Counselling Therapy

Counselling Therapy involves assisting clients through the counselling relationship, using a combination of mental health and human development principles, methods and techniques to achieve mental, emotional, physical, social , moral, educational, spiritual or career development and adjustment through their lifespan.

Registered Counselling Therapists provide mental health services to adults, adolescents, children, couples, families and groups.

To be eligible for registration/licensure with the College, applicants must hold a counselling-related master’s degree, which involves academic course work and clinical practice training consisting of at least 120 hours of direct client contact.

Following graduation, applicants are eligible to be licensed as a Registered Counselling Therapist – Candidate (RCT-C), which allows them to begin counselling independently under the oversight of an experienced and specifically trained Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) supervisor. The required candidacy period (internship) involves 2,000 hours of supervised practice with at least 800 hours of direct counselling with individuals and groups, typically extending over a 2-to-5-year period.

To maintain licensure, RCTs must complete at least 12 hours of approved professional development each year.

Unlike a professional association or trade union, the College does not represent the interests of individual Counselling Therapists, and may only promote the profession itself when doing so is clearly in the public interest. In Nova Scotia the College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT) fulfills our legal mandate by ensuring that:

  1. only fully qualified individuals who have met rigorous academic and clinical practice standards are licensed by the College
  2. all registrants adhere to recognized Standards of Practice and a prescribed Code of Ethics
  3. all registrants meet the requirements for on-going skills maintenance and continuing education
  4. the public has access to a robust and objective Complaint Process.

Registered Counselling Therapists

Registered Counselling Therapists work in mental health clinics, health care facilities, community and government agencies, public and private school systems, community colleges, universities, correctional facilities, and industrial sites.

Private practice RCTs work in agency-style collectives, multidisciplinary health centres, and in individual practices.

Regardless of the setting, the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists works to ensure that the public can be confident they will receive the highest standard of safe, competent and ethical mental health services.

The Counselling Therapists Act, provides Registered Counselling Therapists with “title protection.” This means that only properly educated and licensed individuals are legally authorized to use the designations: “Counselling Therapist,” “Registered Counselling Therapist” (or “RCT”), “Registered Counselling Therapist – Candidate” (or “RCT-C”). It also prohibits anyone other than an RCT from describing the services they provide as “counselling therapy.”

You can help us protect the public and the integrity of the profession from misleading, dangerous and illegal title fraud.

If you suspect someone might be using any of these titles, or advertising “counselling therapy” services, without being licensed to do so, report it here