Specialty Areas


According to the World Health Organization depression is currently the fourth most significant cause of suffering and disability worldwide (behind heart disease, cancer and traffic accidents) and it will become the SECOND most debilitating human condition by the year 2020.

Depression is the most common mental health issue in Canada. It is estimated that the annual cost of depression on the economy is $7.9 billion. In 2012, Calgary Counselling Centre partnered with the Calgary Chamber to bring Dr. Michael Yapko to Calgary to discuss with local businesses the effects of depression in the workplace. Depression is a wide-spread issue that every business needs to know how to deal with as it affects the performance of a company's most important asset – its people.

In an attempt to create awareness surrounding the issue of depression, Calgary Counselling Centre hosts National Depression Screening Day (NDSD). This annual event in October raises awareness around depression by providing a free, anonymous, online screening test to point out the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and offers a referral for further evaluation.

Awareness is the first step on the path to recovery. The path can be difficult, but our Centre is here to guide those who are strong enough to reach out. NDSD provides an opportunity to raise awareness of depression and to encourage individuals to get help.


Pengrowth Energy Corporation

In 2012, Pengrowth Energy Corporation supported the Centre's goal to become the agency of choice for Calgarians struggling with depression, as both a service provider and a research organization. Pengrowth's donation supported the development of services that can help reduce the impact of depression in the workplace, for both employees and their employers.

My family doctor diagnosed me with depression and prescribed medication. The medication helped but I really saw improvement when I went for counselling as well. It was like a package deal.

Darren | Age 36

Domestic Abuse

Calgary Counselling Centre has been a leader in the field of counselling and domestic abuse no exception. In 1981, we were the first organization to offer group counselling for domestic abuse. By offering both individual and group treatment we have brought the highest results for our clients.

With the intention of ending the cycle of abuse before it begins, Calgary Counselling Centre's Wilson Centre for Domestic Abuse Studies continues to be a leader in domestic abuse programming, research and community involvement, helping all affected by domestic abuse.

Our domestic abuse treatment programs provide the highest level of treatment to women, men and children who abuse or have been abused. Through individual counselling, group programs, and our database of research and community partnerships we are able to maintain our commitment to ending the cycle of abuse.

In 2012, we began the third and final year of our Strengthening Families pilot project. In the project we offer counselling to couples who are impacted by both substance abuse and domestic abuse. The Strengthening Families project is funded by Safe Communities.

The focus of our community outreach in domestic abuse is treatment, training and advocacy. Through these areas we are able to look more closely at programs and resources in the community for domestic abuse. We understand how to better train practitioners as well as identify gaps in resourcing and discover new opportunities. We see the importance for everyone who experiences domestic abuse to have a voice, and that is the reason we have strong community outreach for both male and female victims.

I had some preconceptions about abuse, that it was mostly physical and verbal. The group (Responsible Choices for Men) really opened up my eyes regarding all the different types of abuse there are.

Colin | Age 25

Eating Disorders

We began offering help for eating disorders in 1995 and continue to provide counselling to clients, both male and female, with eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, and preoccupation with weight.

Besides counselling for individuals with eating disorders, Calgary Counselling Centre knows the importance of involving the support of family and friends in the well-being of our clients. To that end, Calgary Counselling Centre also offers workshops for family and friends who want to understand eating disorders and gain the tools to be able to offer support.

This past year W. Brett Wilson (champion of the Wilson Centre for Domestic Abuse Studies) dedicated his yearly widely publicized garden party to eating disorders. The event was titled "Eating Disorders – The Slowest Form of Suicide", and Calgary Counselling Centre was one of three charities selected to receive funds. From the event the Centre received $119,631 that went directly to our eating disorders groups. In addition to the funds, the event helped raise awareness of this important issue in our community.

An interview with Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner at the garden party.


W. Brett Wilson's Garden Party

This spring, when W. Brett Wilson and his family opened their home for his annual Garden Party, where they chose organizations with programs dedicated to supporting those affected with eating disorders through the Wilson Family Eating Disorder Fund. Through the generosity of W. Brett Wilson, his family and friends, the Centre received $119,631 for our eating disorders groups.

I began to track what I was eating (in the group Towards Balanced Eating). Talking with others, and feeling the support of others in similar situations was extremely helpful.

