Family, marriage and other related counsellors (NOC 4153)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Family, marriage and other related counsellors help individuals, families and groups identify, understand and overcome their personal problems and reach their goals. Counsellors may specialize in areas including rehabilitation, addiction, marriage and family therapy, behavioural disorders or trauma.

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a registered clinical counsellor is like.


Registered clinical counsellor

Common job titles
  • consultant, behavioural
  • consultant, disability / special needs
  • consultant, psychoeducational
  • counsellor / therapist, addictions
  • counsellor, bereavement / grief
  • counsellor, child / youth / family


In general, counsellors:

  • Interview clients and prepare case histories
  • Assess clients’ problems
  • Develop counselling and intervention programs to help clients set and achieve goals
  • Provide advice, therapy and mediation
  • Run group sessions
  • Provide referrals to community services
  • Assess clients’ progress
  • Measure the effectiveness of counselling programs and interventions
  • Write assessment reports, progress reports, follow-up reports and court reports

They may also:

  • Supervise other counsellors, social service staff and assistants
  • Provide public education
  • Consult with other professionals
  • Act as witnesses in court cases
  • Research, publish papers and articles, and present at conferences
  • Offer career-related and psychological testing

Work environment

Some counsellors work in private practice, either on their own or in group clinics. Others work for community-based agencies like hospitals, schools, universities or justice-related organizations.

Counsellors may work in offices or in facilities such as group homes, health-care centres or rehabilitation centres. Remote counselling has also become more common as technology advances.

Counsellors use computers to do record keeping and administrative work.

Insights from industry

As people become more aware of the importance of good mental health, the demand for counselling has increased. At the same time, education programs have expanded so that they can produce enough new graduates to generally meet the demand.

Nevertheless, demand for qualified counsellors continues to be high in northern and more remote parts of B.C. Demand is also high for counsellors who specialize in family conflict, addiction, and new citizens and immigrants.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

New graduates can find entry-level counselling work in community-based organizations, counselling programs and schools. Many go into private practice, either on their own or in clinics with other counsellors.

With training and experience, counsellors can specialize in a particular area of practice. They may also move on to management positions.

Additional resources

  • Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT)
  • Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists (ARCH)
  • BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC)
  • British Columbia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (BCAMFT)
  • Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
  • Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in British Columbia (FACTBC)
  • International Association of Counselling Hypnotherapists (IACH)