I am frequently asked what the difference is between a Marriage and Family Therapist, a Psychiatrist, or Psychologist. Below is a description of what each professional does:
Psychiatrist: A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized training in Psychiatric Medicine. Therefore, Psychiatrists are the experts on Psychiatric Medications, for example, anti-depressants. Psychiatrists provide diagnoses of mental health disorders and prescribe medication when appropriate. Most Psychiatrists do not provide psychological treatment, i.e. talk therapy. Unfortunately, there can be a long wait time for an initial consultation. Because Psychiatrists are medical doctors, they are covered under OHIP, and you will need a referral from your family doctor. For more information see http://eopa.ca
Psychologist: A Psychologist is not a medical doctor, therefore cannot prescribe medication. Psychologists typically have their PhDs, and are regulated by The College of Psychologists of Ontario (http://www.cpo.on.ca/). Psychologists provide diagnosis and assessments for psychological disorders and/or psychological impairments, e.g. learning disabilities. Most Psychologists provide talk therapy, and typically specialize in CBT for individuals (but this is not all cases). Psychologists are not covered by OHIP, but most extended insurance plans will cover their fees. Fees typically range from $140-220/hour.
Marriage and Family Therapists: At minimum, RMFTs hold a Masters Degree, 1000 direct clinical face-to-face hours, 200 of which are supervised by a Registered Clinical Supervisor. RMFTs are the only mental health practitioners that specialize in couple and family therapy. RMFTS are relationship experts! RMFTs are trained in Family Systems Theory, and many have additional training in EFT, CBT, Solution Focused Therapy, Sex Therapy, etc. RMFTs do not prescribe medication or provide clinical diagnosis, but we will make recommendations to specialized care when appropriate. RMFTs provide individual, couple and family counselling. RMFTs are not covered by OHIP, but most are covered under extended insurance plans. Fees typically range from $100-180/session. For more information visit www.oamft.on.ca