Psychotherapy can be an important part of psychosocial occupational therapy practice; however, it requires specialized training to achieve and maintain competence. Regulation varies by province, and in Ontario, occupational therapists were recently authorized to perform psychotherapy.
The purpose of this study was to explore the psychotherapy practice, training, and support needs of Ontario occupational therapists.
An online survey was sent to occupational therapists who had clients with mental health or chronic pain issues, asking about their expertise and support needs in relation to nine psychotherapy approaches.
Of the 331 therapists who responded, there were variations in the nature and frequency of psychotherapy practice. Experienced therapists in outpatient settings were more likely to practice psychotherapy, and cognitive-behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness were the most common approaches. Supervision and training varied, with many therapists interested in occupational therapy–specific training.
Recommendations for a framework of support include education about the nature of psychotherapy, training and supervision guidelines, and advocacy for occupational therapy and psychotherapy.