Frequently Asked Questions
Therapy with MindBeacon
MindBeacon is the only provider that offers Canadians the full spectrum of digital mental health supports, from face-to-face live therapy, therapist-guided programs, instant crisis support and free resources from the Stronger Minds community.
Everyone has different needs. So, there's no one solution that fits everyone. You choose what works for you.
Everyone has a personal preference when it comes to therapy.
When choosing between Live Therapy and a Therapist Guided Program consider how comfortable you might be discussing your concerns face-to-face, or how much flexibility you have in your schedule.
If you prefer to work on your own time, wherever and whenever it's convenient, a Therapist Guided Program might be the best. Your therapist will be available to you via direct messages, but you'll have no set appointments to keep.
If you like the guarantee of an appointment in your calendar, then Live Therapy might be better. Live Therapy is also great if you want to talk to someone and have a face-to-face connection, even though you're remote.
We get it. Finding an hour in your day to talk about yourself can feel like a massive commitment.
That's why we have options like our Therapist Guided Program, which provides access to support whenever it's most convenient to you.
You can direct message your therapist while waiting for your pasta to boil, or review readings while waiting for your kid's soccer practice to end. It's therapy built around your availability.
But, yes, therapy can take some of your time. There is no getting around that. But this is about you feeling better - about being more resilient and getting more out of your life.
You deserve to live your best life. Invest in yourself.
From the very start, MindBeacon's mission has been to break down barriers to mental health support and price was one of the first we tackled.
Our Therapist Guided Program gives you one-on-one access to a therapist for 12 weeks for only $625 - and you can choose to pay in installments if that's more convenient. Through a detailed online assessment, readings and activities you complete on your own, and a secure direct message platform, we can offer the same results as face-to-face therapy at a fraction of the cost.
Our Live Therapy sessions start at $130/60 minutes. They may be a bit more expensive than other online options, but that's because we have highly trained, certified therapists.
No matter which option you choose, we always save you the costs of taking time off work, driving to appointments and all the associated expenses.
Currently, both our Therapist Guided Program and Live Therapy Sessions are available in English and French.
Many people feel like their mental health isn't "bad enough" to seek out therapy.
That's not what this is about. You don't have to hit a some predetermined "level of sickness" before you reach out. This is about gaining the skills and resiliency you need to face the challenges life throws at you.
While the stigma around mental health support has lessened, there's still is a lot of misunderstanding about what therapy is.
Thousands of Canadians trust MindBeacon to help them tackle a variety of issues every day, so you'd be in good company. We want to see everyone get healthier, happier and more resilient.
And, if security is a concern, know that our practices are compliant with PHIPA, PIPEDA, FIPPA and the health custodian regulations set out by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. We are also certified compliant with HIPAA, the US standard governing protection of sensitive patient data.
Our MindBeacon Therapists
Our therapists are all registered mental health professionals – primarily registered social workers. The therapist assigned to you will be registered to provide care in your province or territory of residence.
You’ll notice that our therapists might have different designations. . Let’s break down what their designations mean:
Completed doctoral studies (PhD or PsyD) in psychology and the required number of hours of practice (including a one-year internship), year of supervised practice, and is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
- Psychological Associate
Completed masters level degree (e.g., MA or MSc) and then four years of practice in psychology, is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, and considered equivalent to a Psychologist in scope of practice.
- Psychologist (Supervised Practice)
Completed doctoral studies (i.e., PhD or PsyD), a one-year internship, and is in the final stage of acquiring their license for independent practice with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. All clinical work is supervised by a registered psychologist.
- Resident (or Intern) in Clinical Psychology
A student-therapist who has completed all of their course requirements and are at the final year of completing their doctoral studies. All of their clinical services are supervised by a registered psychologist.
- Social Worker
Completed masters level studies (i.e., MSW). All of our Social Workers are experienced in CBT and registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).
- Registered Psychotherapist
Psychotherapists may have various training backgrounds, with a focus on providing psychotherapy for individuals, and are registered with College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. All of our Psychotherapists are experienced in providing CBT.
