Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Clinical Science


Family Medicine


Dr. Evelyn Vingilis

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Laura Lewis

Joint Supervisor

3rd Supervisor

Dr. Stephen State

Joint Supervisor



Aim: To explore the perspectives and practice of psychotherapy of family physicians, and analyze Ontario’s mental health policy documents within the context of psychotherapy.

Methods: In the first study descriptive qualitative methodology was used. Eighteen family physicians were interviewed and the results were presented thematically. In the second study, a policy analysis of Ontario’s mental health policy documents was conducted. The qualitative policy analytic methodology of Peter et al. was used.

Findings: Psychotherapy is an effective treatment of mental illness and is practiced by family physicians. Lack of training and time are barriers, while patient needs and shared care are facilitators for their practice of psychotherapy. Access to insured psychotherapy in Ontario is poor. However, there is neither a discussion of psychotherapy in the mental health policy documents, nor a plan to improve it.

Conclusions: More collaborative mental health care, equitable access to psychotherapy and family physician training in psychotherapy are needed.