Aug 2018: The next generation of Canadian counselling psychologists

Bedi, R. P., Christiani, K. D., & Cohen, J. A. (2018). The next generation of Canadian counselling psychologists. Counselling Psychology Review, 33, 46-56.



Objectives: In response to the little information available about the characteristics of counselling psychology students in Canada and their impact on the future of the specialization in Canada, 52 student members of the Canadian Psychological Association’s Section on Counselling Psychology (representing a 26 per cent response rate) were surveyed using an adapted version of a questionnaire to survey counselling psychologists in Canada. Findings: Results indicated that, in most ways, the characteristics of Canadian counselling psychology students resemble those of current counselling psychologists but some differences emerged that point to a future with an increasing female-male practitioner gender gap, more non-heterosexual counselling psychologists, and a slight growth in humanistic/person-centred theories being used. Discussion: The field will likely continue to be characterized by heterosexual female counselling psychologists of European descent, who practice primarily from either a theoretically-integrative standpoint or cognitive-behavioural theory, who intervene largely through individual counselling or psychotherapy, and almost entirely only in the English language. The results of the study are examined with respect to understanding gaps in training, professional identity, and the apparent distancing from the historical roots of the profession. The limitations of the study are noted and avenues for future research are outlined. Some comparisons with the field in other regions of the world, like the UK, are also provided.