There are a few important similarities and differences:
Psychologists are closely aligned with psychiatrists, as both are highly trained professionals.
Psychiatrists are oriented toward pharmaceutical solutions (some illnesses lend themselves to medication versus psychotherapy, such as severe depression or schizophrenia); while psychologists are oriented toward psychotherapy as a solution.
Psychologists and psychiatrists both undertake about the same number of years of education and training. Some of their training is similar (e.g., regarding diagnosis) and some is quite different.
Psychologists have doctoral degrees in psychology and specialize in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of human emotion, thought and behaviour. They have advanced training in psychotherapy and the science of behaviour change. Although they may be trained in understanding the use of medication to treat mental illness, in Ontario they are not as yet licensed to prescribe medications.
Psychologists are the only professionals qualified to use certain kinds of psychological tests to assess intelligence as well as emotional and behavioural problems and neuropsychological dysfunction (that is, mental dysfunction arising from a physical cause).
Psychologists’ fees in Ontario are covered by private payment, extended medical plans, employee assistance programs and/or government services and agencies or other special programs. They are licensed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario. When you choose a psychologist, you can be assured that this professional has received extensive formal training and supervision in her or his area of expertise, will adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional standards, and is governed and regulated by the College of Psychologists.
Similar to your family physician, a psychiatrist has a degree in medicine. This degree is quite different than psychology degrees and also involves additional specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. In Ontario, psychiatrists tend to focus on the biological aspects of mental health while psychologists tend to focus on the cognitive, emotional and behavioural. Psychiatrists are licensed by the Government to prescribe medication. The practice of most psychiatrists in Ontario is focused on prescribing medications and consulting with family physicians, psychologists and other health professionals.
In fact, psychologists and psychiatrists often work closely together. In Ontario, psychiatrists’ fees are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
As with psychologists, you can be assured that psychiatrists have extensive formal training and supervision in their areas of expertise and will adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional standards. Psychiatrists are governed and regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are regulated health professionals. Other mental and behavioural health professionals might not be regulated and might not be trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues.
Source: The Ontario Psychological Association
The first important difference between psychotherapists and psychologists is the number of years of education and training required to register by each college.
The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires members to complete any recognized training program in psychotherapy, with 450 hours of direct client contact and 100 hours of clinical supervision.
In contrast, to become a psychologist in Ontario the College of Psychologists requires:
- An undergraduate degree and Masters degree in psychology
- Doctoral-level education and training equivalent to a PhD in Clinical Psychology or PsyD from a CPA or APA accredited program
- Completion of at least two 500-hour clinical practicum placements
- Completion of a year-long (1,500-hour) clinical residency; and
- Completion of a year-long period (1,500 hours) of supervised practice while registered with the College of Psychologists as a psychologist in supervised practice (CPsych, Supervised Practice)
The second important difference is that psychologists are able to perform the controlled act of communicating a diagnosis of mental illness whereas psychotherapists are not. This is an important difference because, before you can treat a problem effectively, you need to be able to identify it accurately through a rigorous assessment process, name the problem (i.e., to diagnose it) and then have a discussion about options for evidence-based treatment.
Therapists in supervised practice are registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario and have nine years of clinical training and 3,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. While most of our Associates may have more , our Associates in Supervised Practice are just as committed to your wellbeing and trained in the most up-to-date treatments. They are also supervised by a senior psychologist with decades of experience.
You are paired with one therapist for the duration of your Therapist Guided Program, and they are dedicated to your progress from beginning to end.
Your therapist will tailor a course of therapy based on your unique needs, selecting readings and activities that will help you develop new skills. As you work through the activities, your therapist will review your progress, provide encouragement and advice, as well as new perspectives to consider. You interact with your therapist via secure messaging through the MindBeacon digital therapy platform, and they will always respond within one to two business days.
