Frequently Asked Questions

Send questions to info@oeata.ca and feel free to come on out to the monthly OEATA Professional Practice Circle for art and conversation. See the Calendar or Events at https://oeata.ca/events/

Q: How are ExAT services covered by client health insurance plans across Canada?

A: In short, the answer is, it depends on the health insurance package that is purchased by the company your clients are working for.

Some can be very little, eg. $300/year), or the most I have seen is $10,000./year, or it could be a percentage that the patient has to cover themselves (eg. 60% or 80% coverage by the insurer). It’s also good to know that many Canadians have no health insurance plan at all. Many pay out of pocket.

As a recently regulated profession in Canada, to date 6 provinces are regulated with more being mandated by law to regulate, counselling therapists and psychotherapists, will need to be registered in order to be eligible for their services to be covered by health insurer’s. And even then, as the profession is so recently regulated, we are still in the process of educating the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) about how skilled we are with mental health concerns, actually we have more in depth training than other professions who do not have 3 years of in depth training specifically in the area of psychotherapy). 

In provinces that are not currently regulated, like BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon and NWT, there is a stop gap measure, where the larger professional associations took it upon themselves to have a process of certification in order for practicing health professionals to have their services recognized by patient health insurance plans. In the meantime, we recommend getting a CCPA Canadian Counsellor Certification to work in unregulated provinces. This entails a process possibly consisting of a written component and an interview, or it used to. When the government regulates we won’t need this anymore, but for now that’s what people do.

 Here is an example of a client inquiry and how one might respond:

Q: “I need help. How do I know if my health insurance covers your services?”

A: “Thanks for your inquiry. Good question! Check with the human resources person at your company. Ask if their health insurance package covers costs for Registered Psychotherapists. It would also help in planning a course of psychotherapy to know how much you are entitled to, if it is a lump sum per year, or a percentage that you pay out of pocket. If the RP services are not covered, as this is a more recently regulated health profession, then it’s possible to advocate for inclusion to be able to choose the services you want for yourself. Feel free to let me know how it goes.” 

Q: I’m looking for a new clinical supervisor to work with while volunteering as an EXAT with bereavement clients, but have not been able to find in writing a list of what qualifications an EXAT clinical supervisor must have and a suggestion of how many hours of practicing an EXAT might want to have between clinical supervision sessions. 

The ratio of hours for students is generally 8-10 DCC : 1 hour Clinical Supervision. For RP (Qualifying)…the person has graduated but doesn’t have their RP yet, so the ratio is 4-5hours DCC : 1hour Clinical Supervision.

Check the OEATA https://oeata.ca/directory/ for who supervises. There are supervisors who use ExAT. The relationship is contracted and legally mandated here. ExAT’s/RP’s/RCT’s are supervised by all sorts of people depending on the issue.

In BC, FACT-BC has submitted the application for regulation (hence a regulatory college is most likely coming at some point).

Q: Am I eligible for liability insurance coverage through OEATA?

A: This depends on your training. OEATA members in good-standing, who are professional Expressive Arts Therapists trained in an OEATA recognized program (that leads to qualification in the College of Registered Psychotherapists) or professional arts based practitioners (ie. art, dance, music, drama therapists with similarly recognized credentials) can apply for professional liability insurance through McFarlans Rolands. For details see the Insurance section

Q: I am in the process of organizing my membership application package and want to clarify which category I fit in. I am presently on leave, returning to work in September of this year. Do I apply as an inactive member and then notify you when I return to work? Do I then pay another fee to become an active member?

A: That’s right! Inactive works for now, then when you go back to work you can send the $45 difference for the Professional category.

Q: Does joining OEATA get me into the CRPO?

A: No it does not. You must apply to join the CRPO independently of OEATA. But we can help with the application process! 

Q: What is the difference between an Association, such as OEATA and the CRPO?

A: A professional association, such as OEATA, is an organization that can provide a range of professional, educational and practical support and advocacy for its members. A college, such as the CRPO, is a legal regulatory body whose interest is to regulate the ethical and practical conduct of its members in order to protect the public.

Q: Can I practice as an Expressive Arts Therapist without being a member of OEATA or the CRPO?

A: The controlled act of psychotherapy was proclaimed on Dec 31, 2017. There is now a 2 year window to transition to and register with the CRPO – the deadline to register is Dec 31, 2019.  You will need to be a member of the CRPO, either a RP or RP Qualifying, by the deadline in order to legally practice as a psychotherapist in Ontario.  Expressive Arts Therapy can be considered a particular type of psychotherapy as it overlaps with traditional forms and techniques of psychotherapy and can be aligned with the “controlled act of psychotherapy” as defined: to treat, by means of psychotherapy technique delivered through a therapeutic relationship, an individual’s serious disorder of thought, cognition, mood, emotional regulation, perception or memory that may seriously impair the individual’s judgement, insight, behaviour, communication or social functioning.”

