For many clients, a good counselling session can be tremendously powerful. Through sessions, they can heal from past trauma, gain a deeper understanding of themselves, and develop healthy coping mechanisms and habits to use in their daily lives.
There is, however, an unfortunate wrinkle present in British Columbia’s counselling industry. Anyone may call themselves a counsellor, regardless of training or credentials. Given the delicate nature of the work performed by counsellors, this is a shortcoming in need of addressing.
One organization, The Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in British Columbia (FACTBC) has set itself the task of advocating for provincial legislation. Thanks to its industry clout and resources, it is a body that exerts a strong influence on the industry, and your future career.
Here is why this organization is so important.
FACTBC Is a Force for Industry Legislation of Individuals in Professional Counselling Careers
At present in British Columbia, a lack of government legislation serves to muddy the waters of the professional counselling space. According to Vancouver Coastal Health, “There are multiple professional organizations that register counsellors and therapists, but there is no overriding provincial licensing body. That means anyone can call themselves a therapist, counsellor, spiritual healer or such.” (Vancouver Coastal Health, n.d.).
For clients hoping to ensure their care is delivered to a high standard of effectiveness and professionalism, and for legitimate professionals eager for proper recognition of their skill, this presents a problem. FACTBC hopes to address this problem by acquiring provincial approval for an organization dedicated to oversight. In an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun, FACTBC chairman Glenn Grigg stated that this would be “A new, self-regulating body which would set regulations, ethical standards, and hold disciplinary powers” and would operate separately from FACTBC as it currently exists (Grigg, G., 2016, May 1).
This ruling would have an immediate and lasting impact on your professional counsellor career. Your recognized training in counselling could qualify you to practice within the new, legislated environment—one that would be populated only by professionals who also have proper credentials.
FACTBC Is an Umbrella Organization Comprised of Many Influential Bodies
In its mission to bring greater clarity and security to the world of counselling, FACTBC has acquired the support and membership of a number of important bodies within the diverse world of counselling and therapy. This includes the Canadian Addiction Counsellor Certification Federation, the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, the Canadian Professional Counselling Association, and several other important groups. Combined, the organizations within FACTBC account for membership numbers in the thousands (FACTBC, n.d.). This coalition provides a valuable pool of knowledge from which a future regulatory body can be created.
Your Professional Counsellor Training Provides You With Credentials to Join a Professional Organization Today
Though there are no legislated bodies responsible for overseeing counselling professionals in British Columbia today, many professional counsellors can and do apply for membership within FACTBC’s membership groups. For instance, the Professional Counsellor Diploma program at Rhodes Wellness College is accredited by the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association, which means graduates can apply for membership to that organization and receive the designation of “Registered Professional Counsellor” after graduation.
Membership offers a number of benefits, including access to annual conferences, professional development webinars, the ability to do third party billing, insurance, codes of ethics and other valuable assets that are of great value to members (Canadian Professional Counsellors Association, n.d.). In addition, there are community benefits to consider: “Professional organizations allow for a congregation of intelligent, like-minded professionals that are immersed in the inner workings of the industry to gather and provide participants with access to a variety of opinions and ideas” (Curtis, G, n.d.). Organizations such as these carry a level of prestige that can help new counsellors establish themselves within the industry.
Do you want to become a recognized counsellor in BC?
Contact Rhodes Wellness College to begin professional counsellor training!
Canadian Professional Counsellors Association. (n.d.). Membership Benefits. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from https://www.cpca-rpc.ca/membership-benefits~.aspx
Counselling Directory. (n.d.). What is counselling? Retrieved November 22, 2017, from http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/what-is-counselling.html
Curtis, G. (n.d.). Financial Professionals: The Benefits Of Joining An Association. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from https://www.investopedia.com/articles/financialcareers/06/professionalorganization.asp
FACTBC. (n.d.). Member Associations. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from http://www.factbc.org/member-associations/
Grigg, G. (2016, May 1). Opinion: We need a B.C. College of Counselling Therapists. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from http://vancouversun.com/opinion/opinion-we-need-a-b-c-college-of-counselling-therapists
Vancouver Coastal Health. (n.d.). Regulating Counselling. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/regulating-counselling