Recognized by:

Counselling Therapist

  • Delivery Method: In-class and Online (Combined Delivery)
  • Duration: 88 weeks
  • Starts: Twice a year (May & October)
  • Credential: Diploma
  • Designation: Prepares graduates to pursue professional designations with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists in Canada (ACCT) and Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA)
  • Wages: Typically $80-$100/client hour in Private Practice

If you’re looking for a rewarding career in counselling or furthering your own personal development, then the Counselling Therapist Diploma Program will provide you with the stepping stones to help others overcome challenges, achieve their goals, and better their lives. You will learn to approach and resolve real-life situations, proper self-care, ethical decision making, strengthen relationships, and other applicable soft skills.

Many people grow up knowing they want to do some sort of counselling, and typically those who are drawn to the career have a natural skill set that allows them to be successful. Stenberg can help you fine-tune these skills in such a way that you will be able to create an optimal environment for growth. You will be able to employ a variety of different tactics for specific clients and empower your clients to face any challenges they may meet, and transform theoretical knowledge into practical skill through frequent role plays, simulation weeks, and integrated counselling practice.

Our Counselling Therapist program is thorough and will give you the skills you need to change someone’s life. This program will prepare you for supporting yourself as well as individuals, couples and families from a variety of different backgrounds and circumstances through the in-class learning and the practicum.

After successfully completing the program, you will enter the workforce with an open mind, an open heart, and the ability to change lives.

Professional Designations

This program prepares you to meet the requirements to become registered with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists in Canada (ACCT) and the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA).

Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA)

CPCA is a nationally recognized, independent, self-regulated, non-profit association whose members are held to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Their members meet rigorous standards for education and training and clinical experience before they can use the RPC (Registered Professional Counsellor) designation. This program includes a course designed to prepare you for the CPCA Qualifying Examination, a requirement for membership with this association. Stenberg College provides FREE CPCA supervision services up to 24-months post-graduation from our Counselling Therapist Diploma Program.

Below is a summary of the designations available through CPCA:

Student Member

  • Enrolled in a college/university program which meets minimum education requirements OR enrolled in a course(s) which, in addition to previously acquired education, meet the minimum education requirements

RPC-C Registered Professional Counsellor Candidate

  • Practicing counsellors who have not yet obtained the minimum clinical supervision required and are considered interns in the mental health field

RPC – Registered Professional Counsellor

  • Minimum 600 hours in counselling and/or psychotherapy under clinical supervision by mental health professional(s)
  • Include minimum 150 supervision hours, 250 direct clinical contact hours (DCC), and 200 practice hours

MPCC – Master Practitioner in Clinical Counselling

  • Practiced in counselling field for minimum of 5 of the last 8 years
  • Completed minimum 1250 clinical practice hours including 750 DCC hours and 250 clinical supervision hours

Qualified Clinical Supervisor (QCS)

  • CPCA member and/or mental health professional who provides clinical supervision to other mental health professionals


Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists in Canada (ACCT)

ACCT is a self-regulated competency-based professional association, registering counsellors with the designation of Registered Therapeutic Counsellor/Accredited Counsellor (RTC/AC), Master Therapeutic Counsellor (MTC) and Registered Counselling Supervisor (RCS). Below is a summary of each ACCT designation:

Student Applicant

  • Presently enrolled in registered counselling certificate, diploma, or degree program
  • Must not practice counselling except when supervised and part of training

RTC: Registered Therapeutic Counsellor

  • Certificate, diploma, Bachelor’s, Postgraduate, Master’s degree or PhD in Counselling or related, or equivalent experience/training as determined by ACCT Team
  • Minimum 150 hours clinical practice with supervision, practicum
  • Must provide proof of Ethics Course

MTC: Master Therapeutic Counsellor

  • Certificate, diploma, Bachelors, postgraduate certificate, Master’s degree or PhD in counselling or related, or equivalent experience/training as determined by ACCT Team
  • Minimum 1000 hours direct client contact, 500 in Canada, 50 under supervision

