PACFA Resources for Students
Thinking about Studying Counselling or Psychotherapy?
If you are thinking of a career in counselling or psychotherapy, you may well be confused with the plethora of courses on offer.
Remember that the profession of counselling and psychotherapy is not regulated by law and therefore there is not one course or qualification you need in order to be recognised as a professional in this field.
PACFA was formed with the intention of unifying the various professional associations already in existence in 1998 and of incorporating new ones that emerged later and that met the stringent ethical, structural and training requirements established by PACFA. As an umbrella organisation, it has set a minimum training standard that all of its member associations have agreed to comply with.
That means that if you are wanting to come under the PACFA umbrella, you will need to study a course that meets the PACFA Professional Training Standards, and is recognised by the PACFA Member Association you wish to join.
The PACFA Professional Training Standards include the following criteria:
A Postgraduate Equivalent qualification over a minimum of two years, 200 hours of person-to-person psychotherapy and/or counselling training and 50 hours of supervision relating to 200 hours of client contact. A minimum of 10 hours of supervision relating to 40 client contact hours must have been taken place within the training program (These 10 hours are part of the 50 hours of supervision).
An Undergraduate Equivalent qualification of 350 hours person-to-person training in counselling and or psychotherapy and 50 hours of supervision relating to 200 hours of client contact. This must be over a minimum of three years. A minimum of 10 hours of supervision relating to 40 client contact hours must have taken place within the training program These 10 hours are part of the 50 hours of supervision).
The important point to note is these are equivalent undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications. It does not mean training needs to be completed at a university. You should look at the list of member associations and see which one(s) you would be likely to want to join, given your location and modality of work. You should contact the association with the details provided and speak directly with them about your longer term goals and the course(s) you are considering with that in mind. The Member Association should be able to advise you whether the course you are considering is recognized by them for full membership.
Once you are a member of one of the Member Associations, and have gained sufficient further training and experience, you can consider applying for registration on the PACFA National Register. For more information on the Register and its eligibility requirements, click here.
For further information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.
Accrediting Training Courses
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