If you have a concern about your therapy, the first step is to discuss the issue with your therapist. They should be open to this discussion, which could, in fact, lead to a better relationship and more effective psychotherapy. However, if you feel that your conversation was not beneficial and the situation has not improved, you reach out to email@example.com. With your written permission your file can be transferred to your new therapist, so that you do not have to repeat the entire assessment process.
MindBeacon Therapist Guided Program
MindBeacon Therapist Guided programs are available to all Canadians, age 16 years or older. MindBeacon can help you tackle a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, panic, PTSD, stress and many other concerns that impact your wellbeing. But MindBeacon IS NOT a crisis service. If you’re ever in crisis, please phone ‘911’ immediately or visit your nearest hospital emergency room. Your safety is absolutely the most important thing to us.
We begin with an online assessment that will help us understand more about what you’re experiencing. Your responses are then reviewed carefully by a therapist who will confirm if our Therapist Guided Program is the right fit for you. You don’t need to have a diagnosis and you don’t need to know specifically what you’re struggling with.
If your assessment suggests that our Therapist Guided Program isn’t appropriate for you, we’ll offer alternate resources and suggestions.
It starts with your assessment, to better understand the issues and challenges you’re facing. From there, we create a unique treatment plan and assign a dedicated registered therapist to oversee your progress. Each time you visit, you’ll have readings, activities and check-ins that will help you develop new skills and let us better understand how you’re progressing. Remember: Your therapist will always be there for you throughout the process via messaging.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is established, evidence-based psychotherapy that’s been proven effective in treating a range of mental health problems. Unlike “talk therapy”, CBT is about learning and practicing new skills that will help support your best mental health.
CBT is most effective when you have the dedicated support and guidance of a qualified therapist who personalizes your program to your specific needs. CBT helps us address our negative or distorted thoughts, examining how realistic they really are, because our thoughts, behaviours and emotions all influence each other. By identifying how they are related and what they trigger, we can change how we feel.
MindBeacon allows you to work through the same materials you would otherwise have access to during in-person therapy, but with easy, anytime access. You’ll also be able to communicate with your therapist more frequently than you would during in-person care - instead of weekly or monthly sessions, your therapist will respond to you every couple of business days over the course of 12 weeks.
Every Therapist Guided Program is personalized and unique. Your therapist will provide a tailored and progressive set of readings and activities for you over the course of your therapy – things like learning relaxation and worry management techniques, exposure activities or thought records. The main goal for all these activities is to reflect on what you’re thinking, doing and feeling, and then help you learn more positive skills
Everyone’s a little different, and we want you to progress at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Generally, people will stay with us for eight to 10 weeks, but your therapist will be there for you for 12 weeks in case you need more time or just want to ask questions.
After the 12 weeks you will still be able to maintain access to your readings, worksheets and more for an additional 40 weeks.
Yes – you get your own therapist, who will be dedicated to you throughout your care, and who will tailor your program from start to finish. MindBeacon therapists are registered mental health professionals who are experienced in providing CBT treatment online.
The MindBeacon Therapist Guided Program works by offering you 12 weeks of ongoing interaction with a therapist. They will respond to your messages and check in with you every few days. However, there are no weekly sessions booked with your therapist by phone or in person.
If you select the MindBeacon Therapist Guided Program plus Insights, you’ll follow up your online assessment with a call with a registered psychologist or equivalent in your area.
The psychologist will review your assessment, ask clarifying questions and provide you with a diagnosis over the phone.
Getting Started with the Program
You can access it on any internet-enabled device, including smartphones, laptop and desktop computers, as well as tablets.
Your assessment plays two key roles. First, it allows the therapist to confirm if MindBeacon therapy is the right care for you. Second, it provides your therapist with valuable insights into your unique set of circumstances. From these, a customized care path will be created just for you. While MindBeacon is suitable for nearly all who complete an assessment, it's not always right for everyone. Your assessment results will help the therapist determine if we’re the best fit for you
The assessment is a rigorous clinical review meant to mirror the standard assessment one might complete in person with a psychologist or social worker. On average, it takes about 30 minutes to complete. This may seem like a long time, but typically, when people visit a mental health specialist in person, it can take 60 to 90 minutes to answer these same questions.
