top of page

Asked Questions

  • When does it make sense to see a psychologist?
    We all face challenges, but sometimes problems bring enough distress that they interfere with day to day living; at times like these, it might make sense to consult with a psychologist. People see a psychologist because they’ve felt depressed (sad, moody, empty, hopeless, apathetic), angry (disproportionate anger, rage, resentment), or when worries are excessive and cause physical symptoms. People commonly seek psychological assistance after a traumatic experience or as they grieve the loss of someone close to them, or when they need help with chronic pain or illness, or with controlling eating, or when the use of alcohol or drugs are a problem, or when they feel that something is keeping them from reaching their potential in school or at work. Practicing psychologists use their professional training and clinical skills to help people overcome or cope with life challenges and mental health problems. They work to understand a person’s specific needs and goals, situation and values, and they use a variety of evidence-based treatments to help people improve their lives. Psychologists commonly use some form of psychotherapy or talk therapy to help.
  • When does it make sense to see a psychologist about learning problems?
    When a child, teen, or adult has ongoing academic challenges, or when behavioural, social, or emotional issues interfere with learning, it may be time to consult with a psychologist. Longstanding problems with reading, writing, or math progress, unusual difficulty focusing attention and sustaining concentration in school, or impulsivity or hyperactivity that interferes with educational progress are common reasons why people consult with a psychologist. So are unusual difficulty following rules or school routines, or anxiety or depression that interfere with learning, or longstanding problems with peer relationships. People may suspect they’ve been struggling with a particular condition, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia, an Autism Spectrum concern and want to find out more. A psychologist applies their expertise in learning, behaviour, and mental health to help children, teens, adults to understand the course of problems and develop plans to find more academic and social success. In publicly-funded Manitoba schools, psychoeducational assessment may be available free of charge through a School Psychologist. Red Ladder Optimized Learning and other private clinics are another option.
  • How can I see a private practice psychologist?
    A private practice psychology clinic like Red Ladder Optimized Learning doesn’t usually need a referral from a Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner to see a client, though a supplementary health insurance plan may ask to see a referral. Most people contact Red Ladder Optimized Learning and other private psychology practices directly. Many people start by speaking with their primary care provider. Family Physicians and Nurse Practitioners can suggest psychologists and may write a referral. The Manitoba Psychological Society offers an online referral service to private practice psychologists. The MPS service is helpful, as it allows users to narrow their search by population (i.e. by whether a psychologists works with children, adolescents, or adults, etc.), and area of expertise, and most practitioners listed give an indication of typical wait times for service.
  • Are Psycho-educational Services Available in the Public Sector?
    Some psycho-educational evaluation and intervention services are available through Manitoba School Divisions free of charge. Parents concerned about their child's school success can ask their child's teacher or resource teacher about the appropriateness of psycho-educational evaluation, psychological intervention, and about availability of services. Sometimes school staff raise the subject of psychology services with the parents. The Department of Clinical Health Psychology Central Intake Line—(204) 787-7424—has information about clinical psychology services in the public health care system. The Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre (MATC) can provide information about publicly funded services to children and youth. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority offers additional information about hospital based psychological services. Services are also available through the Psychological Services Centre at the University of Manitoba In many cases, wait lists in the public system are lengthy. Depending upon the school division, the time of year, and other factors, the wait for public services may be as brief as a few months, but may be much longer. Waiting times may be much shorter in private practice psychology clinics and, when a family has extended health insurance, need not cost a lot. Private practice evaluation is likely to be available outside of school hours during school holidays.
  • Who Pays for the Services of a Psychologist?
    Private practice psychology is provided on a fee-for-service basis. Normally, clients or their families are responsible for fees incurred for evaluation and intervention. Our services are not paid for by Manitoba Health, but some or all fees may be covered by extended health plans such as Blue Cross, Great-West Life, or Manulife. Many people are unaware that they have good extended health coverage for the services of a Psychologist. Always check the details of your plan. Any fees paid out of pocket to a registered Clinical Psychologist may be deductible as a medical expense on a federal tax return. The fees of a Psychologist are sometimes paid by third parties such as Child and Family Services, a First Nations Educational Authority, the Department of National Defence or Veterans Affairs Canada, the Workers' Compensation Board, income security programs, or a government or corporate employment and education program.
  • Can I use extended health benefits to pay for psychological services?

    Some or all fees paid to a Registered Psychologist or Registered Psychological Associate (Independent Practice) may be covered by extended health plans such as Blue Cross, Great-West Life, or Manulife. Many people are unaware that they have good extended health coverage for the services of a Psychologist. Always check the details of your plan. Any fees paid out of pocket to a registered Clinical Psychologist may be deductible as a medical expense on a federal tax return.
  • Do Psychologists Prescribe Medications?
    Not in Canada. Most Canadian Psychologists have at least some training in psychopharmacology, and work in partnership with prescribers (e.g. Family Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Pediatricians, Psychiatrists).
  • Can I Take My Child to a Psychologist If I Don't Have Custody?
    As in any health care setting, private or public, a Psychologist must have the permission of a minor's legal guardian before beginning any evaluation or intervention work the minor, and a Psychologist will request formal authorization to work with a minor. Where two parents live together with their child, either or both parents can normally provide authorization. Where separated or divorced couples co-parent a child, it will be important for the Psychologist to clarify the custodial arrangement: whether both parents are authorized to consent to health assessment and treatment for the child and, if not, which parent is legally authorized.
bottom of page