About Professional Designations
Q. What are the differences between the services offered and educational backgrounds of the following mental health professionals?
A. Registered Clinical Counsellor – A Registered Clinical Counsellor usually has a Masters degree in psychology or counselling or works at a Master’s level of competence in counselling. A referral is not required to access the services of an R.C.C.. Their fees are suggested by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Registered Clinical Counsellors have a code of ethics.
A. Registered Psychologist – A Registered Psychologist usually has a PhD in psychology. A referral is not required to access the services of a psychologist. Their fees are suggested by the BC Association of Psychologists. Registered Psychologists have a code of ethics.
A. Psychiatrist – A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has specialized in the study and treatment of psychiatric disorders (as compiled in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-R). A doctor’s referral is needed to see a psychiatrist. Their fees are covered by BC Medical. They are knowledgeable about medications and not necessarily trained to provide psychotherapy. Psychiatrists have a code of ethics.
A. Registered Social Workers – A Registered Social Worker usually has a Masters degree in social work. A referral is not required to access the services of a social worker. Their fees are suggested by the BC Association of Social Workers. Registered Social Workers have a code of ethics.
A. Counsellors – Anyone can call himself or herself a counsellor. However if they are not a member in good standing with a professional association they are not regulated and thus do not have to abide by a code of ethics.