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Cultural Barriers to Counselling - November 15
Update on Counselling Regulation - November 2013
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Synergie welcomes plans to set up a Compulsory Register for Counsellors.
To practise as a doctor in the NHS you must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and hold a licence. If a complaint is made, the GMC will investigate and take action – which may lead to the doctor being struck off.
However, there are no such rules for counsellors or psychotherapists. In theory, anyone can advertise themselves as a counsellor. There is no official register, no government-approved watchdog.
Fortunately, there are safety mechanisms in place. At Synergie, for example, all our counsellors are members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).
BACP supports its members through education and training, and by providing a set of ethical and professional guidelines that its members agree to follow.
The important point is that, at present, registration with an organisation such as BACP is voluntary – it is not required by law.
This could change shortly. The government is looking to make it compulsory that all counsellors and psychotherapists must be registered and approved by an official governing body.
We at Synergie are in favour of a register because it will make it illegal for poorly trained or unsupervised counsellors to practice. Synergie will sign up to this register as soon as it is announced. In the meantime, we can assure anyone seeking counselling at Synergie that all our counsellors follow guidelines set by the BACP, which also helps to maintain counselling standards by holding a voluntary register for counsellors.
These guidelines include:
Respecting confidentiality.
  • Always seeking the client’s well-being and psychological health.
  • Helping the client to find their own way in life, rather than imposing advice.
  • Working with sensitivity and empathy.
  • Being honest, speaking with clarity, and interacting with you in a helpful and straightforward manner.
  • Providing opportunities to comment on our service so that, in the unlikely event, any concerns you have will be addressed immediately by the Synergie centre manager, with the involvement of BACP if necessary.
Government-sanctioned regulation of counselling is on its way. Meanwhile, Synergie is already committed to providing the high quality of service that legal regulation will enforce.
If you have any questions about this or any other matter, please get in touch. You can phone 01895 254660 or email:-

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