One of the greatest challenges for the treatment of mental health problems is the accessibility of services. In some cases, the mental health difficulties themselves make it difficult for individuals to access services. Individuals with anxiety and mood disorders, for example, may have great difficulty even leaving their home to attend appointments.  In addition, treatment outside the therapist’s office (e.g., busy shopping mall, getting on the bus) is often indicated as the therapist can then directly help the client implement and practice strategies introduced in treatment. Few therapists, however, are able to provide off-site services. To address these limitations, we initiated a program focused on increasing access to mental health services in the community. The overall goal of the home- and community-based program is to provide evidence-based treatment to individuals who will benefit from accessing services within their homes and/or within relevant community settings.


Why CBT in the home and community? 
CBT is a skills-based approach that involves practicing a set of cognitive and behavioural skills. Given the focus of CBT on practicing skills outside of the therapists’ office, the need for coaching and modelling of these skills in the real world and with real problems is essential.  These problems may include problems with home management, exercise, increasing social activity, difficulties with organisation and planning, reducing engagement in compulsive behaviours and exposing self to feared situations, events and objects.  The importance of practice in therapy is emphasized by the benefits associated with completion of homework in CBT. Because individuals experiencing anxiety, depression and attentional problems often report difficulty initiating, maintaining or completing assigned homework tasks on their own, coaching plays an important role in the therapy process.


Putting goals in place
The home- and community-based program aims to help individuals meet their therapy goals.  Working in collaboration with behavioural aides, clients get started on tasks they have been avoiding or they begin facing fearful situations.  These exercises are completed as part of a treatment plan developed in collaboration with a treating psychologist.  While the length of CBT treatment within the home- and community-based program is flexible, treatment usually starts with 6- to-15 weekly or bi-weekly sessions. Therapists regularly evaluate a client’s progress by reviewing patterns in self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms. This service is offered at the client’s home and/or in relevant community-based settings.

Insurance coverage

This type of service is usually covered for individuals with extended health care benefits; however, we recommend that you follow-up with your insurance company to confirm this.

Contact Information
Please click here to download a fact sheet about our Home and Community Program.  To make an appointment, please complete our Appointment Request Form. If you have any questions please contact us by phone (613-820-9931, ext. 0) or by email at info@oicbt.ca