Every person who contravenes subsection 8 (1) or (2) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for a first offence and not more than $50,000 for a second or subsequent offence. 2007, c. 10, Sched. R, s. 10.
Essentially, all unwanted and natural human reactions to life are now the purview of psychotherapy to assess and treat where there can be no other means permitted of resolving the unwanted reactions. The only treatment can be psychotherapeutic, as prescribed by the College of Psychotherapy, despite the fact history has shown that most human issues such as anxiety, stress management, depression, chronic pain, fears, psycho-spiritual and subconsciously-rooted emotional issues have not usually been effectively resolved by psychotherapy.
Effect of this legislation on alternative practitioners, spiritual advisers, healers and their clients:
While alternative practitioners may not immediately feel the imposition on their right to offer their alternative services, the stage has been set through this legislation for the ‘creeping elimination’ of all treatments that do not fit the psychological and psychiatric models through restrictive College rules, regulations and impositions. There are no subcategories of psychotherapists to protect mind-body-spirit approaches from dilution and eventual elimination, even if all practitioners could or would want to join.
It would seem that the underlying agenda in this action by the licensed professions is to eventually eliminate the availability of all popular alternative therapies for normal human disturbances and to centralize control of the treatment and assessment of same in the hands of psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatry.
Despite 75 years of self-promotion by the licensed professions, independent science has not shown their treatments to be more effective or efficient than alternative approaches and in fact, studies have shown they are often less effective, less efficient and too often, very harmful.
What it means for all non-licensed health & wellness practitioners:
Once this College of Psychotherapy is proclaimed in the fall of 2014, and therefore its regulations made court-enforceable, anyone who is involved in any way, shape or form with individual treatments, therapy, counseling or ministration to another for thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory issues that may impair the individual’s judgment, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning (which is essentially all normal issues of life) and who is not registered with the College as a psychotherapist will be prohibited from continuing and potentially subject to severe fines.
In other words, all alternative wellness specialists, including clergy, are deemed to be psychotherapists by another name until they are permitted to register as a ‘registered psychotherapist’, and then they will be permitted to practice only as dictated to by the College.
If a practitioner helps people with grief, anger, resentment, self-sabotaging behaviors, persistent sadness and depressive feelings, or if they advertise services for anxiety, fears, phobias, compulsive behaviors, chronic pain, stress and unwanted habits and addictions, they are engaging in the ‘controlled act of psychotherapy‘ despite using approaches and techniques not remotely associated with psychotherapy.
How to help with Actions now Underway:
(1) An attorney has been retained to file formal appeals with the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for legislative amendments to the Psychotherapy Act, 2007 to ensure a change in the definition of ‘a controlled act of psychotherapy’, or at the very least a definition of all terms in the legislation in such a way that ensures non-psychotherapy practitioners can continue to assist their clients in their usual way, without interference of the College. The amendments sought would prevent restrictions of the activities of non-psychotherapy therapists, spiritual healers, counselors, alternative and energy practitioners and clergy. The amendments would seek to establish that psychotherapy is only ONE means of treatment among many legitimate, safe treatment options.
(2) We seek testimonials from satisfied clients who resolved their issues with alternative treatments means AFTER having tried psychotherapy, psychologist or psychiatry treatments. Such stories will be put into affidavit form for the client’s signature at no cost to them and attached to legal submissions to support the appeals.
This effort needs your immediate financial support. WE URGENTLY NEED TO RAISE $80,000 TO FUND OUR LEGAL EFFORTS TO STOP THIS.
If you desire freedom to practice, to teach and to prosper or if you are a client who wants to ensure freedom to choose your treatments, we urge you to be as generous with your donations as possible, as soon as possible, as we are working to meet deadlines. Please forward this notice to others.
Please go here for more ways to help.