Press Release

Minister Tim O’Malley opens Symposium on Statutory Registration for Psychotherapists and Counsellors organised by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for mental health, today (10th November 2005) opened a symposium on issues relating to statutory registration for psychotherapists and counsellors. The symposium was organised by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Its focus was on issues where common ground between the organisations representing psychotherapy and counselling needs to be achieved. This included issues such as professional practice, common standards concerning fitness to practice, training and continuing professional development.

The Minister said that counselling and psychotherapy can be of tremendous assistance to people dealing with difficult issues in life. Considering the important role that such professionals play in their dealings with vulnerable people, the Minister believed that the future regulation of such professionals would be welcomed as an important step in the protection of the public.

The Minister spoke about the Health and Social Care Professionals Bill which provides for the initial statutory registration of 12 selected health and social care professions but also provides for the addition of further professions in the future. The Minister stated that “through statutory registration, members of the public are guided, protected and informed, so that they can be confident that health and social care professionals providing services are properly qualified, competent and fit to practice.”

It is envisaged that any future regulation of the psychotherapy and counselling professions would be done through the provisions of this Bill.