How to Become a Psychotherapist in Canada

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According to some reports available, one out of five people in Canada will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Also, by the age of 40, about half of the population will have a mental health problem in Canada.

Therefore, it is essential to Canada that mental health problems and issues are addressed with an adequate number of professionals trained to help people experiencing these kinds of concerns.

Also, millennials and Gen Zs suffer most from mental health issues these days, according to a post published by the University of Alberta. This highlights how essential psychotherapists are in the country since more people are putting importance on mental health.

Now that we have stressed the importance of psychotherapists in Canada, here is everything you must know if you want to become a psychotherapist in Canada.

Educational Requirements for Psychotherapists in Canada

Those aspiring to become psychotherapists in Canada must first have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and attend graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree and a doctoral degree.

Having a master’s degree provides the students with training for various settings and applications, such as in schools, mental health, business and industry, and the government. On the other hand, those who have a doctoral degree may provide psychological services to clients if they have spent at least a year interning and receiving supervision, on top of the courses, comprehensive examinations, research, and dissertations.

It usually takes five to eight years after receiving a bachelor’s degree before becoming eligible for licensure examinations. Some provinces allow students to work as psychotherapists after receiving their doctoral degrees in psychology. At the same time, some require a license first before practising as psychotherapists in their respective provinces or territories.

Some provinces in Canada, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, even allow Master’s degree holders to be chartered psychologists and college professors in universities and colleges.

Licensing and Other Professional Requirements

Provinces and territories in Canada have different requirements for when a psychology master’s degree or doctoral degree holder can use the title “Psychotherapist”. Some provinces only allow this title to someone with a doctoral degree, such as Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba, while some other jurisdictions allow someone with a Master’s degree to use the title, such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories.

Even though they are all different in their requirements, one thing that unites all the provinces and territories is that before working as a psychotherapist, an individual must apply for registration and pass the comprehensive licensure exam for psychotherapists before working. It is a regulated profession in Canada, so you must be approved by your jurisdiction’s regulatory authority before proceeding to work as one.

Skills and Other Requirements

Aside from the educational attainment and licenses required, there are other relevant skills and knowledge that psychotherapists in Canada must-have.

Those who aspire to become psychotherapists must have service and care skills since they’ll be taking care of different types of people of different ages and mental conditions. They must have above-average communication skills and professional handling of sensitive information, especially those with severe cases. With that, you must also be patient and compassionate.

Lastly, psychotherapists should have a deep knowledge of therapy and counselling, psychology, of course, and sociology and anthropology. These skills and knowledge help them understand their patients and their cases.

Psychotherapist Salary and Wages in Canada

Psychotherapists in Canada earn a decent amount compared to other professions. A psychotherapist working in Canada can make from $44 an hour to $60 an hour. This is the national average, but it can be higher or lower depending on the psychotherapists’ skills, experience, and knowledge. It also depends on whether they are hired by private individuals, businesses, or government agencies.

Ontario offers the highest salaries for psychotherapists, with $69 an hour being the estimated highest earning for an hour. In contrast, Quebec offers the lowest at $51 an hour as the highest possible hourly earning.

Other Job Opportunities

Aside from the usual role of psychotherapists, they are also other job opportunities for different employers. Some might find work as child welfare workers for non-government organizations and government agencies, school counsellors, school administrators, testing and assessment psychologists, or therapists.

Master’s degree holders may also work as professors or instructors in universities and colleges. Still, others may work as researchers or research associates. These can be for government agencies, colleges, and universities, or other private individuals and businesses.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.