Definition of psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a professional practice regulated by laws in Quebec. The Bill 21 gives an accurate definition of psychotherapy. It is a “psychological treatment for a mental disorder, behavioural disturbance or other problem resulting in psychological suffering or distress, and has as its purpose to foster significant changes in the client’s cognitive, emotional or behavioral functioning, interpersonal relations, personality or health. Such treatment goes beyond help aimed at dealing with everyday difficulties and beyond a support or counselling role.”

This definition helps to better differentiate what is and what is not psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is not to be mistaken with other types of intervention such as coaching, support meetings, couple or family counselling, psychological education, rehabilitation, clinical intervention or crisis intervention. Psychotherapy should also be differentiated from personal development techniques or spiritual approaches.

There are many types of psychotherapy: for individuals, couples, and families. Anyone can benefit from psychotherapy: children, teenagers, adults and seniors.