Some people may not be fully aware of the important work undertaken by the Psychological Therapies Forum or of its role in developing standards in counselling and psychotherapy in Ireland. Perhaps this is because most of its work is undertaken as a professional network of counselling and psychotherapy associations, but in truth it is one of the most influential groups involved in counselling and psychotherapy in Ireland today. The PTF membership comprises professional bodies who have all dedicated themselves to the concept and process if achieving proper professional regulation in Ireland. The group which meets on a regular basis was responsible for the submission to government of a paper recommending professional standards in 2008.
Central to their proposals was the belief that counselling and psychotherapy should be represented at two differing levels in any regulatory process. In the proposed standards that have now been developed by QQI (and which are currently in the process of public consultation) the main tenants of original 2008 document are endorsed. In developing their proposal in 2008, the main professional bodies provided the imprimatur for what is about to take place. For many of the professional bodies involved in the PTF this will require changes from them. In some cases these changes may be quite significant but the prise of a properly regulated group of professions and the protection of the public is one that cannot be overstated.
The upcoming move to statutory regulation will raise the issue of grand-parenting for those counsellors and psychotherapist who do not have the formal qualifications to register as such and the role of the PTF in informing this process will be crucial.Download the Submission on The Statutory Registration of Counsellors & Psychotherapists in IrelandRegulation Submission 2007 below.