Calgary Centre For Counselling Research

We rely on thorough research and solid data to provide world-class counselling. Our in-house team of experts research best practices in counselling so we can always provide meet the needs of the people we serve. We are recognized as a Centre of Excellence in research in the counselling and human services industry.

Our use of Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT) sets us apart and gives us reliable information on outcome measurement that achieves a number of important goals: it helps our clients achieve results, helps us develop more effective programs and helps improve counsellor practice.

We are a leader in North America in the development of domestic abuse prevention and programs. We have research initiatives in areas such as male victims of abuse, eating disorders, self-esteem, depression and the effects of divorce on children.

What We’ve Accomplished

Our 2018 Results


We have been improving lives for over 50 years and our session-by-session measurements have been in place since 2004 . We have been visionaries and pioneers in our field. Our deep-rooted focus on practice-based evidence research has improved results for our clients.

In 2018, 48% of clients improved or recovered based on the OQ 45 (the outcome measure). The benchmark for improvement and recovery is 35%. Significantly better results have been experienced by Calgary Counselling Centre clients, with our results outperforming published benchmarks by 37%.

Another 48% of clients’ emotional and mental well-being stabilized, where the published benchmarks are 57%. Our results outperform this published benchmark by 19%.

Research Collaborators and Projects

We collaborate with many educational institutions and community organizations to expand our research potential and encourage thriving collaborations:

  • RESOLVE Alberta, a tri-prairie research network that coordinates and supports research aimed at ending Domestic Abuse

  • University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work

  • International Centre of Clinical Excellence (ICCE)(Chicago)

  • University of Calgary Mathison Centre for Mental Health Education & Research

  • University of Wisconsin

Project examples:

  • Characteristics of Single Session Clients

  • Counselling Follow-up: Do people maintain their changes over time

  • National Depression Screening Day

  • Trauma Informed Research & Training

Student project examples:

  • Mental Health of Male Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence

  • Effectiveness of Couples Counselling

  • Relationship between Client Characteristics, Outcomes, & Satisfaction

Student opportunities

Join our team of outstanding researchers. We always have opportunities for student projects — undergraduate and graduate practicum placements for students in Social Work, Psychology and Community Health Sciences. We also accept volunteers looking for research experience. Contact us.

Academic Publications

Berzins, S., Babins-Wagner, R. and Hyland, K. (2018), Relationship of employment status and socio-economic factors with distress levels and counselling outcomes during a recession. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. doi:10.1002/capr.12164.

Goldberg SB, Babins-Wagner R, Rousmaniere T, Berzins S, Hoyt WT, Whipple JL, Miller SD, Wampold BE. Creating a climate for therapist improvement: A case study of an agency focused on outcomes and deliberate practice. Psychotherapy. 2016 Sep 1;53(3):367.

Tutty, L., Babins-Wagner, R. (2016). Outcomes and recidivism in mandated batterer intervention before and after introducing a specialized domestic violence court. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Published online first May 3, 2016.

Goldberg, S., Babins-Wagner, R., & Miller, S.D. (in press). Supporting the cycle of excellence at mental health agencies. In, The Cycle of Excellence: Using Deliberate Practice for Supervision, Training, and Career-Long Advancement. (Eds.) Rousmaniere, T.G., Goodyear, R., Miller, S.D., & Wampold, B. London: Wiley Press.

Babins-Wagner, R. FIT in Agency and Clinic Settings. In S. D. Miller & D. Prescott, C. Maeschalck. (Eds.). Reaching for Excellence: Practical Applications of Feedback-Informed Treatment. APA Press. Under Review.

Tutty, L. M., & Babins-Wagner, R. (2016) Strengthening Families: A pilot couples program for intimate partner violence and substance abuse. In T. Augusta-Scott, K. Scott, & L. Tutty (Eds.), Innovations in interventions to address intimate partner violence: Research and practice. New York, NY: Routledge. In press.

Stam, H., Zverina, H., Radtke, L., Babins-Wagner, R. (2016). Discourses of abuse and recovery: Talking about domestic violence and its implications for therapy. In M. O’Reilly and J. Lester. (Eds). The Palgrave Handbook of Adult Mental Health. Chapter 34.

Tutty, L., Babins-Wagner, R., & Rothery, M (2015). You’re Not Alone: Mental Health Outcomes in Therapy Groups of Abused Women. Journal of Family Violence. 31(4), 489-49.

Rousmaniere, T, Swift, J., Babins-Wagner, R., Whipple, J., Berzins, S. Supervisor Effects on Psychotherapy Outcome in Routine Practice. Psychotherapy Research, Online First, October 2014.

Recent Presentations & Conference Papers

Babins-Wagner, R., Berzins, S., & Hyland, K. (2017). Exploring outcomes at a time of Economic Recession. Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Toronto, Ontario. June 22, 2017.

Babins-Wagner, R., Goldberg, S., Rousmaniere, T., Berzins, S., Hoyt. W., Whipple, J., Miller, S.D., Wampold, B. From Outcomes to Impact in Psychotherapy. The Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR). Toronto, Ontario. May 24, 2017.

