What is the difference between a Psychologist, a Counsellor, and a Social Worker?

Registered Clinical Counsellor
Registered Psychologist
Registered Social Worker

The vast array of training, credentials, and professional designations is confusing in the counselling field.  Each title represents different backgrounds including training and credentials.  There are many more designations not listed.  A comprehensive list of Canadian provincial and national counselling associations can be found on the the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association website.

In BC, Psychologists generally need to be trained at the Ph.D level, in Alberta you can become a Registered Psychologist with a Masters level education.  Thus, for Catherine, despite having a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, her professional designation is that of a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC).

Counselling is an unregulated profession, which means that a person can call themselves a counsellor without having had comprehensive training.  There are many possible designations within the counselling field.  It is important to check the credentials of a counsellor, such as education level and that they belong to a professional association.