RCS: Registered Counselling Supervisor

  • Be an MTC, or have equivalent professional designation from another association
  • At least 5 years, over 1000 hours experience, 120 hours supervised
  • Proof of supervision training course completion

Curriculum in the Stenberg program corresponds to the competencies set by the Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in British Columbia (FACTBC), of which ACCT and the CPCA are task group members for creating the counsellor competency profile for counselling therapists. You will have access to free clinical supervision and use of our counselling clinic for two years following your graduation while you work toward registration with ACCT and/or CPCA. In addition to your diploma, you will also receive industry-relevant certifications: Violence Prevention, Non-Violent Communication, and DSM-V.

Qualified graduates have the option to write the CPCA RPC-C (Registered Professional Counsellor Candidate) examination. To become a fully accredited Registered Professional Counsellor, graduates from Counselling Therapist programs must complete 150 hours of Supervised Practice. To assist our alumni with meeting this requirement, Stenberg College provides FREE CPCA supervision services up to 24-months post-graduation from our Counselling Therapist Diploma Program. To qualify, graduates must attend monthly meetings as well as other CPCA supervision criteria. For those studying outside of the Lower Mainland, Adobe Connect sessions may be available.

This FREE Supervision Service will save graduates of Stenberg College’s Counselling Therapist Diploma Program approximately $5000 in supervision fees.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Counselling Therapist program must complete the following:

  • Attend an information session
  • Mature student status (19+ years of age)
  • English 121
  • Successful completion of a short written essay
  • Stenberg College entrance interview
  • Completion of the Computer Proficiency Entrance Testing with a score of 70% or higher
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Acceptable Medical Examination Form completed by a Physician

1 (English 12 with a grade C or higher or Communications 12 with a grade B or higher. Entrance requirement can be met through alternate acceptable English assessments such as the English 12 Challenge Exam or Communications 12 Challenge Exam with a score of 70% or higher. Also, alternate English equivalency assessment tests (TOEFL, IELTS, CLBPT, CAEL, CELPIP, LPI and ELET) are acceptable – see details at end of interview guide)

Recommended Characteristics:

  • Positive thinker who believes that change is possible
  • Sufficient level of self-awareness, empathy and non-judgmental attitude to be able to attend to another person
  • Maturity, emotional stability, and a suitability for work in this field
  • Compassionate, caring and patient individual with strong critical thinking abilities
  • Basic computer skills: Internet, email, and word processing
  • Familiarity and comfort with basic library and online research skills
  • Two years of successful freedom from chemical dependency

Financing Your Education

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

"Stenberg College offers a unique counselling program. It is inclusive from the administration of a practice to the skills required to be an empathetic, assertive listener. Right from the pre-registration process to completion and beyond, the staff are there to assist and guide the students. It is wonderful to have a program that provides in-depth lab and role playing, to inhouse supervised clinical counselling sessions. Stenberg College has courses that are up to date with the ever changing counselling modalities. With such a comprehensive course, the Canadian Professional Counselling Association will be proud to have these graduates become members of our Association."
– Rosemary Fromson, RPC, MPCC
National President, Canadian Professional Counselling Association (CPCA)

“It is my professional opinion that Stenberg College’s Counselling Therapist Diploma Program not only meets – but exceeds – the unique needs of individuals searching for a counselling program; it provides a friendly, accessible campus, qualified, passionate instructors, and specialized courses that welcome and celebrate cultural diversity. It's focussed curriculum trains students to earn the ‘gold seal’ of client care.”
– Dr. Faizal Sahukhan, PhD, DACS, MPCP, RPC
National Director of the Canadian Professional Counselling Association

“Stenberg College has gone to great lengths to create a program that can prepare you for the career of a professional counselor. They are teaching all aspects of counselling which will help you to be successful. I appreciate the experience and practice they will provide before you go out and start your career. As a college, they are always there to support you, even after you finish the program.”
– Gail Goncalves, RPC
Fresh Beginnings Counselling

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