Our Professional Criteria

When we undertook to create a reliable network of professional psychotherapists we first decided on the professional criteria that any member ought the meet in order to be on the site.

We mention this now in May 2010 because even at this late date the profession of psychotherapy is still not formally regulated. We praise the government of Ontario for its role in gaining all-party assent to the creation of the new College of Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists in June 2007.

Already in March 2004 when this site we had laid down our own base criteria for a professional psychotherapist.

Psychodynamic Orientation

We support the work of psychodynamic practitioners, because experience over the past 125 years has proven the effectiveness of this original and creative approach.

We recognize that those who believe in subduing individual expression of unique forms of living will not support our vision of the wonderful variety of legitimate ways of living. We cannot in good conscience assume that merely 'being normal like everybody else ' is the same as being individually healthy and fully alive.

Diversity, Specialty, Cultural Breadth and Inclusiveness

We celebrate diversity, recognize the many specialties of our therapists, support work in many languages by providing profiles in these languages, and respect the wisdom of the many cultural backgrounds among our clients.

Independent Private Practices

All our members operate as independent practitioners. They are not managed nor supervised by the site network itself or by Pragmos Consulting, the site owner and manager.

Other Approaches within our Psychodynamic Orientation

Our members work broadly within the psychodynamic modality because we hold it to be effective.

Many of us have specialities within the psychodynamic modality; you can review them here.

While we are psychodynamic some of us may use CBT and brief therapy methods within our practices.

Personal Therapy Experience

An essential requirement is a sufficient history of personal therapy and professional supervision.

Surprisingly, most of the 'psychotherapists' in Ontario have never undertaken a private, personal therapy in order to prepare themselves to work professionally with others.

This is as strange as claiming to be able to teach a foreign language that one cannot speak or even read oneself, or telling somebody how to ride a horse when one is actually afraid of getting on a horse oneself.

We have had to refuse membership to many 'therapists' who claim to understand the process of therapy but assure us that reading books or listening to self-appointed 'gurus' is all anyone needs to do to become competent.

By the way, we do expect our members to have completed several years of therapy to become qualified, not just a few weekend experiences and a handful of individual sessions. Therapy is a skill that is largely grown through direct participation.

Appropriate Training and Education

Members must have attained a level of requisite skills, attitudes, training and education sufficient to gain admission to any college or agency with regulatory power over psychotherapy in Ontario.

While such training is often gained through formal attendance at a training institute, many excellent first-rate practitioners have apprenticed to gain their skills by working with established therapists.

Professional Affiliation

All members must be in good standing as members of a recognized professional organizations for psychotherapists and psychotherapy.

Professional Development

Members must be engaged in their own on-going professional development.

This may take many forms.

Attendance at workshops as participants or leaders, reading broadly within the field and within relevant areas of human cultural concern, writing on topics relevant to human experience, the completion of additional formalized studies, and the development of specialty skills may all count as professional development within a therapist's own practice.

Free Consultations

Choosing to enter therapy is a potentially life-changing decision and we wish to support those seeking to learn and make the right choice. All members agree to provide a free consultation to any client seeking one, and to refer within the network where another therapist is the best choice.

Professional Liability Insurance

All members must have valid professional liability insurance.

Fees

We prefer that members offer a sliding fee-scale, but this is not mandatory. Each therapist is independent aned must set fees that are appropriate for her or his needs and skill levels.

Life Experience

When the psychological 'fit' is good, therapy works best. We value breadth and depth.

We admit a wide range of well-trained psychodynamic psychotherapists. They are able to provide the blend of therapy skills, life-skill and professionalism that will most help you with your personal issues.

The Interview Process

We interview all applicants personally to ensure that expectations are clear and that the abilities of the applicant are relevant to the network. This is not a competency assessment.

We regard this meeting as a mutual process, and welcome questions. We always refer those whom we cannot adequately serve professionally.

Funding this Site

The site is fully funded by its members. We do not accept any advertising because we want our visitors to earn about the value of the psychotherapy we offer without commercial distractions.

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