T: 604.800.9010
T: 604.800.9010

What’s the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Counsellor? What do I need?

Do I need a Psychologist or a Counsellor?

This is a question I am often asked.  The short answer is, it depends.  But first, it would be helpful to summarize the similarities and the differences between the two.

Counsellors / Therapists:

  • Have a Master’s Degree typically in a mental health field such as Counselling Psychology or Social Work.  
  • Often have additional credentials through a professional body like the BC Association for Clinical Counsellors (BCACC).  Accredited Counsellors are referred to as Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC).
  • Are qualified to provide psychotherapy for emotional, mental health, and relational issues using a variety of clinical modalities such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or emotionally focused therapy (EFT).
  • Are sometimes covered under extended health plans.
  • Rates typically range from $125 – $175/hr, plus GST.


  • Typically have a Doctorate Degree (PhD or PsyD).
  • Are governed by the College of Psychologists.  Accredited Psychologists are referred to as Registered Psychologists (RPsych).
  • In addition to being qualified to provide psychotherapy (as with Counsellors), Psychologists are also qualified to perform assessments and diagnose mental illnesses and disorders.
  • Are often covered under extended health plans.
  • Rates typically range from $200 – $250/hr (no tax for therapy or assessments).

So if you are seeking an assessment for a mental health diagnosis, it would make sense to see a psychologist.  But if you are requiring psychotherapy services, both counsellors and psychologists are qualified. 


Brentwood Counselling Centre

For over 20 years, Brentwood Counselling Centre has been offering counselling and therapy services for individuals, couples, relationships, marriages, families, and groups, serving clients from Burnaby, Vancouver, North Vancouver, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Surrey, and beyond.

All therapists at Brentwood Counselling Centre have extensive education and training in their areas of practice. Furthermore, they are all registered for clinical practice in BC and adhere to the strictest ethical guidelines as set out by their corresponding governing body.

For more information about our therapists and their areas of practice, please email our office at info@brentwoodcounselling.com. Or click here to view our therapists’ profile, contact them directly, and request an appointment.


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