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Regulation in B.C.

BACKGROUND

We are grateful for the hard work and lobbying of many counselling organizations, including all that are represented by FACT BC, of which we are part of through the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA) and the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT). The hard work that has gone on for years to advocate for regulation is finally paying off. The B.C. provincial government has finally begun the process towards regulating psychotherapy. 

Consultation begins to designate psychotherapy as a regulated health profession.”

WHAT DO WE NEED YOU TO DO?

The government needs to hear from you by the end of June 24th on why you feel that counselling should not be just academic-based and require a master’s degree as the only educational pathway. 

They need to also hear that a practitioner-based model practiced by Rhodes Wellness College, Stenberg College, and other tenured quality colleges, is on par with many master’s programs for effective mastery of skills and practice in psychotherapy and counselling, and very effectively prepares graduates to help clients with diverse and complex emotional and mental health needs.

If you would like to write a letter outlining why you think it is important for the Government of B.C. to consider the route that Rhodes prescribes: that diploma programs that are as long and thorough as Rhodes Wellness College should qualify individuals, along with supervision following graduation, to practice as registered psychotherapists in the province…

then please write a letter to that effect and email it no later than June 24th, 2024 to the attention of the Ministry of Health of B.C., to the following email:

PROREGADMIN@gov.bc.ca

If you would like to see some sample letters, please see:

Sample Letter to Minister Dix (short version for current students) or

Sample Letter to Minister Dix (short version for alumni) or

Sample Letter to Minister Dix (longer version for alumni) or

**When you click on the links above, the sample letters will be downloaded on your computer in a Word format. For PDF versions, see the “Supporting Document” section below.

If you would like to send us your letter to briefly proof it for errors prior to you sending it out, please send it to: regulationsupport@rhodescollege.ca and one of our directors or staff members will review it and send it back to you with suggestions or comments..

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A VERY DETAILED EXPLANATION, SEE: 

Rhodes Wellness College’s position on potential Psychotherapy Regulation in BC

More information:

FACT B.C. PURPOSE AND EXPLANATION

B.C. GOVERNMENT’S CONSULTATION ON PSYCHOTHERAPY

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

          ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS AND UNDERSTANDINGS:

          While any change in policies related to the area of study or industry you are in can be nerve-wracking, it is crucial to remember a few things: 

          1) Regulation of counselling is a good thing. It helps protect professionals in counselling and the general public.

          2) Although nothing is guaranteed (don’t they say that about everything?), it is important to look at this logically. Graduates already practicing as Registered Professional Counsellors will likely be grand-parented into whatever system is constructed. That is what occurred in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, where Registered Professional Counsellors were welcomed into the respective new regulatory colleges that governments formed. Some had to do additional coursework and some required additional supervision, but a pathway was available for almost all Registered Professional Counsellors and many Registered Therapeutic Counsellors. This is what we expect will occur in both Alberta and B.C. as they get closer to regulation, regardless of how they construct it.

          3) It will likely take a few years (or more) to implement all steps necessary for a regulatory college to be in force and to take effect in B.C. or Alberta, according to many, including the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. This means that although just as we explained above that there is no guarantee, both graduates AND current students are likely going to be ok, with a pathway to practice.

          4) EVERYWHERE in Canada where regulation exists, regulation is based on title regulation and protection. No jurisdiction has implemented industry-wide protection disabling any kind of therapy – other than within the scope of the title they decided to create and regulate. This is because the scope of counselling and therapy is too wide for most governments to be able to regulate every aspect adequately and in an exhaustive way.

          What this means is that even when regulation is enacted, graduates have been able to still become Registered Professional Counsellors (which is a title that the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association own) and practice legally as RPC’s with some limitations. When they come across clients who are beyond their scope of practice, they refer out. 

          Ontario and Quebec both publish a significant list of activities that counsellors, that are not part of their regulatory colleges, can perform that falls outside the scope of their regulated title of Psychotherapists. Ontario stated prior to creating the CRPO that they identified over 70 applications of the word “counsellor” which is one of the reasons they decided not to regulate that word.

          FUTURE REGULATION IN B.C.

          We know that the BC government wants to regulate the title “Psychotherapists.” This is likely good news for those that do not want to become psychotherapists and instead want to just practice as a wellness counsellor, RPC’s, etc. because usually, the term indicates a scope that is more focused on clinical application of therapies related to helping others with mental health disorders (in addition to general counselling). 

          So far:

          • where regulations exists, as long as individuals have not attempted to portray themselves as an individual with a designated and protected title, and
          • as long as they have not ventured too far into more psychological/psychiatric counselling and honoured the regulating act in the jurisdiction they practice in…

          …they have been able to practice as Registered Professional Counsellors.

          In summary, we do not want any student or graduate to worry unnecessarily. Understanding how to work with regulation is important -of course. Most importantly, we feel there is an opportunity in front of us right now; there is a chance that we can influence things so that just like Ontario, diploma programs can be accepted as sufficient to meet educational standards that will meet the government’s criterion for psychotherapy in B.C., providing they are taught at a certain level and contain sufficient content. We believe that in this scenario, Rhodes Wellness College will have a bona fide chance to become an approved education organization if regulation provides for this.

          PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL IMPLEMENTING THIS SAME LETTER/EMAIL WRITING CAMPAIGN FOR ALBERTA OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS

          Let’s make a difference together!

          Sincerely,


          Ben Colling, MA Leadership
          President
          Rhodes Wellness College

          • PCTIA
          • EQA
          • Imagine
          • CPCA
          • ACCT

          • PCTIA
          • EQA
          • Imagine
          • CPCA
          • ACCT

          Rhodes Wellness College is regulated by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

          Designated B.C. Private Training Institutions Branch & Shield Design mark is a certification mark owned by the Government of British Columbia and used under licence. To view our college’s PTIB “Designation Certificate”, please click here