how the OPQ's online referral service fails to protect the public and what to do about it

[pour la version française, cliquez ici ]

The OPQ’s online referral service is NOT helping the public access the services of all qualified psychotherapists specialized in the disciplines the public is looking for. 

Here’s how its online referral service fails to help you find the right provider:
1)     Non-psychologist psychotherapists are not always included in the search results under topics in which they hold licenses or have specialized training, e.g. in couple and family, sexual or work issues, whereas the names of psychologists who are unlicensed or untrained in these issues are always included in the search results.
2)     Non-psychologist psychotherapists are never listed as being able to do conduct evaluations in their areas of expertise, i.e. relationship, sexual or occupational problems, but psychologists who are without expertise and are unlicensed in these areas always are.
3)    Non-psychologist psychotherapists get no referrals when the OPQ’s online service is used by the public to find a professional funded by IVAC, SSQ, CSST or Health Canada because this search option automatically filters out all but the names of psychologists.
If you are a psychotherapist in private practice, you may be as surprised as I was to learn that many of your services are inaccessible to the public using the OPQ’s online referral site, even if you have paid good money for both your license and your professional page listing.   

AND THAT IS NOT ALL.  The OPQ is currently holding private meetings with four major, publicly-funded organizations (SSQ, CSST, Health Canada- Aboriginals and IVAC) to determine which providers of psychotherapy services will be financially supported by these organizations.  

Can we trust them?

For more complete information, please consult Psychotherapy and Public Protection.  It includes an overview and critique of the OPQ’s online referral service, a petition addressed to the President of the Order of Psychologists asking her to refer the public to all psychotherapists qualified to provide the treatments they seek, and sample letters to employers requesting coverage of all licensed providers of psychotherapy.

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