Words and Phrases - "psychotherapy"
Filiatrault c. La Reine, 2017 TCC 232 (Informal Procedure)
The taxpayer, who had previously practised as a career counsellor, began to practise psychotherapy in 1989. When he was accredited by his professional order in 1995, psychotherapy was not a professional activity that was regulated at the provincial level. However, following 2012 amendments to the Quebec Professional Code (the “Code”), the Ordre des psychologues du Québec recognized the taxpayer’s qualification by issuing a psychotherapist’s permit to him on September 26, 2012.
From 2012 onwards, the Code included psychotherapist permit holders among those permitted to practise psychotherapy. The taxpayer’s patients were referred to him by physicians or colleagues in the health care network, for treatment of various symptoms through psychotherapy services.
After finding (at para. 22) that psychotherapy came within the concept of a supply of psychology in light of s. 187.1 of the Code providing that “psychotherapy is psychological treatment,” and (at para. 30) that psychotherapy also came within the term “qualifying health care supply” as “these services were for ‘treating, relieving or remediating ... a disorder’,” Smith J went on to find that the taxpayer did not qualify as a practitioner, stating (at paras. 40-41):
[E]ven if the services offered by a psychotherapist are psychological in nature, the ETA requires that the person be a “practitioner”. In order to qualify in that respect, the requirement is not only to offer psychological services, but to practise the profession of psychology, which is reserved to psychologists who are members of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec.
Therefore, even if the member of an order specifically listed in section 187.1 of the Code is issued a psychotherapist’s permit, that does not confer on that member the title of psychologist, as required by the definition of “practitioner”
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