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Template:Primarysources In the UK counselling is not under statutory regulation, but for the past several years UK counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists have been being consulted by the government over the issue of statutory regulation in the field. Government publications suggest that if or when statutory regulation happens, practicing counsellors will need to be able to prove that they meet the national occupational standards that are being developed by the Skills for Health consultation and exploration to be allowed onto a state register under the auspices of the Health Professions Council, which is totally independent of any professional body[1].

Some have suggested that ultimately state regulation may increase the costs and decrease the availability of counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to the client, whilst failing to protect the public from inappropriate practitioners (as these may be found in other State-regulated professions).

The British Association For Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

The main UK counselling organization is the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). It grew from the Standing Conference for the Advancement of Counselling, a grouping of organisations inaugurated in 1970 at the instigation of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Membership was extended to include individuals when in 1977, with the aid of a grant from the Home Office Voluntary Service Unit, the British Association for Counselling was founded. In 1978 the headquarters was moved from London to Rugby courtesy of the National Marriage Guidance Council which provided free accommodation to help the association establish itself.

In September 2000, the Association recognised that it no longer represented just counselling, but also psychotherapy. It changed its name to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). BACP is now the largest and broadest body within the sector with approximately 26,000 individual members. BACP participates in the development of counselling and psychotherapy at an international level.

BACP is recognized by most health providers and has a membership of several thousand, however some counsellors are put off the organization by its perceived restrictive procedures and expensive accreditation routes and hence they join one of the smaller but less recognized organizations such as the Counselling Society, Counselling Charity (CCC) or the Association of Christian Counsellors etc.

Other UK Counselling Organizations

COSCA (Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland)

Cosca is a professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, COSCA seeks to advance all forms of counselling and psychotherapy and the use of counselling skills.

According to the organizations website COSCA’s aims are to increase accessibility to counselling and psychotherapy, develop ethically-based professional standards and quality assurance for counselling, psychotherapy and the use of counselling skills, increase access to training and information on counselling, psychotherapy and counselling skills, deliver a range of services that meet the needs of the counselling and psychotherapy field, provide opportunities for sharing knowledge, experience and resources for the advancement of counselling, psychotherapy and the use of counselling skills in Scotland.[2]

The Counselling Society

The Counselling Society is one of a number of UK counselling professional organizations. According to the introduction on their website in 2007, the Counselling Society launched a campaign by contacting every UK MP, Peer and other national stakeholder via Blake’s Parliamentary Yearbook.[3] To propose a criminal offence of “abuse by a healthcare professional” which would include counsellors, as a matter of public safety. This would give courts powers to ban abusive counsellors from practising.

The Fellowship of Eclectic Talking Therapists

According to the introduction on their main website the Fellowship of Eclectic Talking Therapists is a small independent UK based professional body for ethical counsellors, and hypnotherapists who practice in an eclectic way (that is using techniques from various therapy approaches as best suits the client).[4] The FETT promotes awareness that counselling and hypnotherapy are both art and science and that the personal qualities of the counsellor or hypnotherapist are of importance in the therapy. The Fellowship was founded as a non-bureaucratic membership organization to spread understandings of eclectic counselling and hypnotherapy. It is one of a number of smaller organizations in the UK that have a less formal modus operandi than the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, which has sometimes been accused of over-regulation of its members (others include the Counselling Society and the Human Givens Institute).

The Human Givens Institute

According to their main page the Human Givens Institute (HGI) is a membership organization and resource open to anyone wishing to support the new school of psychology known as the human givens approach. [5]

The Survivors Trust

According to the introduction on their main website The Survivors Trust is a national umbrella agency for over 125 specialist voluntary sector agencies throughout the UK and Ireland providing a range of counselling, therapeutic and support services working with women, men and children who are victims/survivors of rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse[6].The organisation aims to offer a national collective voice to support and empower survivor groups, to educate and inform acknowledgment of and response to sexual abuse on a local and national level[7].


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