Our Pillars


Lives change at Calgary Counselling Centre. Through our counselling programs we achieve effective, profound results for our clients. Our programs have received international attention for their ability to successfully achieve high results for our clients and effect positive change in people's lives.

As we enter our 50th year in our community we have met a record demand for our services. The need in the community for our counselling services reached new record highs in 2012. Though there has been an increase of demand for our services we have kept our commitment of not having a waiting list – a feat that we have achieved for over twelve years.

Our sliding fee-scale enables us to offer barrier-free access to Calgarians in all walks of life; no one is turned away because of inability to pay.

The requests we receive for counselling reflect the needs in our community. In 2012, depression, followed by couples counselling, anxiety, stress, and family relationships were the most demanded counselling areas. Domestic abuse counselling still remains a full third of our services.

Counselling is not a soft science; it is in fact a hard science. At Calgary Counselling Centre, we are grounded in practice-based evidence research. Through this innovative and ground breaking method, Calgary Counselling Centre is achieving unparalleled results. Within a culture of continuous feedback, measuring client progress as well as the client-counsellor relationship on a session-by-session basis, we are achieving exceptional results for our clients.

Our session-by-session client-focused outcome measurement approach is leading edge, nationally and internationally recognized, and it is fully integrated into our practice at all levels of the organization. Our client results have improved by 23 per cent since 2004, significantly outpacing sector averages, which have remained stagnant world-wide for 35 years. In addition, 77 per cent of clients report a range of improvement in their overall level of well-being.

People come to Calgary Counselling Centre for many reasons. They're worried about their own well-being, or the well-being of someone they love. No matter what the issue, our counsellors are experts in guiding individuals, couples, families and youth through their concerns.


The Arthur J.E. Child Foundation

Arthur J.E. Child believed in the potential of his community, and his generous spirit lives on through the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation. The Foundation provided support to the Centre's subsidized counselling program, ensuring that all Calgarians have access to the services and support they need.

It was a safe spot for me, and I could talk about whatever I wanted. I was supported no matter what, and never judged.

Laura | Age 27

(Range in age from 6—89 years old)


Calgary Counselling Centre has been educating students since its inception in 1962. The Centre is recognized as a national leader for professional training in counselling and specifically in the fields of psychology, social work, and marriage and family therapy.

Our Haskayne Learning Centre for Graduate and Post-Graduate Counselling Studies has a fully accredited Post-Graduate Counsellor Residency Training Program which ensures students from around the world are able to complete residency requirements in both individual and group counselling best practices. Our interns and residents experience a fast-paced training environment where they are able to receive feedback from their supervisors and peers and work with clients through a broad range of personal, interpersonal and social problems. It is this collaborative environment that allows students to learn from each other and provide clients with the best possible service.

In our commitment to achieve the best results for our clients and our community, Calgary Counselling Centre invests in ongoing professional development strategically connected to the work done at the Centre. Some of the training in 2012 included ongoing work with Dr. Scott D. Miller, renowned author and founder of the International Center for Clinical Excellence, and workshops offered with Dr. Michael Yapko, esteemed clinical psychologist, author and expert in the areas of depression, trauma, family therapy and hypnosis.

The Centre's highly successful webinar series on domestic abuse has provided training to over 140 practitioners who join us from more than 28 different locations including: Alberta, Saskatchewan, the North West Territories and the northern United States. The Wilson Centre for Domestic Abuse Studies at Calgary Counselling Centre offers the chance for practitioners throughout Western Canada and the United States to access the series and learn more about working with clients who have been affected by domestic abuse.

For 50 years we have maintained our commitment to providing leading-edge education and training opportunities to our staff, residents and interns. We are excited as we look to our future and new opportunities to continue to grow, train, learn, and continue to set a reputation as an industry leader.

The Centre is recognized as a national leader for professional training in counselling and specifically in the fields of psychology, social work, and marriage and family therapy."



Since 2007, Nexen has provided the Centre with unwavering support through the Nexen Bursary. The bursary has supported four resident counsellors through the Residency Training Program. Nexen's generous gift has helped create a supportive learning environment where new counsellors can acquire an incomparable breadth and depth of experience.

Dick and Lois Haskayne

Dick and Lois Haskayne believe in education. Since 2010, they have supported our residents on their professional journey through the Residency Training Program. The Haskayne Bursary, awarded each year, allows new counsellors an opportunity to deepen their counselling skills across a wide range of social, psychological and emotional problems. The impact of the Haskayne's generosity is multiplied by the thousands of clients that walk through our doors annually, building healthier communities.

