It’s now easier than ever for Canadians to connect with skilled competency-based counsellors – the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists (ACCT) of Canada recently launched a new directory on acctcounsellor.com.
“The new directory helps clients narrow their search for a counsellor by speciality, whether they’re looking for help with addiction, grief and loss, etc., and by location,” says Susan Derry, ACCT’s current Vice-President of the Board. “This means that it is now easier for our growing membership of Canadian counsellors and potential clients to connect. Plus, the directory is search engine friendly, giving ACCT counsellors a better presence online.”
The launch of the new directory coincides with the second anniversary of ACCT’s inception. ACCT began setting down its roots in August of 2013. Over the past two years it has grown in size to over 230 members across Canada, covering a variety of counselling disciplines.
“ACCT’s steady growth over its first two years shows that counsellors are looking to join an association that they feel is in alignment with core counselling values of cooperation, integrity and transparency,” says current board President, Joanie Tara. “Counsellors want to have a say in how their professional association is run, and many enjoy the more hands-on involvement and having a say in how the cooperative is managed and how funds are spent.”
With its head office in Vancouver, BC, ACCT welcomes members across the country. Although currently most members are in BC, it also has a strong presence in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Others in the industry say its growth is consistent with overall industry trends.
“The counselling industry continues to expand as the stigma attached to seeking help has lessened in our society,” says Catherine O’Kane, Senior Education Administrator with Clearmind International Institute, which offers innovative educational and psychotherapeutic programs. “We have noticed a significant increase in our counsellor training program and personal development workshop numbers in the last several years. Professional organizations such as ACCT provide an essential service in ensuring quality of service for the public.”
ACCT was born out of the desire to offer a home to counsellors across Canada who demonstrate competency and excellence in the counselling profession. It’s focus on competency-based counselling differentiates it from many other associations – ACCT’s requirements focus on the development of relevant qualities in counselling through practice and supervision, rather than basing them solely on academic performance.
The concept of a cooperative added an extra layer of inclusivity and accountability to the new association – according to Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, it is the first community service co-operative for counsellors in the country.
“The ideas of transparency, counsellors supporting counsellors, striving for excellence and creating a community of counsellor were highly valued,” says Derry.
Heading into its third year, ACCT’s focus is to continue growing its membership across Canada, expanding its reach by continuing to build a community of counsellors and connecting the public with excellent counsellors. It will host its second Annual General Meeting in late September.
For more information check out acctcounsellor.com.
About the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada
ACCT is a professional association for counsellors, registered in BC. It’s vision is to create a community of registered counsellors who, working together, will support each other to enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the professional development of competent counsellors, advancing the practice of competency-based counselling and nourishing respect for human dignity and diversity.