Counselling Legislation in BC (A Brief History)

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Sheldon Bilsker, HT, RCC is the Director and founder of Orca Institute, Canada's longest running hypnotherapy school. You can contact him at 604-808-3703.

Over the years many aspiring hypnotherapists and students have asked me about hypnotherapy legislation or lack of relating to their ability to practice in their location. This issue can be quite complex considering that each province and state is responsible for making its own legislation. In part 1 of this article, I’d like to focus on legislation in British Columbia, Canada. I’m starting here not just because I am based here but also because of the interesting history and progression of dedicated practitioners to create new and innovative legislation in the province relating to counselling in the broad sense of the term [hypnotherapy included].
 
A Brief History
 
In 1997 the task group for counsellor regulation was formed. Their mandate was to determine if the various stakeholders in the counselling field in BC should come under the umbrella of the Health Professions Act. Their decision based on a variety of factors was not to take action at that time. It was disappointing but only enhance the willingness of the stakeholder groups to move forward.
 
Core Competency Profile
 
A task group was formed in various projects were worked on including the counselling therapists competency profile, an important document outlining all of the minimum core competencies for an entry-level counselling practitioner. This was significant in that it was possibly the first time regulation was proposed in the counselling field which did not include an academic degree requirement. Hypnotherapy practitioners, for the most part, applauded the core competency profile. However, the next and hardest step would be to convince the BC government to effect legislation based on this proposal.
 
 Fact BC
 
FactBC (Federation of Associations for Counselling Therapists in British Columbia]’s is a Society of professional associations that represent counsellors and therapists practising throughout BC. It was formed in 2014. Our Group the International Association of Counselling Hypnotherapists has recently applied to be a member of FACT BC.
Through FACTBC we are hoping that future legislation relating to hypnotherapy and counselling, in general, is not far off.
 
I will continue to post updates as I get them, here.
Update: What a College of Counsellors in BC might look like.
 
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Friday, 28 January 2022