The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


Member Blog: The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

The Right People at the Right Time in the Right Place
The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) envisions “a country where all Canadians enjoy good mental health. Canadians with a lived experience of mental illness, their families and care providers must have access to the care, support and respect to which they are entitled and in parity with other health conditions.” Having the right people at the right time at the right place with the right expertise to meet Canadians in their time of need is critical. This vision resonates particularly strongly with us at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Like CAMIMH, we live, work, plan, and dream the principle of “health promotion and the treatment of mental illnesses (being) timely, continuous, inter-disciplinary, culturally appropriate, and integrated across the full life cycle and the continuum of care (i.e. physical and mental health; social supports and tertiary care to home/community care)” (

Who are We?
The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) is the national, bilingual home to approximately 5000 mental health professionals in all provinces and territories. We have a 48-year history of advocating for the role of psychotherapy and counselling in increasing and supporting the mental health, wellness, and happiness of the Canadian people. CCPA supports cultural diversity and the importance of foreign-trained healthcare professionals in mental health. We actively encourage and support the provision of services independently and in collaboration with other mental health professionals using a team approach based on client need.
 Our members are experts and specialists in numerous mental health areas related to both medical and DSM diagnoses and to traumatic life events and transitions (e.g., ADHD, PTSD, OCD, brain trauma, grief, anxiety, eating disorders, stress, depression, suicidality, anger, infertility, addiction, work-life balance, relationships) and they use a variety of titles in their daily work including counsellor, nurse, psychologist, social worker, professor, counselling therapist, psychotherapist, clinical counsellor, school counsellor, career counsellor, and many many more.
Counsellors and psychotherapists in our Association work in a variety of settings including rehabilitation centres, correctional services and industry, providing a diversity of services to clients across the lifespan including children, teens, adults, couples, families, and groups in a variety of settings. A large number of our members work in schools, colleges and universities. Others work for non-profit agencies and in private practice. Many members work in the employment sector and in employment assistance programs. Still others work in program development, counselling administration and government. 

What is Counselling and How Does it Fit in the Continuum of Care?
The continuum of care requires professional attention to timeliness, interdisciplinary cooperation, integration, and continuity of care based on elements that include the social, cultural, and emotional landscape and needs of the individual or group seeking assistance. The historic distinction between counselling and psychotherapy (1960s-1990s) has diminished in the 21st century as therapeutic interventions, standards of practice and training requirements have evolved; most mental health practitioners now view their work on a continuum and many of our CCPA members use the terms counselling and psychotherapy interchangeably. Our psychotherapists and certified counsellors hold a shared vision, scope, and standard of practice based on aligned theoretical bases, established domains of competency, current professional ethics and practice.
The nationally validated definition of counselling speaks of “a relational process based upon the ethical use of specific professional competencies to facilitate human change. Counselling addresses wellness, relationships, personal growth, career development, mental health, and psychological illness or distress. The counselling process is characterized by the application of recognized cognitive, affective, expressive, somatic, spiritual, developmental, behavioural, learning, and systemic principles.” (

Learn More Online and Join us in Nova Scotia
Our website for practitioners and persons interested in the counselling and psychotherapy profession is located at We also host a public-facing website for members of the public who are curious about the profession of counselling and psychotherapy and how it might be of assistance to them. The public-facing website is located at
CCPA also hosts both research conferences and practice-based conferences. Our next national conference is May 14 – 17, 2013 at Westin’s Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With more than 70 presenters and keynote speakers Michael Ungar, Slyvie Giasson and Martin Antony, the conference promises to deliver information related to the breadth and depth of the profession. To learn more or register for the conference, go to: