how to become a counsellor in manitoba

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Canada is a country of multicultural people and has a wide range of cultures. It has a lot to offer in terms of employment, richness in culture, mind blowing scenery, little to no light pollution so you can view the most magnificent of night skies, low crime rates and much more. Currently, Canada is one of the most preferred countries to live in by immigrants worldwide. And if you are planning on moving to Canada or are currently living here looking for career prospects, then this article will provide some information related to how you can become a counsellor in Manitoba.

To get all the important details you need on how to become a counsellor in canada, how to become a registered counsellor, How To Become A Counsellor In Manitoba and Step-By-Step: How to Become a Mental Health Counselor. Please keep on reading this post from college learners. Always ensure you come back for all the latest information that you need with zero stress.

In this post, we will be discussing the people who are interested in becoming a counsellor in Manitoba. You may also be wondering how to become a counsellor in Manitoba. Let us take a look at what it takes to become one.

Education Requirements for Counsellors

If you want to become a counsellor in Manitoba, then you will need to complete your high school education and some college or university courses as well. The exact amount of education required depends on your chosen field of study. For instance, if you wish to become a social worker, then you will have to have an undergraduate degree in social work or an accredited program that has been approved by the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW). If you want to become a psychologist in Manitoba, then you must complete at least three years of undergraduate studies with psychology as one of the subjects along with some other courses related to science or arts.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of becoming a counsellor depends on which province or territory you live in as well as what kind of degree you want to earn in order for this career path; however, there are many ways through which one can get financial assistance from various organizations such as StudentAid BC or Manitoba Education & Training

At a glance

Program Length: 2 to 5 years, part-time
Credential: Earn a Certificate in Applied Counselling from the University of Manitoba
Streams: Choice of General Stream or Specialization in Addictions Studies. The Specialization in Addictions Studies combines program courses with courses from the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba.

How to access therapy and counselling services - Which?

how to become a counsellor in canada

Starting a Counseling Career in Canada

The ideal concept of having a career as a counselor is to get the right and the most updated version of the information that can help you find employment as a practicing counselor. You could choose a counseling career with a specialization in relationships, mental health, rehabilitation or behavioral health, amongst others. This occupation is an ideal one for those who find joy in solving people’s mental health issues.

What Does a Counselor Do?

Counseling is the process of talking about and working through your mental health problems with a mental health professional, such as a counselor or therapist.  Counseling, as the word denotes, is done by a trained counsellor who is an objective mental health professional. You must develop a healthy and trustworthy relationship with your counselor so as to help them effectively diagnose your mental health issues. A counsellor may choose a variety of counseling methodologies to approach your mental health problem, with talk therapy being the most popular approach.

How Much Do Counselors Make in Canada?

You might be wondering whether counselors make good money. The average salary for counselor in Canada is around $70,000 per year. Entry level counselors can be expected to make around $40,000 annually, while experienced counselors can make up to $90,000 per year.

Characteristics of a Good Mental Health Counselor

As a counselor, you’ll come across individuals with a wide array of difficult problems. All of these people hold different behavioral patterns and mannerisms. As a counselor, you should be able to successfully diagnose their issues. Some of these patients could be suffering from depression, stress, insomnia, or OCD. Here are the characteristics of good mental health counselor:

Communication Skills

As a professional counselor, you’ll be confronting people from all walks of life with different mentalities. Some may begin talking to you right away, while others would take time to open up about the problems they face. Your communication strategy with each patient would be customized, with the objective of making the patient comfortable enough so they can explain what is really bothering them and how it is affecting their everyday life. This also requires you to be a good listener and keen observer, as your aim should be to understand the mental health issues from the patient’s point of view.

Problem-Solving Skills

As a counselor, you have to be a problem solver. Therefore, as you talk with the patient, your objective should be to sort out their issues they are facing rather than complicate the situation. It would be best if you were able to help your patients in the most straightforward way possible. In addition to this, you should have expertise in diagnosing mental health issues and disorders.


One crucial aspect of being a counselor is to be empathetic. This means that you should not be stoic or cold towards the patient. Instead, you should be understanding and compassionate. The best way to be empathetic is to place yourself in the shoes of your patients and devise the right solution to their problems.