Lisa | Age 38


The quality of your relationship is determined by the quality of your friendship. At Calgary Counselling Centre we want to help you have deep, meaningful and healthy relationships.

For 50 years we have been providing couples counselling. This is one of the top reasons clients come to us at the Centre. We work with couples who experience a range of issues including: stress, depression, grief, sexuality issues, self-esteem and separation or divorce. We work with couples both individually and together to help move through relationship struggles. Our work in this area is imperative as strong healthy relationships means a supportive and healthy family.

For 50 years we have also provided marriage preparation workshops which help couples at any stage in their relationship (recently engaged, married, moving in together, or couples who have been married or living together for a long time) create and maintain a healthy and supportive relationship. Our Marriage Preparation Workshop provides couples with insights and skills that help any couple start strong and build a great marriage.

Our workshop engages couples in important conversations about expectations, communication skills, conflict resolution, and more. Through our Marriage Preparation Workshop couples will leave well-equipped to deepen their relationship and be prepared to face challenges in the future, together.

Through pre- and post-workshop surveys we are able to help couples in Marriage Preparation identify specific areas that require work. Our in-depth questionnaires allow couples to identify strengths and potential challenges they may face, thus giving them added insight into areas that require their attention.

Every relationship has its issues, and the older you get the more baggage you carry from previous relationships. Marriage prep was a way to make us stronger. It opened up many different lines of communications for us; we both lead busy lives so that's very important.

Jill | Age 34

Children & Youth

Calgary Counselling Centre is proud to offer counselling to children and youth. In our children and youth programs we work with both the child and the parent through any problems they may be facing. From temper tantrums, divorce, bullying, behaviour issues, difficulty socializing or getting along with parents, teachers or with friends to depression and anxiety we are here to help. Our unique difference in our children and youth area is that we work with both the child and the parents or caregiver to provide significant, positive results in individual and group counselling.

Like their parents, children experience a full range of emotions. Unlike their parents, children will often use their behaviours to communicate and express their feelings. Calgary Counselling Centre's family counsellors and play therapists are adept at working with children to provide them a safe space where they can speak up and voice their feelings.

Separation and divorce affect over 2.1 million Canadian children annually. Since 1984, Calgary Counselling Centre has offered our Children of Divorce group to parents and children to help them adjust to the separation process that can affect so many in our community. In this group, we provide strategies to parents and children to help reduce the impact of divorce on their families, while we guide them through the healing process.

Bullying has become an increasing problem among children in schools and in our community. Calgary Counselling Centre seeks to address this issue through our Responsible Choices for Children group for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The group is tailored to address a range of concerns; from those experiencing bullying to aggressive behaviour, trouble paying attention, and difficulty socializing. The group provides children and parents the opportunity to learn how to identify their feelings and communicate them in a positive way.

When working with children, regular counselling through conversation and play therapy produces the best results. A child can feel more at ease and able to express their feelings and understand concepts through play therapy. In 2010, through the generous donation made by the Burns Memorial Fund, Calgary Counselling Centre was able to expand our play therapy services and therefore improve self-esteem, self-awareness, and child-parent relations.


Burns Memorial Fund

In 2012, the Burns Memorial Fund generously supported an expansion to the Centre's essential play therapy program. Their generosity allowed the Centre to train additional facilitators and purchase new play materials. It is through play that children learn how to build relationships, take risks, make mistakes, as well as encourages confidence and concentration.

RBC Foundation

The RBC Foundation is committed to supporting Canadian children's mental health. Through their generous investment in Children of Divorce and Responsible Choices for Children, the RBC Foundation's is helping economically disadvantaged families to seek support for their children's mental health. The RBC Foundation provides early intervention for children whose families may not otherwise be able to afford it, allowing children to experience the joys of childhood and 'just be kids'.

Penn West Exploration

Penn West Exploration is dedicated to supporting families in crisis. Their investment in the Children of Divorce program has helped provide support to families working to heal from the trauma of divorce or separation. The programs aim is to reduce the impact of divorce and to aid in the healing process.

I loved my Responsible Choices for Children group because it helped me realize that parenting is a learned skill, and when you know better you do better. Again, very helpful to know you're not the only parent in the world dealing with tough kids.

Shannon | Age 35