The Ontario Association of Mental Health Professional (OAMHP) is a professional association of mental health practitioners that was formed in 1978.
We're proud to serve over 2,400 members throughout Ontario who work in a variety of settings, such as community clinics, family health teams, hospitals, colleges, school boards, private practice settings, EAP programmes and other mental health-related services. About 60% of our members are in private practice.
The OAMHP is an incorporated provincial body of mental health service providers with a mandate to provide for the professional needs of our members, and to meet the needs of the community in identifying and certifying competent practitioners providing services in mental health consulting, counselling, psychometry, and psychotherapy.
OAMHP Certification recognizes knowledge, skills and aptitude of mental health professionals, emphasizing competence and expertise in their provision of services.
The OAMHP works tirelessly to provide our members with engaging and effective professional development opportunities; while monitoring and proactively responding to issues within the mental health profession that are important to our membership.
Mental Health Practitioner Designations
As a service to the community, the OAMHP is providing the information below to help outline the differences between counsellors, consultants, psychotherapists and psychometrists.
A professional whose practice involves the primary function of informing, advising, guiding, educating, and coaching. The practice of counselling includes, but is not limited to, clinical, and mental health counselling. Incorporated in its mandate is guidance and education to individuals, families and/or groups.
Any person who provides consulting services in the form of education and information to individual professionals, groups or organizations in the public or private sector.
Psychotherapists work with individuals, couples, families and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and emotional issues. Psychotherapists use personal treatment plans and a variety of non-medical-based treatments to help them solve specific problems; or to treat mood disorders such as depression, OCD and anxiety.
Using talk therapy, they provide insight and use psychotherapeutic interventions to change distressing patterns of cognitions or behaviours that contribute to mood, anxiety or other problems. Some examples of the different approaches psychotherapists use are behavioural therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and gestalt therapy. They commonly work in rehabilitation centres, multidisciplinary health clinics, psychological offices and in private practice. Although Psychotherapists may treat people with clinical diagnoses (e.g., Major Depression, OCD, General Anxiety Disorder) with psychotherapy (talk therapy), they are not licensed to provide a diagnosis or prescribe medication.
In Ontario, only members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) have the authority to identify themselves as Registered Psychotherapists (RPs).
Psychometrists are part of research or healthcare teams that specialize in administering, scoring, analyzing and interpreting psychological tests. In Ontario, Psychometrists are not legally allowed to communicate diagnoses, so they must work under the supervision of a Registered Psychologist or Psychological Associate, who are licensed to do so. Tasks include explaining testing procedures to clients, answering questions, administering tests, scoring tests, analyzing data, interpreting results, writing reports and communicating results to other mental health care professionals. A psychometrist must also stay up to date with new developments in the field, as tests and procedures are created, updated and/or improved.
Message from the President
It is with great pleasure that I provide you with an update about the ongoing activities of the OACCPP.
As you are well aware, the landscape for the delivery of mental health services in Ontario and
Canada is constantly shifting. Big changes in funding, policy and approaches to care mean that as an association for mental health professionals we must be equally nimble. The OACCPP staff and Board of Directors has a long history of responding effectively to evolving situations and this is one thing that is not changing.
After forty successful years, a new name will be put forward for the OACCPP in the coming months. The time has come for a new identity and a strategic communications plan to create greater impact and tighter organizational cohesion. This rebranding is an important opportunity for the Association and its members. It is a chance to assess and redefine our long-term goals, strengthen our messaging with the policy makers and launch an improved, forward-looking association designed to be the best in Canada for mental health professionals.
This is also a time to build the capacity needed to help us to better address your needs. There is definitely strength in numbers in our field so we are beginning a recruitment drive to attract and retain more members across Ontario. This larger membership base will provide more clout to such activities as our lobbying efforts to improve access to care and continuity of service, to remove the HST from RPs and to argue for their inclusion in insurance plans. It will also help us to advocate for improving opportunities in professional learning and development.
In addition to these initiatives, we continue to enhance the member benefits while we address your ongoing concerns;
- Responding to your requests for enhanced benefit options around such items as reduced membership fees to fitness clubs, access to peer-reviewed journals, expanded local peer networks and offering reduced rates on advertising and workshops
- Working towards the removal of HST from the services of RP’s, including providing you with a letter template that can be sent to your MP and speak with about with your MPP
- Supporting the efforts of the RPIC for the inclusion of mental health services in insurance plans
- Fostering healthy government relations with face-to-face dialogues
- Acting as your voice with key stakeholders such as the Association of Family Health Teams
- Planning for enhanced professional development opportunities include partnerships with speciality organization such as Beck to deliver workshops on CBT at special rates
- Hiring new staff members to cultivate strategic plans and increase the opportunities for professional growth for our membership.