You do not need to be a member of OEATA, but you do need liability insurance; OEATA professional members are able to apply for insurance – see 1st FAQ.

Q: How do I know if my school is an OEATA recognized institution?

A: You will find the OEA/HSA training under Expressive Arts Training here:


OEATA has a category of membership called ‘Associate Expressive Arts Practitioner’ (AEAP) which means the graduate can perform ‘Expressive Arts’ with groups/individuals in the community and through agencies, but not practice the soon to be regulated act of psychotherapy. There is a declaration form to be signed if you join OEATA as an AEAP stating you will not practice the controlled act of psychotherapy. So, if you do not have psychotherapy training, AEAP would be the suitable membership category to choose.

OEATA has made the AEAP category to support artists working in the community, so that they may acquire insurance. There are also many graduates from the CREATE Institute (formerly ISIS Canada) who do not wish to perform the ‘soon to be regulated act of psychotherapy’, so the AEAP category covers all Expressive Arts Practitioners for insurance viability which would include Arts Educators, Coaches, Consultants etc.

Q: For a period of time, my clinical supervision was provided by another EXAT. When I am naming my clinical supervisors on my application, should I name both of those supervisors and get letters of confirmation from each of them?  Or can I just name my regular clinical supervisor (and not her fill-in) and use one letter of confirmation?

A: You should name and list each supervisor you had for each period of Clinical Supervision you received.

From the CRPO Regular Route application guide:
A Confirmation Letter is the preferred type of documentation. Provide a letter from your Clinical Supervisor confirming Clinical Supervision received, including:
-The Clinical Supervisor’s qualifications and contact information;
-how the supervisor and supervisee became acquainted;
-if the period of Clinical Supervision refers to group supervision, include the number of supervisees in the group; and
-the number of Clinical Supervision hours provided and the date range over which the Clinical Supervision took place.

Attestation Letter – Provide an Attestation Letter only if a Confirmation Letter is not available. An Attestation Letter refers to a detailed letter from a relevant third party, e.g. senior colleague.

Note: In rare, exceptional circumstances only, if the above are unavailable, CRPO may accept alternate information or documentation. Upload to your application a detailed explanation of why the above are unavailable.

Q: When filling in information about Liability Insurance on the application, it asks for a Practice Site.  My policy with McFarlands Rowland does not name a practice site.  Is this something I should rectify?  I am presently only practicing within an agency who has their own insurance.  While I am covered under their insurance, I was advised to get my own, as well.  Should I provide information about the agency’s liability insurance on the application as well?

A: The insurance provided through McFarlands Rowland should cover your practice in all locations within the province (please double check with them). Please note McFarlands Rowland is the broker – check your policy to find the name of the company that is the insurance provider, it is different than the brokers name.

You would state the name and location of the agency where you see clients as your practice site, as you should be covered by you insurance policy there as well. However, it’s probably a good idea to also include the name of the insurance provider at the agency you practice at as well.
If in doubt ask your particular insurance broker for the details.

Q: I finished my Jurisprudence module – Am I a Qualifying RP now?

A: No. The jurisprudence is only the first step in the CRPO application.

Once it’s completed you then have access to the ‘actual application’, choosing either the ‘grandparenting’ or ‘regular route’ application category.

‘RP Qualifying’ status is only relevant to the ‘regular route’ application.

The minimum completed benchmarks to apply via the RR route and have ‘RP Qualifying’ status are: near completion of training (90% or more), 125 DCC hrs, 30 supervision hrs. (‘Qualifying RP’ does not apply to the grandparenting process which is a direct route to the full RP status and there is no title while you wait for the approval of your application, as far as I know. )

After submitting the fully completed RR application and it being approved as ‘complete’ by the CRPO, one then has a maximum of 2 years to finish any training, DCC or supervision hrs needed to be eligible to write the registration exam. During this ‘RP Qualifying’ period one may complete any outstanding requirements:

– any outstanding or CRPO recommended training
– any hrs to attain the benchmarks of 450 DCC and 100 supervision hrs required to be eligible to write the registration exam

After passing the registration exam, one then moves from Qualifying RP to the full RP status.

The most difficult part (aside from an exam?) of the RR route application is the ‘mapping tool’ for training/education.
The ‘mapping tool’ is a detailed process of accounting for how one’s ‘non-recognized’ training correlates to the 21 competencies required by the CRPO.
The CREATE Institute  is still not a ‘recognized’ program, although they have applied and are awaiting a response – If they do become recognized it will be a quick checkmark on the application but until then it’s a much more detailed research and writing process for the applicant. However, reviewing and completing the ‘mapping tool’ for one’s RR application also has the potential benefit of helping to prepare for the registration exam; the exam is based on the competencies.

The grandparenting route is now closed, applicants can only apply via the regular route.

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