What is a Psychologist?

A psychologist is a mental health professional trained in the study of human behavior and in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health issues and behavioral disorders.

In British Columbia, psychologists are registered and regulated by the College of Psychologists of British Columbia (CPBC). Only a registrant of the College may call themselves a psychologist. In order to become a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia, an individual must have completed a relevant program of graduate study (after a bachelor’s degree) in psychology, and a period of supervised experience and training which meets criteria established by the College under the direction of the Health Professions Act. He or she must then pass professional examinations, both written and oral, regarding their intended area of practice. All Registered Psychologists are required to follow an ethical code and standards of professional practice established by the College, and supported under British Columbia’s Health Professions Act.

All members of BCPA are registered with the CPBC as a Registered Psychologist (R.Psych.). The degree designations you will see after a psychologist’s name will most commonly be Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D., and reflect the title "doctor". Some psychologists registered for practice in BC have master’s degrees (M.A., M.Ed., or M.Sc.), and were registered either prior to 1979 (as psychologists).

For more information about BC legislation regarding the regulation of psychologists, please visit the website of the College of Psychologists of BC.

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BC Psychologist