In Quebec, An Act to amend the Professional Code and other legislative provisions in the field of mental health and human relations (also known as Bill 21) reserves the title of psychotherapist and the practice of psychotherapy to authorized professionals: psychologists, medical doctors and psychotherapist's permit holders.
From the outset, psychologists and medical doctors can practice psychotherapy, since their initial training prepares them to do so. It is their code of ethics and the monitoring programs of their respective professional orders that attest to the quality of their practice. Neither the psychologist nor the medical doctor needs a permit of psychotherapist.
The law also allows members of the following professional orders to obtain a psychotherapist's permit if they meet the requirements set forth by the regulation of the Office des professions du Quebec:
- Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec
- Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec
- Ordre des infirmières et des infirmiers du Québec
- Ordre des psychoéducateurs et des psychoéducatrices du Québec
- Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec
In addition, the law states that those who are not eligible to be admitted into a professional order but who already practice psychotherapy competently - as defined by law - may obtain a permit if they meet the requirements for the recognition of their acquired rights. These individuals have until June 2014 to apply for a psychotherapist's permit with the Ordre des psychologues du Quebec.
You should never hesitate to ask questions to the professional you want to consult regarding his/her initial training and experience.
To check if a professional is authorized to practice psychotherapy, simply consult the Directory - Psychotherapy.
If you have decided to consult and do not know how to choose, read our tips on choosing your professional.
Since the practice of psychotherapy is reserved as of June 21st, 2012, those who practice it without the proper authorization might be prosecuted for illegal practice and misappropriation of title. Except for psychologists and medical doctors, all other psychotherapists must obtain a permit of psychotherapist to practice psychotherapy.
You can contact the Ordre des psychologues du Quebec to verify the person you are currently or planning on consulting as requested or obtain a psychotherapist's permit. We encourage you to talk to your psychotherapist about the new regulations to learn about their current situation.