OSP is a professional association for psychotherapists, and membership is voluntary. For this reason, OSP does not have the authority to investigate complaints. If you believe an OSP member therapist has breached the OSP Code of Ethics, we suggest you read our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. You may want to know how to address your concern with the therapist directly or how to ask for professional accountability.
If you have an ethical concern about an OSP member, you have several options. Please note that the list below is intended to offer avenues of exploration and is not exhaustive.
Most OSP members are registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), which has a formal complaints process. If the member is registered with a different college, you may want to address your concerns with that college.
Other Professional Colleges:
Some members of OSP also hold memberships in other professional colleges. Members are subject to whatever the complaints and discipline protocol is for that organization. The following are some of the other colleges that therapists may belong to. They can tell you whether a therapist is a member of their college and can provide information about their complaints processes.
The Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW)
The College of Psychologists of Ontario
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
The College of Nurses of Ontario
The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
Other Options and Resources:
The following are some sources of information and guidance. Please note that the list is intended to offer avenues of exploration and is not exhaustive
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) models are processes designed for people to seek resolution of complaints and disputes without the use of formal processes. ADR methods are used widely in a number of contexts. They offer the people affected by the conflict more influence on both the process and the outcome. OSP has a number of psychotherapists certified in various ADR approaches.
Prior to the establishment of the CRPO, OSP offered a form of ADR called Peacemaking Circles as its organizational response to complaints and disputes. Unlike conventional complaints processes that look and feel like courts of law, the Circle process is modelled on community-based, restorative justice methods. The Circle process is still available as an alternative approach to disputes between OSP members and their clients if both parties agree to it. Circles offer:
- a facilitated, contained and open way of telling and hearing what has happened and how people have been affected;
- support within the circle for both parties, drawn from their friends, families, colleagues and other stakeholders;
- an opportunity for everyone affected by the conflict to participate in the process of understanding what has happened as well as the decision-making about what measures would constitute resolution;
- an egalitarian, respectful and compassionate process for all participants;
- the avoidance of adversarial and punitive approaches; and
- the potential to restore health in the relationships of all the people involved.
Mediation is an increasingly recognized option for conflict resolution. It has the advantage of a neutral third party who is well trained in the process. It is non-adversarial and, therefore, seeks resolution for both parties.
The Network: Conflict Resolution Network Canada
St. Stephens Community Services
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Discrimination is defined by The Charter of Human Rights, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission responds to allegations.
Legal – Civil Suit
For legal issues of contract, or tort (e.g., alleged negligence, harm), a civil suit may be possible. The burden of proof is stringent and possibly onerous. Initial research and consultation might begin with a personal lawyer, or with the following:
Law Society of Upper Canada
Law Society Referral Service
Offers a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you determine your rights and options.
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