At the OACCPP we want you to be engaged in your Association. Give us your feedback, recommendations and tell us about your professional experiences in delivering mental health care. Our bi-yearly publication Psychologica is a great place to share your stories. Please get in touch and we’d be happy to talk about sharing your insights with your community.
This time of year provides a wonderful opportunity to take some time to relax, reflect and think about your own self-care. We look forward to hearing from you soon and seeing you at the 41st Annual Conference and AGM in Toronto on Sept. 20-21.
In the lead up to the conference, we will keep you informed about all the developments as we work towards
becoming a stronger advocate and the preferred association for mental health professionals.
Board of Directors
Suzanne Dennison is a Registered Psychotherapist in private practice and has worked in both the private and public sector. She has a wide range of experience in working with adults and families undergoing individual and relationship difficulties.
Her clinical work provides both brief and longer-term therapy dealing with assessment consultations, ongoing relationship issues as well as chronic pain, stress management, workplace issues and various diagnosed disorders (anxiety, depression, bi-polar, ADD/ADHD). Her therapeutic approach is eclectic allowing her to make the most appropriate use of her training and experience to best address the client need presented relying most often on cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal relationship therapy and mindfulness.
Suzanne received her Masters level equivalent degree in psychology (Assessment and Counselling) from the Institute of Child Study (OISE) at the University of Toronto and is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). She is an associate member of the American Psychological Associations (APA) and a member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT). She is recognized as an “expert witness” in individual and family therapy by the provincial court system in Ontario, continues to publish and is available for clinical supervision, public talks and training workshops.
Jane received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Brock University and her certificate in Mediation, with a focus on Family Mediation, from York University. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. She has a certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from OISE/University of Toronto/Hincks-Dellcrest Centre.
She is a trained facilitator and public speaker who has many years of professional and volunteer experience working with people who have special needs and has several years of experience working within medical clinics; she provides psychotherapy at York Medical, in Newmarket. Jane also has a private practice in Richmond Hill, where she provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families.
She has worked within a variety of programs at Family Services York Region (FSYR) - counseling individuals, couples and families, along with assisting those who have survived domestic abuse. She continues to provide group counseling at FSYR. She has also developed and facilitated programs with Eating Disorders of York Region (EDOYR) and does community presentations to raise public awareness about the risk factors and serious health effects of Eating Disorders. She is passionate about learning and has served as a Teaching Assistant for graduate students within the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at Yorkville University.
Liana is a psychotherapist who had been in practice since 1994, specializing initially with teenagers, family mediation, and stress and anxiety disorders. She holds a degree in Psychology from McMaster University and done graduate work in the Clinical Techniques of Counselling as well as intensive Sex Therapy Certification from Guelph University.
Liana has also pursued professional clinical training practicums in sex medicine at Women’s College Hospital (Toronto) since 2006. Liana's expertise includes stress and anxiety, panic, bi-polar and depression, sexual dysfunction and concerns, marital and intimacy issues and self-esteem enhancement. She is a motivational speaker on the topics of Resiliency in Children and Teens, the Science of Stress and is currently launching a Technophilia workshop on ‘understanding how our love of technology may be affecting our connection with people'.
Liana has her advanced certification in Critical Incident Stress Management, and she is a Certified Psychotherapist with the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OAMHP) and has been the Clinical Coordinator working with teachers and unions associated with the Halton District School Board over the last 12 years.
Sue Tassé is a Registered Psychotherapist from Sudbury Ontario and a graduate from Laurentian University. She recently joined the management team at Canadian Mental Health Association Sudbury/Manitoulin as Manager of Clinical Services expanding her knowledge in the field of adult mental health and addictions.
Sue’s previous experience includes 15 years in a variety of programs within the Children’s Mental Health Sector as a bilingual clinician. She has worked extensively with local school boards, child Psychiatrists, as well as many other community agencies.
Sue is a Master Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST) with Livings Works and had provided training to a number of northern community agencies/individuals. She is also the Secretary/Treasurer of the North East Ontario Suicide Prevention Network (NESPN), a local non-profit multi-agency committee dedicated to suicide prevention initiatives in Northern Ontario.
Adam completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Victoria in 2009, a Bachelor of Education in Social Sciences from University of Victoria in 2013, and a Master of Education in Adult Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2016 from University of Toronto, OISE campus. He is a Registered Social Worker (RSW), a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), a Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC), and a registered teacher in British Columbia, Ontario (OCT), and the Yukon Territory. He is also a Certified Member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP) and a voluntary member of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF).
