What is an LCT?
In New Brunswick, the title Licensed Counselling Therapist (LCT) is used to describe the professionals whose work is counselling and psychotherapy. LCTs are regulated health care professionals who hold a masters degree in Counselling Psychology, or a related field, and are licensed by the College of Counselling Therapists of New Brunswick (CCTNB) to perform counselling therapy in our province. While counselling therapy has been around for hundreds of years, the profession of Counselling Therapy has only been regulated in our province since 2017. Regulation means that CCTNB is legislated by the Province to set standards (like a code of ethics, continuing education, and supervision), enforce those standards, and investigate any complaints made against their members. This allows the public to be protected and the profession to follow high levels for standards for care.
Other professionals, such a psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, are also able to engage in counselling therapy work in our province, but no other professional is as specifically trained in counselling therapy as an LCT. This is because the entire focus of the profession is on treatment, not diagnosing, medicating, or case management. Simply put, LCTs treat people, not diagnoses. They focus on getting to know the whole person, helping them to identify areas they want to improve and work on, and helping them achieve this in their life. Often people will seek out an LCT when they are struggling with issues in their life, after receiving a diagnosis, to look at learning skills and methods beyond medication alone to manage, and a variety of other reasons. LCTs use evidence-based methods informed by research and science and tailors to the individual to help people reach their goals.
What are some other things to know about LCTs?
- Because LCTs are a relatively new, regulated profession in NB, some health care and insurance plans have not yet included them in their coverage. You can check this by calling your insurance provider or asking your employer. If you want your plan to cover an LCT, advocate for this to your employer and insurance providers.
- Many health care and insurance plans do already include LCTs. Some of these are Medavie Blue Cross, Johnsons, SunLife, and more.
- LCTs are the only regulated mental health care professionals who are still required to charge their clients HST. Other health care professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers are exempt from charging this tax. This creates an additional barrier to people trying to access mental health care.
- There is currently a Bill (Bill C-323) in front of the Federal Government of Canada to address this unfair taxing practice. You can learn more and add your voice at stoptaxingmytherapy.com.