This qualitative research aims to understand, from the standpoint of the family physician, the barriers to treating depression in the office setting. Three primary barriers to treating depression in the family physician's office were identified: systemic, physician-related, and patient-related. The systemic barriers involved the shortage of qualified, publicly-funded counsellors, lack of locally available counselling, and the cost of medication. Physician-related barriers included lack of time and expertise, and inadequacies of the reimbursement system. Patient-related barriers were rooted in the stigma attached to depression and failure to comply with treatment.