What are the differences between a
- Registered Clinical Counsellor
- Psychotherapist,
- Registered Psychologist,
- Psychiatrist,
- life coach,
and therapist?

Clinical counsellors/psychotherapists use clinical therapies grounded in mental health principles with empirically based assessments and therapeutic techniques to aid clients in achieving insight into existing challenges, gain new skills and capacities, and earn emotional freedom from historical issues. Typical concerns treated range from grief, addictions, relationships, career, trauma, identity, sex, depression, and anxiety. They are regulated by professional organizations (BCACC or CCPA), where a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree is required, and fees of $120-$180 are indorsed. Clinical Counsellors are designated provincially as Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) or nationally as Canadian Clinical Counsellor (CCC). Most extended health care benefit plans provide coverage for sessions.

In addition to clinical therapy, Registered Psychologists (R.Psych) are specifically trained and qualified in the development, research, and administration of specialized psychological tests, as well as conducting psychological research. Provincially, they are regulated by the BC College of Psychologists, who require a PhD or a PsyD and indorse fees of $150-220 per hour. Most extended health care plans provide coverage for sessions.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in severe psychiatric disorders and medications to support mental illness. Psychiatrists attend medical school, are regulated by the Canadian Psychiatric Association and indorsed to charge $200-500 an hour and are usually covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Life coaches work with people to help them achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and make changes or shifts in their lives. They are currently unregulated, have no minimum level of formal education required, and use life experience to guide them in their work. Rates per hour vary.

The term “Therapist” is used interchangeably for all of the above.

If you have any further questions, please reach out and one of our counsellors will get back to you promptly.