Another characteristic of being an effective counselor is to be accommodating and flexible. It is a career in which you might be presented with additional responsibilities in order to help the patient deal with their mental health problems. You might have to make impromptu changes to your daily schedule. Patients may cancel, reschedule or even cancel their mental health counseling session. In such cases, you should have patience and make the patient feel at ease at all times.

Multi-Cultural Sensitivity

Mental health counselors should also be culturally-sensitive, and have good knowledge about different cultures and the community they operate in. For example, a counseling psychologist offering counseling services in Canada will have a different mentality and approach to interacting with the local population as compared to a clinical psychologist in India. You must also not be biased towards a particular race or ethnicity.


Good counselors are self-aware and have up-to-date knowledge about their specialty, i.e. relationships, stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, etc. This involves taking part in conferences and seminars regularly, being well-read and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in the field of mental health.

Step-By-Step: How to Become a Mental Health Counselor

If you’re looking to become a mental health counselor and choose counseling as a career option, here’s the career path you should follow:

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

It would be advantageous to select clinical psychology as a major during grade 12, however you could theoretically be coming from any stream to choose a counseling career. Choose psychology during your undergraduate years in college/university. This could be a B.A. or a B.Sc in Psychology, which is a 3 year course. In addition to this, you should also get hands-on training by being a part of an internship program.

Obtain a Master’s Degree

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you should pursue a master’s degree. This could be M.A. or M.Sc. in Counseling, Psychology or Applied Psychology. This postgraduate course is for 2 years, and you’ll learn about counseling theory and techniques along with choosing an area of specialization. After your master’s degree, you could optionally pursue a one-year diploma course in guidance or counseling.

Obtain a CCPA certification

CCPA is the popular acronym for Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association. This is a national certification program for professional counselors to begin clinical practice. This program certifies a counselor to legally provide counseling services in Canada. This certificate should be posted at your clinic or workplace, where your clients can observe the accreditation.

Obtain State Licensing

You can obtain state licensing by,

  • Choosing a counseling specialization
  • Have a relevant degree and internship experience
  • Take the GRE and apply for graduate programs in Canada
  • Opt for an appropriate licensing certification program
  • Complete a specified amount of counseling practice hours
  • Submit an application for a state license

Finally, you should maintain the license by complying with state and local laws.

how to become a registered counsellor

A counseling career gives you the opportunity to help others every day and this resource is here to help you achieve your professional goals. Whether you are a practicing professional, seeking a career change, or following a dream or passion, our mission is to provide all of the information you need to pursue a career as a professional counselor, no matter where you live.

Steps to Become a Counselor

  1. Pursue a master’s degree in counseling
  2. Complete practicum and/or internship hour
  3. Obtain counseling licensure and/or certification
  4. Choose a counseling career path
  5. Advance your practice through continued learning

1. Pursue a Master’s Degree in Counseling

To forge a successful career in counseling , and to receive state licensure or certification, you will first need to earn a master’s degree in counseling. Determining your counseling preference and specialty before application helps to best prepare you for your future career in this rewarding profession. Obtaining your master’s degree in counseling with a state license or certification demonstrates to employers and clients that you are a qualified counselor and are competent within your scope of practice.What should you look for in a master’s in counseling online program?Discover the important factors to your online counseling degree with these guides.Online Master’s in Mental Health Counseling ProgramsOnline Master’s in School Counseling Programs

  • Discover which graduate counseling programs can help you launch your career as there are many counseling specialties and add-on certifications.
  • Explore a master’s level education offered online or on campus by CACREP accredited External link  graduate programs.
  • Research the counseling curricula and related career pursuits such as therapy, social work and clinical psychology.
  • Find out how you can specialize your study and focus on a concentration or specific population you would prefer to work with, i.e. adolescents, geriatric, urban, LGBTQIA, or couples – to name a few.
  • Learn about admission requirements, application processes, tuition, financial aid and scholarships.

2. Complete Practicum and/or Internship Hours

In order to obtain licensure or certification, counselors are required to participate for a minimum number of documented hours in supervised clinical fieldwork. Accredited master’s programs require an on-site practicum or internship for graduation. These hours may be counted toward your state requirement, but depending on your state, you will likely need to complete additional fieldwork hours to become a licensed or certified counselor. This is also dependent upon your concentration.

