How to Become a Marriage Counselor in Canada


In Canada, as in the United States, marriage counselors spend time advising patients, analyzing patient behavior and researching the latest issues in mental health. However, the road to becoming a marriage counselor is different in Canada. Marriage counselors can be very beneficial for some marriages, and becoming one in Canada requires education and additional certification.

  • Attend an accredited university and obtain an undergraduate degree. While a bachelor's degree in counseling or psychology is not required, studies involving human interaction and psychology will be beneficial in the certification process.

  • Obtain a master's degree in marriage and family counseling from an accredited university. Here you will learn the ins and outs of the profession, and many of the things required to obtain certification.

  • Work in a hands-on environment, perhaps assisting a licensed therapist or working part-time as a school counselor. Such internship-like experience will prepare you for work in the industry, and your institution can help pair you with an opportunity. In Quebec particularly, consider studying French as being multilingual is beneficial.

  • Find the counseling association in your province. Call and inquire about any internship leads in marital counseling or other assistance available. Some provincial counseling associations are willing to help you find internships anywhere in Canada.

  • Receive certification from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Fill out an application and send it to the registrar. The registrar will review the application, examine your credentials, education and experience and decide if it can proceed with certification. The Certification Advisory Committee will review your application if the registrar has any questions.

  • Familiarize yourself with the association's code of ethics and begin practicing as a certified marriage counselor in Canada. Your certification lasts three years, and if you remain in good standing with the committee at the end of that time, you can renew your certification.

Tips & Warnings

  • The CCPA is not the only certification organization for counselors in Canada. However, it is the most official way to become a licensed marriage and family counselor.
  • Finding work as a marriage counselor can be hit or miss. Start with the Canadian University and College Counselling Association, which assists students and professional counselors in finding post-graduate work. Entry-level salary in Canada for a licensed professional counselor is just more than $40,000 per year, according to Pay Scale.

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  • Photo Credit marriage image by Mykola Velychko from
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