top of page


Who you choose to see often comes down to a few things: 

  • If you think they have the education and training that will benefit you 

  • Do they have an office close to you or do they offer online counselling

  • Is their professional designation supported by your benefit company?

  • Can you afford their fees in case you need to see the counsellor longer than anticipated

  • Have any of your friends/family found a particular counsellor or type of counsellor helpful

Most counsellors will offer a brief meeting/telephone conversation to ask some questions to ensure they can be a good fit for you.​

A good counsellor will welcome all types of questions about their education, training, work experience and approach



How to Decode the Education and Training of a Counsellor

Psychologists: have doctorate (PHD) level training. In addition to counselling services, psychologists can provide assessment, testing, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations as part of their work. Psychologists often specialize in certain areas of treatment so it is good to ensure who you are seeking out provides the services you are looking for. They are governed by the College of Psychologists of BC:

Social Workers: in order to provide private practice counselling/therapy services in BC, a Masters level of education is required. Some Social Workers have taken extra training to obtain the ability to offer specialized assessment and diagnosis services/support (Registered Clinical Social Workers RCSW). Social Workers are governed by the BC College of Social workers and the title social worker is protected in Canada setting standards for education and training experience:

Counsellors:  The term counsellor is not a protected term in BC, therefore there is no governing body setting standards around eduction, training and/or experience.  Below are the different types of counselling training you may see in your search.

Master Level Counsellor Educational Backgrounds (Approximately 6-8 years course work & supervised training)

  • MA: Master of Arts 

  • M.Ed: Master of Education

  • MC: Master of Counselling

  • MSc: Master of Science 

  • MACP: Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology

  • MCP: Master of Counselling in Psychology

  • MSW: Master of Social Work 

Master Level Counsellor Designations 

  • RCC: Registered Clinical Counsellor: designation of counsellors who belong to the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC):

  • CCC: Canadian Certified Counsellor is a professional designation for counsellors with a varied background of counselling education but certification requires a graduate degree (ie: Master level minimum):  

  • RMFT: Registered Marriage and Family Therapist are counsellor who have focussed education in couples and family therapy:

Bachelor Degrees (Approximately 4 years of courses)

  • BSW: Bachelor of Social Work

  • BA: Bachelor of Arts degree 

  • BEd: Bachelor of Education

Diploma and Certification Examples (Anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 years of course work) 

  • RPC:  Registered Professional Counsellor 

  • ACCT:  Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada 

  • AC: Accredited Counsellor

  • RTC: Registered Therapeutic Counsellor 

  • MTC: Master Therapeutic Counsellor – not a Master Degree 

  • CCAC/ CCAF: Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor 

  • CPCA:  Canadian Professional Counsellors Association

  • CCPA: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 

  • CEAACT: The Centre for Expressive Arts and Additions Counselling Therapies 

  • CCIT: Certified Counsellor in Training

  • CPCCP: Certified Professional Career Coach

bottom of page