Urgent Action: If You Live in Alberta, We Need Your Help to Regulate the Counselling Therapy Profession

Do You Know That Anyone in Alberta can Call Themselves a Counsellor or Therapist?

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When you or someone you love is in need of mental health or addiction support, where do you go? Your state or province may regulate addiction professionals. In my home province of Alberta, addiction professionals are not yet regulated.

Regulation of counselling may not seem important, but when you see a counsellor you may not know whether they have years of schooling and supervision or whether they have just left rehab. When we are in need of support, we look to our therapist for help and trust what they say. This can make each of us vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

Unethical marketing practices can take advantage of vulnerable patients and families in desperate need of medical treatment and care.

Most of the programs and therapists within the recovery and counselling sectors offer professional, supportive care. Unfortunately some do not. People can be hurt because of unethical, and even dangerous practices:

  • Misrepresentation or misleading you about their credentials or experience.
  • Enticing you to purchase services through misleading or inaccurate testimonials and statistics.
  • Over billing or other unethical business practices.
  • Violation of your privacy, not ensuring your confidentiality.
  • Lack of professional or personal boundaries.

If you live in Alberta, I urge you to take action to support the regulation of counsellors.

We Need Your Help:

Did you know that anyone in Alberta can call themselves a Counsellor or Therapist? This can lead to harmful consequences such as: lack of boundaries between the Counselling Therapist and the client, breach of privacy, incompetency in the counselling, or poor business or pricing practices. Any and all of these risks can create significant harms to those seeking help and can have lasting negative effects on the patients’ mental health.

There is an urgent need to regulate the counselling therapy profession in Alberta. Time is running out for these important changes to happen in the legislature. Click the link below to send a letter to your MLA and the Health Ministers. It takes 30 seconds to fill in your information. Pass along to your network. The more letters, the more likely the Government will listen. Mental health impacts approximately 1 in 5 Canadians a year, and it’s essential that those who need help receive the best possible care, and regulation of the counselling profession will move us closer to that goal.

Click photo to send a letter to your MLA and the Health Ministers:

About FACT-Alberta

The Federation of Associations of Counselling Therapists in Alberta (or FACT-Alberta) represents over 3,500 mental health and addictions practitioners in Alberta. We are committed and determined to protect Albertans by pressuring the Alberta Government to regulate our profession. We strongly believe that by regulating our profession, we can reduce harm to the public while maximizing the wellbeing of our patients, making sure that unlicensed therapists do not have the right to call themselves Therapists.

The counselling profession is already regulated in 4 provinces in Canada and all 50 states in the United States. Regulation of the counselling profession in Alberta will provide the necessary accountability to protect vulnerable people who seek counselling services. It will have a broad and meaningful impact on the health and wellbeing of Albertans and merits the full commitment of government to move forward.

For more information, please visit our website: www.fact-alberta.org 

Photos: FACT-AB and Flikr Creative Commons Marjolein Irene Schuit


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