A professional whose practice involves the primary function of informing, advising, guiding, educating, and coaching. The practice of counselling includes, but is not limited to, clinical, and mental health counselling. Incorporated in its mandate is guidance and education to individuals, families and/or groups.

Psychotherapy vs. Counselling

“The practice of psychotherapy is distinct from both counselling, where the focus is on the provision of information, advice-giving, encouragement and instruction, and spiritual counselling, which is counselling related to religion or faith-based beliefs.” HPRAC: New Directions, 2006; Chapter 7, Regulation of Psychotherapy, p. 208.

Psychotherapy, as distinct from counselling, is generally used to denote services which provide specialized interventions (as distinct from "education" or "coaching" in the treatment of mental disorders or the problems of everyday adjustment). The term "Psychotherapy" is generally felt to include techniques utilized by professionals educated in one or more psychotherapy paradigms, such as, for example Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Rational Emotive Psychotherapy, Reality Therapy, Cognitive Psychotherapy, Psychosynthesis, Adlerien Psychology, Client-centered Psychotherapy. Counselling is a process which can include psychotherapeutic techniques but is, generally speaking, educational in its aim and of shorter duration. The goal of psychotherapy is to encourage understanding of the problem through the generation of insight and the building of trust in the therapeutic relationship. Adjunctive to this, is the therapist's mandate to foster a warm and trusting therapeutic alliance in order to encourage the client to engage freely in exploration and expression of presenting problems. In Ontario, only members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) have the authority to identify themselves as Registered Psychotherapists (RPs).