Counselling Psychology

The Counselling Psychology Program, in line with the mission of the research-intensive University of British Columbia, creates, advances and critically examines knowledge in counselling psychology, especially with respect to its validity, applicability, limits, and interface with other disciplines. In developing and applying pertinent and innovative research methodologies, the Counselling Psychology Program relies upon and builds qualitative and quantitative evidence to determine effective counselling interventions in educational, community, health, and occupational settings.

The Counselling Psychology program recognizes the critical importance of diversity in our rapidly changing and globalized society, and provides leadership in emphasizing culturally-based considerations in learning, human development, assessment and counselling. In addition to its cultural lens, our program embraces positive, growth-oriented, and developmental perspectives across the lifespan.  Attention is also paid to the complex ecological influences on individuals, groups and communities. Our faculty members’ programs of research reflect the core values and foci of the discipline of Counselling Psychology: career development, health and wellness, indigenous healing, gender and cultural diversity, disability, and social justice issues. Our Master’s and Doctoral programs address the needs of individuals, couples and families across the lifespan in terms of research, teaching and counselling practice.

Our graduate programs adhere to the scientist-practitioner model. Rigorous theoretical and research training is integrated with the development of core counselling competencies. In addition to our core curriculum at the Master’s and Doctoral levels, our students can specialize in community, school, higher education or vocational rehabilitation counselling. Our programs focus on the education of the whole person – promoting not only students’ professional development, but also helping them to realize their intellectual, physical, and emotional potential. Faculty view their roles as facilitators of learning rather than providers of information, and strive for excellence in their research, teaching, and community and professional engagement. The mandate of our programs is the preparation of professional counsellors, counselling psychologists, and scholars in the field of Counselling Psychology.

Program Goals

The mission, philosophy and values of the Program are represented in five specific program goals:
Goal 1.
Graduates will demonstrate critical understanding of counselling theory, research, and practice and in the pursuit of a Master of Arts degree will demonstrate competence in planning, conducting, evaluating, and disseminating counselling psychology research.
Goal 2.
Graduates will have mastery of theoretical and empirical knowledge in Counselling Psychology.
Goal 3.
Graduates will acquire and demonstrate competency required for practice as counsellors in schools, community agencies, and higher education settings.
Goal 4.
Graduates will understand and demonstrate ethical and professional conduct in counselling psychology.
Goal 5.
Graduates will understand and demonstrate their knowledge of the role of diversity in all areas of counselling psychology research and practice.

Orientation – Philosophy and Values

The orientation of the Counselling Psychology Program at the University of British Columbia is based in a scientist-practitioner model of counsellor education and training. The following philosophy and values inform the mission of the Program:
  1. An intellectually challenging education that takes advantage of our unique social and cultural make-up, geographical location, and research environment, and prepares students to become citizens of the twenty-first century through a program that is multicultural in scope, interactive in process, and strongly based in counselling psychology in content and approach;
  2. The integration of science and practice in counselling psychology;
  3. Development of new knowledge and the critical evaluation of knowledge claims in psychological theory and practice;
  4. Enhancement of our research capacity and performance including the communication and transfer of our research findings and the understanding of the social and ethical issues raised by research;
  5. Understanding and sensitivity to the diversity of our academic and client communities in terms of culture, gender, ability status, and other socio-cultural factors, including the expansion of the study of aboriginal culture as it relates to counselling psychology;
  6. Valuing the educational dimension of counselling psychology theory and practice;
  7. Promotion of preventive, remedial and psycho educational programs in counselling psychology;
  8. Promotion of high levels of professionalism, citizenship, and ethical behaviour.

The program’s general objectives, philosophy, and values are consistent with the University of British Columbia’s long-standing commitment to academic and professional excellence.