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Psychotherapist licensing and education in Canada

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Psychotherapist licensing and education in Canada

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Psychotherapy uses verbal and non-verbal communication to help people address and change negative thought patterns, feelings and behaviours. 

Depending on your location, professionals may be regulated as “psychotherapists” or “counselling therapists”. Refer to psychiatrist vs. psychologist vs. social worker vs. psychotherapist to learn more about the psychotherapy designation.

Psychotherapist licensing and education in Ontario

To become a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Ontario, they must complete a relevant master’s degree or have demonstrated competency in an equivalent field, complete at least 1,000 hours of direct contact with clients and 150 hours of clinical supervision, and pass qualifying examinations. They are then eligible for registration with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). 

Psychotherapists who are in the process of qualifying will use the title Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) or RP(Q).

Psychotherapist licensing and education in British Columbia

British Columbia does not yet have regulations in place and anyone in the province can call themselves a counsellor, therapist or psychotherapist. 

Regulations are coming soon for the title of Counselling Therapist.

Until then, look for a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) or Certified Clinical Counsellor (CCC). They will have at minimum, a master’s degree in an area like social work or psychology and they’ve undergone specific supervision and clinical hour requirements. There are currently 14 associations unofficially overseeing this work in BC, like the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

Psychotherapist licensing and education in Alberta

Alberta recently passed legislation to regulate the term “Counselling Therapist”. Alberta will also include Psychotherapist as a protected title.
Alberta is still developing a college to register and regulate psychotherapists and counselling therapists. This process is currently overseen by the Association of Counselling Therapy of Alberta. Registration currently requires 450-750 hours of relevant field work.

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