Growing up in rural Ontario and living in mid-to-large cities across Canada, Adam has worked with a variety of populations ranging from hard-to-reach inner-city clients, adult survivors of childhood trauma, and the LGBTQ2 community, which has fostered a sincere understanding of the various daily life challenges and struggles individuals experience.
Drawing primarily from Internal Family Systems (IFS) and goal-focused therapeutic models, the focus of his clinical experience has been directed toward the age range of 21 - 65 with presenting issues relating to anxiety and depression, childhood physical, psychological, and sexual trauma, gender/sexuality-related issues, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Laura resides in Windsor, Ontario and holds a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Guelph, specializing in the area of developmental disabilities. She also completed a Bachelor of Education at the University of Windsor with current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and additional teaching qualifications in ESL, Special Education, and Guidance & Career Education. Her experience in the area of teaching and advocacy is diverse, with over 15 years of employment in public education and developmental services, while maintaining a full-time focus on her family.
More recently, Laura has applied her skills to higher education with experiences as a sessional instructor and learning facilitator at St. Clair College; as well as a career consultant at the University of Windsor.
She has had the pleasure of supporting diverse groups of learners with their academic and career development. Laura's passion is empowering students in their career development through consultation, psychometric interest assessment, experiential learning, and specialized career workshops. She has recently embarked on the provision of career and academic consulting in private practice.
Laura Liebrock is a mental health professional working in the field since 1989. Her areas of specialization include; program development, grant writing, adult education and teaching, seniors fitness, tobacco cessation policy development, privacy training, accreditation and quality improvement. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in both Psychology and Gerontology, and a Master’s Degree in Health Studies. Community involvement is important to Laura. She is an active member of 100 Women Who Care Windsor Essex and sits on the Board of Community Support Centre Essex County. Laura regularly participates in community mental health events, which usually involve exercise. Both in and out of her community involvement Laura loves to keep active!
Although Laura moved away for University, she returned to her childhood hometown of Belle River 18 years ago to raise her two children, Eric and Sarah, and energetic Jack Russell Terrier, Lizzy, with her husband Jeff.
Laura’s current interests are working with staff towards the implementation of the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace, as well as facilitating all processes designed to improve health outcomes and health system performance towards full accreditation with Accreditation Canada.
Naim Assemani is a mental health professional, he holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (Lebanon). In his home country, he taught developmental psychology to early childhood education students for 13 years. He worked for 4 years as a school psychologist before moving to private practice.
Currently, Naim works in Ottawa as a mental health counsellor in a social services agency that provides free services to refugees, immigrants and other vulnerable populations. His area of practice is Clinical and Counselling Psychology for adults, mainly those suffering from depressive; mood; anxiety; obsessive-compulsive; trauma, and stressor-related disorders. In addition to Psychological Assessment, he uses a variety of intervention techniques such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Narrative Exposure Therapy (for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders).
Naim in the process of acquiring the necessary experience and supervised practice hours to become fully registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
Patrick Beedling is a Toronto-based psychotherapist with more than five years of clinical experience. Patrick’s approach to psychotherapy draws from Cognitive Behavioural, Gestalt, and Existential models. He works with clients to alleviate psychological symptoms and cultivate a deeper sense of awareness and understanding of their issues. Throughout his career so far, he has treated clients on a range of issues including: relationship concerns, anxiety, depression, pain management, and trauma. He also has extensive experience treating victims of motor vehicle accidents.
Patrick has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Yale University and a Master of Education degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto. In the past, he has volunteered with CAMH and St. Catharines General Hospital, and for the last five years has provided psychotherapy and assessment services at various clinics across the GTA and in his own private practice. His interests outside of mental health include music, running and tennis.
Christina has a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology, is a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), a Certified member and board member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals (OAMHP), a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and a certified Canadian Coach Practitioner.
Christina owns a group practice in Caledon, Dig A Little Deeper, Psychotherapy and Counselling. Christina practices trauma-informed, person-centred care, and uses a variety of therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), attachment-based Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) with couples and families, and a blend of narrative and solution focused therapy, ages 13+. Christina provides both in person and online services.
Christina has clinical experience with addiction, ADHD, depression, anxiety, romantic relationship challenges, self-esteem, separation and divorce, co-parenting, remarriage, stepfamily development, family of origin conflict, childhood trauma, terminal or chronic illness, grief and life transitions.
Christina has peer reviewed articles on PTSD in cancer patients , Burnout in Oncology professionals and relationship between Mental health and chronic illness. Christina is also a regular contributor on topics touching mental health for the Caledon Enterprise. Christina is also available for public speaking and has spoken on topics such as Anxiety in school-aged children, Mindfulness 101 for Teams and participated as a panel member in Integrative Oncology. Christina is a proud wife, mother and stepmother.