Many people wonder why we collect information such as an address (considering this is an online service) and things such as an emergency contact.
Two reasons: First, we require this information in order to ensure your safety in case of an emergency. But we also require this information so that we can match you with a therapist in your area.
Every question in our assessment, has a very specific purpose in ensuring you get the best care possible. We actually have one of the most comprehensive assessments in the industry because of this.
If you've submitted a non-diagnostic assessment, you should hear from us within two to three business days about starting treatment, if your therapist determines that we’re a good fit for you.
The psychologist will spend some time introducing themselves and explaining their qualifications as well as reviewing limits of confidentiality. They’ll then review the online assessment section by section, and ask any questions if they need more information to determine a diagnosis.
While it’s suitable for most people who complete the assessment, our service isn’t compatible for everyone. The most common reasons for that are if you’re seeking help for an issue our service doesn’t treat (for example, an eating disorder) or if a different form of care would be more appropriate to your circumstances. If your assessment suggests that MindBeacon isn’t appropriate for you, we’ll offer alternate resources and suggestions.
You can message your therapist at any time, and they will respond within one or two business days.
When you log in, you will be taken to the main lobby, where you can choose to continue your MindBeacon Guided Program or, book a Live Therapy Session, or jump over to the Stronger Minds Community. On the MindBeacon platform, you’ll be served up the latest reading or skills-building exercise, depending on where you are in your treatment, or you can reach out to your therapist if you have any questions or feedback!
We recommend checking in on a daily basis to see if there are new therapist messages or material. Feel free to ask your therapist directly how often they would like you to engage based on your goals for therapy.
If you are having trouble completing any tasks, please try completing that task on a different device than the one you’re currently using. If you continue to experience technical difficulties, please reach out to our Client Experience team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the saying goes, “You only get out what you put into it.” The same can be said about Guided Therapy – you'll get much more out of it if you dedicate time every day to working on your activities, communicating with your therapist and sticking with the program until completion. Our Therapist Guided Program will help you improve only if you commit to doing the work. Your assigned readings and activities will help you change how you interpret and react to difficult situations. And you’ll be surprised how quickly these skills can start to make a difference in your life.
MindBeacon Live Therapy Sessions
Your first session is a chance to ask whatever questions you might have about therapy, or anything else that's on your mind. So, maybe spend a bit of time preparing so you can make the most of your time.
During this first session, your therapist will try to get to the heart of why you’ve chosen to seek help, and will ask about the challenges you’re facing. If your therapist believes that the services we offer are a good fit, they’ll discuss a potential treatment plan. (A second interview may also be necessary to properly determine the next steps for you.)
All session are booked as 60 minutes, which includes 50 minutes of face-to-face treatment and 10 minutes for clinical documentation.
You should be able to talk to someone soon!
You can log on now to see who may be a good fit for you and is available to connect. You can book as early as the next day!
Honestly, everyone is different. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to that. Your therapist will work with you to let you know what to expect.
Commit to feeling better - and putting in the time you need to get there. You can reassess as you go as each session is booked individually.
Once you’ve booked a live therapy session, your therapist will consider the appointment confirmed. If for any reason you need to reschedule or cancel your booking, please make sure to do so at least 24 hours in advance. Our therapist’s schedules can full up quickly, so we encourage you to reschedule as soon as possible.
Please access Live Therapy Sessions using a desktop (Mac or PC) with the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox or Edge.
Live Therapy Session are not currently supported in the mobile app, but you can use the web browser on your smart phone for a session.
MindBeacon treats protection of your personal information with the utmost importance. Our systems and processes comply with the highest standards of security to ensure your information is confidential and protected. Our privacy practices are based on strict adherence and compliance with PHIPA and take into account PIPEDA, FIPPA and the health custodian regulations set out by regulatory colleges, including the College of Psychologists of Ontario. In addition, we have been certified compliant with HIPAA, the US standard governing protection of sensitive patient data.
Your session is not being recorded.
Costs and Health Benefits Coverage
MindBeacon accepts all major credit cards for payment.
