Counselling Credentials in Alberta – What They Are and Why They Matter

When you are seeking mental health support, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of those is the credentials of the professional from whom you are seeking support. You may see all kinds of titles and letters behind the names of people offering counselling services in Alberta – but what do they mean and why do they matter?

One of the main reasons a mental health professional’s credentials matter is that the terms counsellor and therapist are currently unregulated in Alberta. What this means is that anyone who provides mental health services can call themselves a counsellor or therapist, regardless of their training. In order to ensure that you are receiving safe and effective mental health support, it is important to confirm what kind of training a mental health services provider has completed before booking services with them.

There are some professional designations which demonstrate that the mental health provider has counselling qualifications as well as requirements to update their skills regularly to maintain certification. They also adhere to a code of ethics and standards of practice.

Generally speaking, if you see someone offering counselling services with one of the following titles, you can be assured that they have received some specialized training in mental health counselling as part of earning their credentials:

For other designations, you may want to inquire specifically about the scope of the practitioner’s training, practice, and experience to ensure they are able to offer the type(s) of mental health services you are seeking.

Other mental health treatment providers who may provide counselling services in Alberta include:

Regardless of who you choose to seek mental health support from, remember that as long as they have some accredited training in counselling, a therapist’s specific approaches and specialties may not be as important to you as finding someone with whom you are comfortable and feel safe.

For more information about regulated health professions in Alberta, you can read about the Health Professions Act here.

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