Helping people is something I've always wanted to do. In the supportive environment of Calgary Counselling Centre it was interesting and rewarding to practice what I had learnt in Hong Kong.

Ina Liu Niu | Counselling student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong


Calgary Counselling Centre holds the largest counselling research data base in Canada, 30,000 participants and growing. This helps us analyze effective treatment options and strategies. Our staff and volunteers have spent countless hours analyzing and working with our findings, and have produced many publications that we are happy to share with government, donors, and our community. For the first time this year, our CEO Robbie Babins-Wagner and Director of Training Iniatives were contracted and funded to be the primary researchers on several research projects that are highlighted below.

Take a look at some of the work we've done in 2012:

Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, CEO contributed to:
  • The Impact of Readiness for Change on Child Welfare Client Outcomes (Presented in Vancouver, BC / Edmonton, AB)
  • The Impact of Motivational Interviewing on Abusers' Readiness for Change (Presented in Vancouver, BC)
  • How Mandated Men Perceive the Responsible Choices for Men Program (Presented in Vancouver, BC)
  • The Association of Readiness to Change and Motivational Interviewing with Treatment Outcomes in Males involved in Domestic Violence Group Therapy
  • Negotiating Masculine Identities Within Group Therapy for Men Victims of Abuse (Presented in Leeuwarden, Netherlands)
Dr. Lynda Snyder, Director of Training contributed to:
  • Advanced Family Violence Training for Child Intervention Staff: Online Survey Results
  • Advanced Family Violence Training for Child Intervention Staff: An Environmental Scan
  • Family Violence Risk Assessment and Safety Planning by Child Intervention Staff: An Environmental Scan
  • A Framework for Advanced Family Violence Training for Child Intervention Staff in Alberta
  • Advanced Family Violence Training for Child Intervention Staff: A Review of the Literature

We strongly believe in research as the guide to achieve better results for our clients. We're committed to conducting research and sharing our learning to improve the lives of our clients and our community at large.


The Hunter Family Foundation

In 2012, the Hunter Family Foundation generously funded two 2013 research initiatives at the Centre. The first initiative will focus on depression research, and the second, a new research initiative, will focus on children and youth. Both initiatives will broaden our knowledge of mental health in our community and will change lives.

Calgary Counselling Centre went above and beyond the expectations of the project to ensure the final product will stand the test of time. The Centre has a depth of knowledge and experience in the family violence area, is well regarded in the community, and is known for its focus on delivering outcomes.

Janice Popp | Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research


Whether it is active involvement in the procurement of a Guinness World Record, or raising awareness for important social issues, Calgary Counselling Centre is an active presence in the community.

It is a sign of strength to reach out when things get tough, and our involvement within the community ensures that Calgarians know who we are, what we do, and how we can help. We are subject-matter experts on all aspects of counselling and this is reflected by the countless requests for information we receive from the media, students, and more.

Some of the events of 2012 we participated in included:


The Pure North S'Energy Foundation

The Pure North S'Energy Foundation's generous gift facilitated the Centre's staff's monthly Skype consultations with Dr. Scott Miller. Their gift also gave our counsellors the incredible experience of travelling to Chicago to study with Dr. Miller to learn how to integrate outcome-based measurements into their own practice. Pure North also regularly offers health promotion clinics to staff and clients. The benefits of the Pure North program are a great example of supporters offering additional services that may positively impact mental health.

Calgary Area's United Way "Leading Boldly" initiative
United Way "Leading Boldly" kickoff

We were proud to be one of the nine agencies to be involved with the "Leading Boldly" initiative. We are part of a collaborative group who will produce what the United Way calls, "innovative approaches to achieve greater community impact and solve social issues." With this initiative, we'll further improve our client outcomes in depression and work on a collective project to achieve community change.

Break the Cycle of Domestic Abuse
AKF Guiness World Record

We joined with the Ohtsuka Amateur Karate Association (AKF) to help break the cycle of domestic abuse, and received a Guinness World Record in the process. AKF received the record for "Most People Breaking a Pine Board Simultaneously in a Single Venue" and donated $30,379 to our domestic abuse programs.

National Depression Screening Day (NDSD)
Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner on National Depression Screening Day

NDSD is an annual event where we offer a free, online and anonymous depression screening test. Our goal for the day is for it to be a reminder and opportunity for the community to screen for signs of depression, and to create a conversation to reduce the stigma.

In addition to our events are the essential collaborations with our community partners. Our community partnerships are based on three pillars: treatment, training, and advocacy. Through these ties we are able to share resources and streamline processes. Homefront, the Calgary Domestic Violence Committee, and Immigrant Services Calgary are a small fragment of the dozens of agencies we collaborate with.