  • Practicum: Required practicum hours range from 100 to 300 hours. Students have the opportunity to work alongside licensed or certified counselors during sessions both supervised and independently. They also attend meetings, participate in trainings, write reports and clinical notes, review tapes, engage in professional development, and more.
  • Internship: Required internship hours calculate to about 600 hours. Students work under supervision and independently both in and out of sessions with clients. Counseling interns are held to the same standards as other practicing professionals at the clinical site. Interns must keep clinical records, engage in professional development, collaborate and interact with other counselors and family members as well as meeting with their assigned clients.

3. Obtain Counseling Licensure and/or Certification

Without a license or certificate, most states will not allow you to practice or accept health insurance from clients. To meet state requirements for practice, counseling licensure/certification is necessary. A valid state counseling license/certification serves as proof that a counseling professional has met state-determined qualification standards, including a minimum level of education and requisite hours of supervised clinical experience.

  • Research the licensing or certification requirements in your state.
  • Learn how many supervision and fieldwork hours are necessary in your state of interest and how/where you can fulfill them.
  • Find out the details about licensing or certification exam to include costs, study guides and registration.


Bachelor’s holders can prepare to become a licensed professional counselor online. With no GRE scores required to apply, the 27 month online MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine allows you to advance your career and be a catalyst of change.

4. Choose a Counseling Career Path

With a state license/certiication and a master’s degree, you’ll find counseling career opportunities in hospitals, mental health clinics, private practices, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, schools, nursing homes, and government and community agencies. Continue to visit this website for guidance and as a resource as you work toward your educational and career goals.

  • Explore the many counseling specialties and the types of clients you can help.
  • Research where the counseling jobs are in your state.
  • Learn about employer requirements and job expectations as well as responsibilities as they correlate with your lived and learned experiences.

5. Advance your practice through continued learning

A successful counselor stays ahead of the curve and continues to expand their knowledge as their career progresses. The counseling field is always growing with research and new findings. There may be a new way to apply a counseling technique to a mental health concern that was previously unexplored. As a professional counselor, in any specialty and field, it can even be required by licensure and certification to engage in continuing education credits and research. You may also wish to explore additional professional certifications and doctoral programs for counselors.

  • Become a member of professional counseling organizations.
  • Explore PhD counseling programs.
  • Understand the value of additional certifications and learn how to obtain it.
  • Research different ways to obtain continuing education or professional development credits for licensure, certification, or renewal.

How To Become A Counsellor In Manitoba

A valid Manitoba certificate must be held in order to be employed as professional school personnel in Manitoba.

To be eligible for a School Counsellor Certificate, a candidate will have thirty (30) credit hours of university course work at the post-baccalaureate level, or higher, as specified in the guideline and will have accumulated a minimum of two (2) years successful teaching experience while holding a valid Manitoba Permanent Professional Teaching Certificate.

Study counselling

This program is ideal if you work or volunteer in a counselling context, as a professional or paraprofessional counsellor. For those without counselling experience, it is recommended that you seek out volunteer opportunities prior to or while you are in the program. It is important that you have an opportunity to practice the skills you learn in class with actual clients on a regular basis.

With your program application form, you must submit a self-declaration of an adult criminal record and a self-declaration of a child abuse registry record. Official checks issued within the past six months will be required prior to graduation. Letters of reference and an interview may also be required prior to admission to the program.

Your suitability

The program focuses on the development of practical counselling strategies. It is not intended to be therapeutic and it is expected that participants have dealt with traumatic issues, in some manner, prior to entering the program. You must be willing to reflect critically on personal values and attitudes and not carry any discrimination with you, be ready to actively participate as a learner and demonstrate skills learned in practice situations, and be willing to address and resolve conflicts respectfully, maintaining professional and ethical behavior according to the Counselling Code of Ethics, and disclosing any criminal conviction and child abuse record that may occur while in the program.

Personal unsuitability may prevent someone from being admitted to the program or require that they withdraw.


