To be a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in British Columbia requires an undergraduate degree and at least a Master of Arts/Education degree. The graduate degree training usually takes 2 years following studies at the undergraduate level.
A psychologist in British Columbia has similar training but typically holds a PhD which takes 4 years post-graduate and requires thousands of hours of formal clinical training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide range of difficulties related to mental health as well as conducting research. In addition to formal, supervised practica, a full year clinical internship must also be completed prior to receiving their Ph.D. Psychologists are then required to complete another postdoctoral year of supervised practice and pass several examinations in order to demonstrate that they meet the standards of practice set by the College of Psychologists of BC.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) and has additional training in psychopathology (abnormal psychology). As a result, psychiatrists can prescribe medication and are covered by British Columbia’s health plan MSP. A referral from your doctor (GP) is required for a psychiatrist.