You and Your Psychologist

Basic Expectations

Registered psychologists provide a broad range of specialized services to help with a variety of problems. They must adhere to the professional standards contained in the Code of Conduct.  Regardless of the specific reason you are seeking their help, there are a number of things you can always expect from your psychologist, including:

  • your psychologist provides enough information so that your decision to receive services is well-informed (this is called “informed consent”);
  • your psychologist maintains a professional relationship with you at all times;
  • your psychologist practices in areas in which he or she is competent;
  • your psychologist keeps records of your treatment for 7 years (or more if you are under 19), and you have the right to see these records subject to some very narrow exceptions and some very specific situations; and
  • your psychologist keeps confidential any information you share with him or her, subject to the exceptions stipulated by the Code of Conduct and governing legislation.

What to do if you have concerns about the services you received?

When you deal with a regulated health professional, you are entitled to competent and ethical services. Usually, that is exactly what you get. There may be times, however, when you think that professional standards are not being met. The information in this section is intended to help you understand how to make your concerns known to the College of Psychologists of BC and to provide information about the formal complaint process.

Were the services provided by a registrant of the College of Psychologists?

Registrants of the College are identified by their registration number, the title “registered psychologist” (“R.Psych.”) and a certificate of registration which is required to be posted in their professional office(s). If you have information regarding inappropriate or unlawful use of the protected titles or unauthorized practice of psychology as per the Psychologists Regulation, please contact the College.

Check to see that the practitioner you have concerns about is a registrant of the College of Psychologists by clicking here. A list of regulated health professionals is available from the BC Health Regulators website.

What to do if you have safety concerns: If you have safety concerns for yourself or other individuals, please contact the appropriate agency, such as the Ministry of Children and Family Development or the police/RCMP. If you also file a complaint with us once you have addressed any immediate safety concerns, please also alert us to those concerns when you write or call us.