Counselling Skills Level 1 (COUN 0100) is the foundational course for the program and must be completed before any other required courses. Capstone Course (COUN 0400) is the final course of the program and can only be taken after all other required courses have been completed.
All courses in the ACC program are screening courses and students must adhere to the personal suitability criteria listed above throughout the entire program. Students must obtain a minimum grade of C+ in each course (including Addictions Foundation of Manitoba courses) and maintain 90% attendance in order to receive a passing grade.

Plan Ahead Course Schedule

General Stream

Required Courses (210 hours)
Elective Courses (minimum of 100 hours required)

Specialization in Addiction Studies

Required Courses
Elective Courses
Specialization in Addiction Studies

Apply to the Program

  1. Fill Out an Application Form
    Download and submit a completed Program Application Form.
  2. Gather Your TranscriptsSubmit transcripts of the highest level of education you have completed. Student copies or photocopies are not acceptable.
    Transcripts become the property of University of Manitoba and will not be returned.Submit any other required supporting documents (e.g., letters of reference, letter of intent).
  3. Complete the Forms
    • Self-Declaration of an Adult Criminal Record
    • Self-Declaration of a Child Abuse Registry
  4. Submit the completed application form, self-declarations and transcripts by mail or email to:Student and Instructor Services
    185 Extended Education Complex
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2
    [email protected] official transcripts from any university or college attended other than University of Manitoba are required. Student copies or photocopies are not acceptable. Transcripts become the property of University of Manitoba and will not be returned.Submit any other required supporting documents (e.g., letters of reference, letter of intent).5. Register for Your CoursesAfter you receive notice of your admission to the program, you can register for courses either online, email or mail.

Required Courses:

COUN 0400 – Capstone CourseCOUN 0100 – Counselling Skills – Level ICOUN 0300 – Counselling Skills – Level IIICOUN 0202 – Counselling TheoriesCOUN 0240 – Working with Families

Elective Courses:

COUN 0254 – Caring for the CaregiverCOUN 0250 – Crisis CounsellingCOUN 0110 – Foundations of Case ManagementCOUN 0256 – Mental Health Issues and Co-Occurring Addictions in Human Services DeliveryCOUN 0252 – Understanding Family Violence

counselling degree

Counselling deals with helping people overcome emotional and professional challenges in their lives, from career planning, relationship problems, stress, and health issues. Some forms of counselling may also help clients cope with serious mental health issues like chronic anxiety and depression, physical illness and trauma. Counsellors help people to evaluate themselves, accept responsibility for their actions, and make good choices for their future. The relationship between counsellor and client is built on trust and understanding.

Counselling is a broad field including various forms of emotional as well as professional support including: academic advising, art therapy, coaching, psychotherapy, career counselling, psychiatry, school counselling, social work, and others.

Counselling students acquire knowledge about human behaviour, advanced interpersonal skills, learn ethical and professional boundaries and, depending on the career path chosen, may gain therapeutic capacities. Counsellors need a high understanding of themselves, strong empathy, a desire to help people, and ability to contain relationship-based processes taking place between themselves and their clients or patients.

Counsellors facilitate the optimal development of individuals, groups, and organizations, taking into account cultural diversity, personal history, age, educational background and other factors.

Counselling graduates can find work in a variety of settings, including education, human resources, community mental health, private practice, social care services, substance abuse treatment, sexual assault, and corrections.

In conclusion, if you are interested in becoming a counsellor in Manitoba, you need to first decide on the type of counselling you want to do. Are you going to be working with children? Adults? Families? Once you have an idea of what kind of counselling you want to do, you can start looking into the training that is required to become a counsellor in Manitoba.

There are many different types of training that can help prepare you for this career. Some programs will offer a certificate or diploma, while others offer a degree or bachelors degree. It’s important to look into all of your options before deciding which program is right for you.

Once you’ve decided which type of program is best for you and completed it successfully, it’s time to apply for registration as a professional counsellor! This application process can take several months but once it’s complete, there are still more steps before becoming licensed as a professional counsellor in Manitoba.

Once registered as an RCC (registered clinical counsellor) with Manitoba’s Counselling Association (MCA), there are still more requirements before being able to practice independently as an RCC

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