Frequently Asked Questions

As a parent or a professional, you can refer directly to our private practice.  Physicians referrals are not necessary unless indicated by your insurance provider. Referrals are accepted by email (visit CONTACT US), phone message (519-319-4743) or by fax (519-474-0422). It is very helpful for us if you can complete the digital referral form, which can then be sent as an attachment or faxed.


What is a Psychologist?

A psychologist studies how we think, feel, and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour. Psychologists can specialize in a wide variety of areas and are registered with a regulatory body (Ontario College of Psychologists) which outlines and oversees their scope of practice. Dr. Gilpin has received extensive training in child psychology and is registered to provide services for a wide range of child and adolescent issues. In Ontario, Psychologists hold a Doctoral degree in psychology; Psychological Associates hold a Master's degree and are registered with the College of Psychologists as well. Psychologists who hold doctoral degrees can use the title doctor ('Dr'). The abbreviation C. Psych (registered psychologist) is added to their title once they have met the provincial registration requirements with the Ontario College of Psychologists


What is a Social Worker? 

Social Workers are concerned and involved with the interactions between people and the impact of social events and systems on the ability of people to accomplish life tasks and manage their distress. In their work with individuals and families, clinical social workers strive to enhance the problem-solving, coping and developmental capacities of people and to link people with systems that provide them with resources, services, and opportunities. Social advocacy and support are important themes in their work. Most social workers are registered with their college and follow professional clinical and ethical guidelines.


What is the Difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

In Canada, the professionals who most commonly treat people with mental health problems are psychologists and psychiatrists. 

Psychologists are registered with their regulatory College, and often specialize in specific areas. They are required to declare their areas of competency to the regulatory body and required to practice within the bounds of their competence.  A psychologist working with children should have been trained in the area of child psychology and developmental theory. Training involves both extensive course work and supervised clinical experience. Psychologists are trained to diagnose various problems in their field of training, through administration of psychological tests, and clinical judgment based on observational skills and interviews. The goal of this assessment process is to assist Psychologists in helping identify key areas of strength and need so that they can offer relevant treatment plans to work with the children and their families. 

Psychiatrists are medically trained physicians who then take additional specialized training to address mental health and mental illnesses. Due to their medical background, they can prescribe medications when necessary. Some psychiatrists also do psychotherapy.  For more information on the study and practice of psychiatry, please visit the website of the Canadian Psychiatric Association at Sometimes, you might consult with a psychiatrist regarding medication while receiving therapy from a psychologist.


What is involved with a psychological assessment?

Preschool aged assessments generally take 3-5 hours of direct time with the child and family members, as well as additional scoring and report writing time. Comprehensive learning, behavioural or social-emotional assessments will take longer, particularly for high school aged young people. Direct assessments generally involve at least two appointments at 2 hours each visit, with additional sessions as needed. Additional time is also spent interviewing family members, relevant school or health care professionals and preparing written documentation. 

A psychological assessment usually involves a variety of measurements and observational scales to evaluate a child's unique strengths and needs. Areas of ability are assessed often including intelligence, memory, attention, behavioural functioning, social-emotional well-being and academic skills.


What is involved in therapy?

Depending on your specific concerns, therapy may involve individual therapy with your child or family focused discussions. While confidentiality is respected, it is our goal to work with the family on resolving any issues that you may have with your child. We typically would spend time talking with your child, but would consult with you as well, either at the beginning or the end of each appointment. Sometimes, particularly for younger children, we use a variety of play and art therapy strategies in order to assist your child in communicating their views. 


Confidentiality is respected at all times. 

We will review our policy regarding confidentiality for both you and your child/adolescent. It is important to note that there are some circumstances, as described below, when confidentiality may need to be breached: 

  • When there is a concern for the child's or another person's safety
  • When there is a suicide risk
  • When a file is requested for court purposes
  • When a report of neglect or abuse needs to be made to the Children's Aid Society
  • When a report needs to be made to a regulatory College about abuse by another practitioner

At Gilpin and Associates, we work as a team. As a result, there may be instances when we consult with each other regarding individual cases. In all instances, the clients are fully aware of these consultations. Our goal is to work together to achieve the best quality care for  you and your family.