Berzins, S, Babins-Wagner, R, Hyland,K. Changes in counselling outcomes, distress levels and employment status during an economic recession 30th Annual Sebastian K. Littmann Research Day. March, 2017. Calgary. AB.

Babins-Wagner, R. & Berzins, S. Mental Health Outcomes in Child Welfare. 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress, Calgary, AB. September 2016.

Berzins, S. & Babins-Wagner, R. Implementing Feedback Informed Treatment in Counselling. 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress, Calgary, AB. September 2016.

Babins-Wagner, R. & Berzins, S. From Outcomes to Impact in Child Welfare. The International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN 2016). August 30, 2016. Calgary Alberta.

Babins-Wagner, R. & Berzins, S. Mental Health Counselling Outcomes in Child Welfare. Poster Presentation. The International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN 2016). August 29, 2016. Calgary Alberta.

Babins-Wagner, R., Goldberg, S., Wampold, B., Hoyt, W., Rousmaniere, T., Berzins, S., Whipple, J., Miller. S.D. (2016). Improving Outcomes at the Agency Level. Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Jerusalem, Israel. June 25, 2016.

Babins-Wagner, R., Berzins, S., Lacroix, E. Long term follow up of psychotherapy – An initial study in a naturalistic setting. Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Jerusalem, Israel. June 25, 2016.

Babins-Wagner, R. & Keough, C. Introducing Practice Based Research to Social Work Students and Clinicians. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences & The Canadian Association for Social Work Education. June 1, 2016, Calgary, AB.

Berzins, S., & Babins-Wagner, R. Using Outcome Measures Effectively: Research to Improve Depression Treatment. 2016 Patient Oriented Research Summer Institute. Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. Calgary. AB. May 4, 2016.

Babins-Wagner, R., & Keough, C. Improving Outcomes and Patient Results in Mental Health and Addictions. Alberta Children’s Hospital, Mental Health Services. May 3, 2016.

Truscott, E., Nyman, K., Berzins, S., Babins-Wagner. R. National Depression Screening Day 2015. 29th Annual Sebastian K. Littmann Research Day. March 4, 2016. Calgary. AB.

Babins-Wagner R. From Outcomes to Impact in Mental Health Services. University of Alberta, Department of Psychiatry. Grand Rounds. Edmonton, AB. March 9, 2016.

Babins-Wagner, R. & Berzins, S. Exploring Single Session Attenders at a Counselling Centre. Capturing the Moment 2: Reaching New Heights in Single Session therapy and Walk in Services. Woods Home, Banff Alberta. September 29, 2015.

Babins-Wagner, R. Creating a Community of Practice in Measuring Client Outcomes. 2015 Alberta College of Social Workers Annual Conference. March 28, 2015. Calgary, Alberta

Tutty, L., & Babins-Wagner, R. Strengthening Families: An Evaluation of a Pilot Couples Program for Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Abuse. Poster presentation at the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, Washington, DC. March 14, 2015

Tutty, L. & Babins-Wagner, R. You’re Not Alone: An Evaluation of the Mental Health Outcomes of Therapy Groups for Abused Women. National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, Washington, DC. March 14, 2015.

Berzins, S., Guyn, L., & Babins-Wagner, R. Development of a Signal System for Feedback Informed Treatment. The 28th Annual Sebastian K. Littmann Research Day, University of Calgary, March 14, 2015.

Babins-Wagner, R. From Outcomes to Impact. Calgary Counselling Centre’s Outcome Incubator. Calgary Counselling Centre’s 2014 Outcome Conference. The Ranchmen’s Club. December 4, 2014.

Babins-Wagner, R. The Impact of Counselling in Depression Treatment. Canadian Mental health Association National Conference, Calgary, AB. October 23, 2014.

Babins-Wagner, R. From Outcomes to Impact in the Treatment of Domestic Violence Offenders. The Ending Family Violence: Intervention to Prevention: A Family Violence Research Symposium, Nisku, Alberta. October 15, 2014.

Babins-Wagner, R. From Outcomes to Impact in Depression Treatment. Strategic Clinical Network, Addiction and Mental Health. Alberta Health Services. Calgary, AB. September 15, 2014.

Rousmaniere, T, Swift, J., Babins-Wagner, R., Berzins, S. Supervisor Effects on Psychotherapy Outcome in Routine Practice. American Psychological Association, Psychotherapy Division, 2014 Convention, Washington DC. August 7, 2014.

Rousmaniere, T, Swift, J., Babins-Wagner, R., Berzins, S. Supervisor Effects on Psychotherapy Outcome in Routine Practice. 10th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Clinical Supervision. Adelphi University, School of Social Work, Garden City, New York. June 11-13, 2014.

Babins-Wagner, R. Child Welfare Outcomes in Counselling Practice. 2014 Joining Together: An International Child Maltreatment Conference. Calgary, Alberta, May 4-7, 2014.

Babins-Wagner, R. Child Welfare Outcomes in Counselling Practice. Strengthening and Building Connections within Child and Family Research, Policy and Practice: A Child Intervention Research Forum. Alberta Government. Edmonton Alberta. May 1, 2014.