Helen completed a Master of Arts degree in psychology, specializing in rehabilitation and working with individuals and families with special needs. She also received a certificate in rehabilitation counselling services and holds a certificate in life skills coaching. She is certified through the American Board of Forensic Professionals to conduct Catastrophic Impairment Rating Evaluations.
Since 2004, Helen has been in private practice, where she provides counselling to adults, children, and families. In addition, she has a supervised practice where she provides assessments to children, adolescents and adults in a number of different settings.
Helen has extensive experience in working with individuals that suffer with issues around chronic pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, infertility grief and loss, life skills, anger, separation and divorce, confidence and work-related stress.
Jennifer Thomson is a Registered Psychotherapist working in private practice in Hamilton, with a history of working in the mental health field. In addition to private practice, Jennifer also has experience working in group homes for both adults and youth.
Jennifer received her Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, and her Master’s in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. She is passionate about working with the LGBTQ2S+ community, with a focus on trans care and creating a safe place for individuals of all walks of life to express themselves.
Jennifer also has a passion for health and fitness, incorporating healthy eating, exercise, and overall physical wellness into her psychotherapy practice. She is in the process of becoming a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist and hopes to use this expertise to help individuals live their best lives.
Caroline lives in Burlington Ontario and holds a Master’s degree in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Guelph. She has been registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario since 1995. From 1984 to 2018, Caroline worked for the Halton District School Board, first as a Psychoeducational Consultant and then as a Senior Manager of Professional Services. There, she supervised a large team and supported a diverse group of learners.
Caroline has worked extensively with community members as part of the government’s “Special Needs Strategy” as well as part of a community planning table for children and youth with complex care needs and/or requiring residential treatment. She is also a Past-President of OAPA.
In 2017, she retired from her Senior Manager position, but has remained busy, being an active walker and reader and now serving on the board of the OAMHP.
She has two grown daughters, who she often visits in Toronto and Denver.
Maryann joined the OAMHP in 2015 and is the senior staff person. She liaises with the Board of Directors, President and, Committees to guide and implement the policies of the Board.
She also coordinates office staff to ensure the effective execution of these important projects. Maryann is currently working towards her CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation with the CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives). In her spare time, she serves on the Board of Directors for Volunteer Toronto, and enjoys travelling and hiking with her family.
Maryann has a background in non-profit and association management.
Ruth Taylor is responsible for the financial and administrative operations of the Association. Ruth assumed the role of Operations Manager, a newly created position in 2016. She has been working to establish clear financial, administrative and HR policies, procedures and processes for OAMHP.
Ruth moved to Toronto from Victoria, British Columbia in 2009 and has worked in the non-profit sector for 7 years. She enjoys watching documentaries, the True Crime genre, and laughing at her own jokes.
As the Communications Specialist, Samantha oversees the development and publication of content on our social media channels, e-blasts and on our website. She also plays a supporting role in creating marketing collateral for the OAMHP Annual Conference and General Meeting. Samantha also assists in the development of our bi-annual release of Psychologica magazine.
Samantha holds a BA in Communications and English and an MA in English from the University of Windsor. She has held roles in both internal and external communication channels in various fields. Sam moved to Toronto in September 2017, lured by both her love of the city and the desire to expand her knowledge.
In her spare time, she can be found writing, running, attending local events and watching Audrey Hepburn movies.
Alecia is the OAMHP's Membership Coordinator. She supports and directs members and applicants who are looking for services and benefits offered by the Association.
Alecia comes from a background of Social and Legal Services and holds a diploma as a Community Service Worker and a Paralegal.
Her hobbies include cooking, listening to music, watching movies with her family, and watching basketball.
Jacqueline is OAMHP’s Professional Development Coordinator. Her main responsibilities are organizing workshops and webinars, providing support to regional networks, organizing the Annual Conference, and supporting OAMHP’s Professional Development committee as they strive to offer excellent professional development opportunities for OAMHP members.
Jacqueline has a Masters of Education with a focus on workplace learning and social change from OISE and has worked with non-profits and member organizations to deliver relevant and high-quality learning and development opportunities.
Michael is the Business Development Director. In this role, he works in tandem with the Executive Director, Executive Committee and the OAMHP team to enhance member benefits, create opportunities for strategic partnerships and oversee new business initiatives for the Association.
Michael has worked in media, communications and professional development for over 20 years with organizations from Vancouver to Halifax. He has served on the board of directors of numerous nonprofit organizations and continues to be an active member of the cultural community.