What is a Registered Counsellor?
Everyone knows about psychologists, social workers and doctors but what about registered counsellors?
As a registered counsellor, we provide short-term counselling, working with clients current difficulties. We work with groups and individuals to examine their thoughts, emotions and behaviours in order to increase personal awareness and self-confidence, decreasing the need for longer-term or more intensive counselling in the future. Registered Counsellors cannot, according to their scope of practice, diagnose pathology or prescribe any medication.
A Registered Counsellor is a highly trained mental health professional, also called a psychological practitioner. In order to obtain this qualification and register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), one needs to complete an accredited 4 year Bachelor of Psychology degree (or an equivalent Psychology Honours), as well as 720 hours of practical work (internship) under the supervision of a Psychologist. Following this, one needs to have passed a board exam with HPCSA with a minimum of 70%.
The role of the Registered Counsellor is to make psychological services accessible to the diverse South African population and to provide psychological and preventative interventions that focus on support and promote the enhancement of well-being in community contexts. This includes individuals, families, groups, communities and excludes psychotherapeutic intervention.
Registered Counsellors differ from other categories of psychology in that their primary function is to prevent, promote, intervene, and appropriately refer. Their primary role at a preventative and promotional level involves screening and engaging early and appropriate levels of intervention.