Please retain your receipts for your insurance or income tax claims, if applicable. In some circumstances, we will bill a third party directly for the services you receive (e.g., your insurance company). However, this option is available only if the third party authorizes the treatment in advance and agrees in writing to pay for it.
For our Therapist Guided Program, you will be prompted to provide your payment information when you have completed your assessment and before confirming you would like to submit your response for therapist review. The first charge will occur following the therapist review of your assessment and timing of any subsequent charges will depend on the payment plan you have selected.
For Live Therapy Sessions, you will be charged when you complete your session.
MindBeacon may be eligible for plan members and dependents (age 16 and over) within existing mental health/counselling services coverage. Your benefits plan may cover the program in whole or in part – subject to your plan provisions (i.e. maximums, copayments and/or deductibles). We recommend that you verify your coverage with your insurance provider before paying out-of-pocket.
Every time you are charged for Guided Therapy, you will receive a printable receipt by email. The receipt will include the information you need to submit a claim to your benefits provider, including the therapist's name and registration number. If they have provided any service, you’ll also have the therapist's name and registration number on your receipt.
Privacy and Data Security
All interactions with the therapist and the MindBeacon platform are treated as protected health information and will not be shared without your consent.
No information (including all information contained in your clinical file) will be communicated directly or indirectly to any third party without your informed and written consent, except when we have the following legal obligations to release confidential information:
- If your therapist believes that you pose an imminent danger to yourself or to someone else, he/she is required to contact the authorities – people who can intervene to help prevent harm to you or others, or any intended victims of harm.
- If your therapist learns that you have been sexually or physically abused by another registered health provider (e.g., a physician, dentist or psychologist), he/she is required to contact that person’s regulatory college and report what he/she knows; however, the therapist would not give your name without your permission.
- If your therapist suspects or is informed that a child is at risk of being harmed in any way (e.g., through sexual or physical abuse or negligence), he/she must contact Child and Family Services and report all relevant information.
- If your therapist suspects or is informed that an adult resident in a long-term care facility is at risk of being harmed in any way (e.g., through sexual or physical abuse, negligence), he/she must contact Child and Family Services and report all relevant information.
- If the contents of your clinical file are subpoenaed by a court of law, your therapist is required to release the file to the court.
- If the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) requests access to MindBeacon clinical files for the purposes of assuring quality of care, we are obligated to allow them that access. The CPO is bound by its own strict confidentiality rules.
Your interactions with MindBeacon are secured to the highest standards of data protection. The MindBeacon platform is HIPAA, PHIPA and PIPEDA compliant.
Your interactions with MindBeacon are protected health information and confidential. Your employer will never know you are accessing MindBeacon, and may only receive non-personal aggregate information, such as number of users or average satisfaction ratings.
All interactions with the therapist and the MindBeacon platform are treated as protected health information and will not be shared without your consent. We never sell or provide client data to third-party advertisers or service providers.
You can contact our Client Experience team at any time by emailing email@example.com.
You should hear back from someone within a business day or so.
If you are unable to log in, ensure that you have successfully set up your account and that you're following the password requirements indicated on the account creation page. If you're still unable to log in and you have created your account, please try resetting your password from the login page.
To create an account, visit our website at www.mindbeacon.com. Once you are invited to therapy, you can access your treatment on the mobile app for Apple or Android.
There may be a few reasons why you're having trouble resetting your password. Here are some common errors that might be taking place:
- Using unsupported symbols in your password. Be sure to follow the guidelines listed on the password reset page when creating a new, secure password.
- The Reset Password email link expires after 24 hours. You may need to click “Forgot Password” again.
MindBeacon codes and promotional links are typically provided by employers if they have partnered with MindBeacon to provide our therapy to employees at no charge. You are still able to complete your assessment and access MindBeacon without a code if you are accessing it directly.
If you’re having trouble completing any tasks, please try completing that task on a different device than the one you are currently using. If you continue to experience technical difficulties, please reach out to our Client Experience team at firstname.lastname@example.org.