What is Ontario Structured Psychotherapy?

Thank you to the OSP Client Advisory Committee for their contributions to this article, which include elements of a client’s personal experience in the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy (OSP) Program. The hope and intent is that this information may inspire others to seek services from OSP.

Are you, or someone you know, experiencing mild to moderate depression or anxiety related symptoms? Do these symptoms and conditions impact your way of living, or your daily life? Well, then you’re in the right place! You may want to consider a self-referral to Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program (OSP), simply done online. That’s right, you can simply refer yourself - no doctor referral necessary!  

“What is OSP”, you may ask? OSP is a publicly funded - free to access - evidence-based program, for treating individuals who experience anxiety and depression. OSP offers a range of short-term, evidence-based CBT programs, services and related approaches. OSP also supports individuals who identify as Francophone, 2S-LGBTQ+, and has services specifically designed by and for indigenous individuals.  

“What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy”, you may be wondering? CBT is an evidence based program proven to bring about positive change for individuals who experience mental health related symptoms and conditions. CBT looks at how thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are related, and how they can be related to depression and anxiety.

Are you curious how CBT can help? CBT includes tools and techniques that teach practical skills and strategies that can help individuals recognize their thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and stuck points - and with that understanding – helps them to adjust and change how they react to intrusive thoughts, feeling, behaviours, and troubling situations. The education provided in CBT can help individuals understand their condition, and can help teach them how to effectively cope and manage these symptoms and conditions; which can promote individuals’ strengths, enhance their recovery, and improve quality of life.

Why previous clients recommend OSP’s CBT Program:

As individuals who have completed a program through OSP have mentioned, the tools and strategies that are given throughout the course of the program offer personal awareness that can provide healing properties that help individuals recognize and effectively challenge unhelpful thoughts, behaviours, and “stuck points”. Previous clients have stated OSP services helped them get “unstuck” from their depression and anxiety, and have changed their life for the better. For example: An early goal may focus on self-care, and a self-compassionate approach. After all, care and love are basic human needs - and we each deserve to have our basic needs met!

OSP contains the word “structured” in its title for a reason. Treatment offered is structured, time-limited, problem-focused and goal orientated. Previous clients agree this therapy program requires a degree of dedication and commitment, both in session and at home. Advice from clients who’ve completed this program: There is homework, sometimes every day – it isn’t easy, it can be hard work, but it’s worth it and rewarding. Symptoms may increase at first, but then reduce throughout the course of treatment. Recovery isn’t a linear process, but recovery is possible with OSP. Wellness goals and your fear ladder may look intimidating; however, it is maintainable and achievable. Approach this program with curiosity – see what happens. We want you to know that it can get better, and it does get better. And it can get better in different ways than you expected.  

How to get connected with OSP:  

A number of programs are available. Not sure what program to apply for? That’s no problem! OSP can help you get connected to the most appropriate service tailored to you.  

Where can treatment take place? Treatment is available in person, or virtually - online video-appointments from the comfort of your own home! CBT can be provided in a group setting or one on one with a coach or psychotherapist. Services can also be provided as a self-administrated, self-help therapy guided by either a coach or therapist.  

Structured one-on-one psychotherapy is only available for adults 18 and older.

BounceBack is a CBT service available by telephone for adults and youth ages 15-17. BounceBack is self-guided and utilizes workbooks with some guidance from a coach.

The different evidence-based programs offered are short-term and can range between 8 and 16 weeks. The number of sessions depends on the program of choice, as well as each client’s individual needs. Once enrolled, therapy typically occurs once weekly.  

Are you interested in getting connected with OSP?

You can complete a self-referral online – here’s the website: https://www.waypointcentre.ca/programs_and_services/ontario_structured_psychotherapy  

If you have any questions about the referral form, please contact Waypoint at  1-877-341-4729 ext 2883 or by email at osp@waypointcentre.ca

Apr 26, 2023

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