Choose a Registered Psychologist

The British Columbia Psychological Association provides a free service to help you locate qualified Registered Psychologists in your community. Looking for a psychologist? Check out our Referral Service.

Our service can help you locate Registered Psychologists with extensive training and expertise in all areas of psychological and emotional well-being. You will be able to run a comprehensive search, which will provide you with the names of Registered Psychologists conveniently located close to you. Confidentiality is strictly maintained.

You Are Not Alone!

Each year, more than 3 million Canadians seek help for their psychological concerns which may include:

  • Anxieties, loneliness, or depression
  • Death of a loved one
  • Illness or injury
  • Marital and family problems

Many more suffer from stress-related conditions. Psychologists can help! In addition, psychologists can provide comprehensive medical/legal and diagnostic assessments

Why a Registered Psychologist or Registered Psychological Associate?

Extensive Training

Psychologists are health care professionals with extensive education and training devoted to emotional health and well-being. On average, they have over nine years of post-secondary education, which includes a practicum and/or internship experience. While in practice, they are also required to continue to participate in continuing education sessions to stay current.

This training enables psychologists to provide cost-effective and timely services contributing to renewed health for those troubled by psychological issues. Psychologists promote the building of attitudes and behaviours that are conducive to healthy lives, and may prevent the development of serious illnesses. Psychologists work with people and their environments to optimize their performance at work and play. Psychologists do not prescribe medications at this time.

Consider a Psychologist if you want to:

  • Have specialized assessments completed for a variety of needs
  • Enhance emotional health and well-being
  • Strive for better relationships with your partner, family members and/or friends
  • Learn ways to solve your problems and make decisions more effectively
  • Find positive ways to deal with stress, crisis, trauma, and pain
  • Move from feeling sad, nervous, or tense to feeling more positive and relaxed
  • Deal with your concern about the emotional health of a family member or partner
  • Address challenges that do not seem to get resolved despite your efforts
  • Improve working relationships with colleagues.

Regulated Professional Standards

Psychologists are regulated under the Health Professions Act and under rigorous ethical and professional standards set by the College of Psychologists of British Columbia. Registered Psychologists are required by government legislation to use the designation “R. Psych.” after their names. Only a mental health professional registered with the College can call himself or herself a psychologist.

Make sure to look for the “R. Psych.” or “R. Psych. Assoc.” designation to select a qualified practitioner in your community, and make sure he or she is registered with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia. All members of BCPA are registrants in good standing with the College of Psychologists of BC.

Where Can I Find a Psychologist?

Psychologists may be found in a variety of settings, including:

  • Private practice office
  • College counselling centres
  • Universities and medical centres
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Community mental health centres
  • Hospitals and health care facilities
  • Family and child guidance centres
  • Correctional facilities

You can also contact your Community Mental Health Centre, inquire at your place of worship, ask your physician or other health professional, or consult your local Yellow Pages. However, the easiest way to find a psychologist close to you is to use our referral service.

How to Choose a Psychologist

A psychologist and a client work closely together in partnership. It is important to choose a setting and a psychologist you are comfortable with, where you feel confident that your needs can be met. The following sample questions may be useful in helping you consider a particular psychologist:

  • Are you a Registered Psychologist or Registered Psychological Associate?
  • I have been feeling (anxious, depressed, etc.). I am having problems with (my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What kind of training and experience do you have helping people like me?
  • What might I expect during our sessions?
  • What are your fees? What types of insurance do you accept, and how do you bill for services?

Feel free to prepare some questions relevant to your concerns and interview several Psychologists—by telephone or in person—before making a choice. These consultations will help you determine if the Psychologist you choose is right for you. Please keep in mind that consultations might not be free of charge.

Health Coverage

Psychological services are usually covered in part by Extended Health Plans. Other sources of funding for services maybe available depending on individual circumstances, for example, employee assistance plans or crime victims’ assistance. Psychological services can also be claimed as a health care expense on your income tax.