Policy, Research, and Implications for School Counseling in Canada



This chapter addresses the historical context, services provided, delivery methods, credentialing process, and literature review of school-based counseling in Canada from the time of formal educational delivery in the nineteenth century to the present. School-based counseling in Canada is delivered at the local school level and regulated by provincial governments of the ten provinces and three territories. Having no federal education department in Canada, the way school counseling is delivered and by whom varies according to province and local need. Well-populated provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Quebec regulate the credentialing process of school counselors through their departments of education, similar to the way that teachers are licensed. Less-populated provinces and territories have teachers provide the services associated with school-based counseling. Canada has a well-developed counseling and psychotherapy organization with a school counseling chapter that addresses the needs of and advocates for school counselors. Suggestions for future research and advocacy include a national model for school counselors, greater engagement of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association school counseling chapter as a conduit for the regulation and advocacy for school-based counselors, and conducting outcome studies of school counseling services based on local and provincial needs in accord with the national educational delivery system in Canada.


  1. Alexitch, L. R., Kobussen, G. P., & Stookey, S. (2004). High school students’ decisions to pursue university: What do (should) guidance counsellors and teachers tell them? Guidance and Counselling, 19(4), 142–152.Google Scholar
  2. Beran, T., Mishna, F., McInroy, L. B., & Shariff, S. (2015). Children’s experiences of cyberbullying: A Canadian national study. Children and Schools, 37(4), 207–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carey, J., & Dimmitt, C. (2012). School counseling and student outcomes: Summary of six statewide studies. Professional School Counseling, 16(2), 146–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chachamovich, E., Kirmayer, L. J., Haggarty, J. M., Cargo, M., McCormick, R., & Turecki, G. (2015). Suicide among Inuit: Results from a large, epidemiologically representative follow-back study in Nunavut. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 60(6), 268.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Christianson, C. L., & Everall, R. D. (2009). Breaking the silence: School counsellors’ experiences of client suicide. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 37(2), 157–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Conger, S., & Hiebert, B. (1995). An overview of career and employment counselling services in Canada. Guidance & Counseling, 10(2), 3–19.Google Scholar
  7. Dittrick, C. J., Beran, T. N., Mishna, F., Hetherington, R., & Shariff, S. (2013). Do children who bully their peers also play violent video games? A Canadian national study. Journal of School Violence, 12(4), 297–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Domene, J. F., & Bedi, R. P. (2013). Counseling and psychotherapy in Canada. In R. Moodley, U. P. Gielen, & R. Wu (Eds.), Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy in an international context (pp. 106–116). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Gazzola, N., De Stefano, J., Thériault, A., & Audet, C. (2014). Positive experiences of doctoral-level supervisors-in-training conducting group-format supervision: A qualitative investigation. British Journal Of Guidance & Counselling, 42(1), 26–42. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2013.799263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guidance and Career Education: The Ontario Curriculum. (2006). Ontario Ministry of Education. Retrieved from:
  11. Guttman, M. J. (1991). Issues in the career development of adolescent females: Implications for educational and guidance. Guidance & Counseling, 6(3), 59–75.Google Scholar
  12. Harris, B. (2013). International school-based counselling. Lutterworth: BACP.Google Scholar
  13. History of Education. (n.d.). The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
  14. Keats, P. A., & Laitsch, D. (2010). Contemplating regulation of counsellors in Canadian schools: Current issues and concerns. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 108, 1–33.Google Scholar
  15. Lehr, R., & Sumarah, J. (2002). Factors impacting the successful implementation of comprehensive guidance and counseling programs in Nova Scotia. Professional School Counseling, 5, 292–297.Google Scholar
  16. Levi, M., & Ziegler, S. (1993). The role of career exploration as a component of an effective guidance program in the transition. Guidance & Counseling, 8(5), 6–16.Google Scholar
  17. Marshall, S. K., Young, R. A., Stevens, A., Spence, W., Deyell, S., Easterbrook, A., & Brokenleg, M. (2011). Adolescent career development in urban-residing aboriginal families in Canada. The Career Development Quarterly, 59(6), 539–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Martin, L. (2013). Counselling in Canada. Therapy Today, 24(2), 25–27.Google Scholar
  19. Millar, G. (1998). Guidance and counselling in Alberta: Moving toward accountability. Guidance and Counselling, 14(1), 10–14.Google Scholar
  20. Morrissette, P. J. (1997). The rural school counsellor: A review and synthesis of the literature. Guidance & Counseling, 13(1), 19–24.Google Scholar
  21. Morrissette, P. J., & Gadbois, S. (2006). Promoting success among undergraduate Canadian first nations and aboriginal counselling students. Guidance & Counseling, 21(4), 216–223.Google Scholar
  22. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2014). PISA 2012 Results in focus: What 15 year olds know and what they can do with what they know. Retrieved from
  23. Power-Elliott, M., & Harris, G. E. (2012). Guidance counsellor strategies for handling bullying. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 40(1), 83–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Robinson, B. (2015). A call to resurrect the hope and promise of comprehensive school counselling programs and practices. Retrieved from:
  25. Robertson, S. E., & Paterson, J. G. (1983). Characteristics of guidance and counseling services in Canada. Personnel & Guidance Journal, 61(8), 490–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Roos, L. L., Hiebert, B., Manivong, P., Edgerton, J., Walld, R., MacWilliam, L., & De Rocquigny, J. (2013). What is most important: Social factors, health selection, and adolescent educational achievement. Social Indicators Research, 110(1), 385–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rose, H., Miller, L., & Martinez, Y. (2009). “FRIENDS for Life”: The results of a resilience-building, anxiety-prevention program in a Canadian elementary school. Professional School Counseling, 12(6), 400–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ruiz-Casares, M., Kolyn, L., Sullivan, R., & Rousseau, C. (2015). Parenting adolescents from ethno-cultural backgrounds: A scan of community-based programs in Canada for the promotion of adolescent mental health. Children and Youth Services Review, 53, 10–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. School Systems. (n.d.). In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
  30. Young, R. A., & Nicol, J. J. (2007). Counselling psychology in Canada: Advancing psychology for all. Applied Psychology. An International Review, 56(1), 20–32. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00273.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zikic, J., & Franklin, M. (2010). Enriching careers and lives: Introducing a positive, holistic, and narrative career counseling method that bridges theory and practice. Journal of Employment Counseling, 47(4), 180–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Arkansas at Little Rock (USA)Little RockUSA

Personalised recommendations