What is a Registered Counsellor?

“Registered Counsellor” is a fairly new term in South Africa. Thus, many people do not fully understand the qualifications needed to be one, or the roles that they play and services that they are able to offer.

There is a great need for affordable primary health care services in South Africa. The category of Registered Counsellor was created in response to this need. The focus of the profession is on prevention, promotion of primary psychosocial wellbeing, and community based care.

How do you become a Registered Counsellor?

To become a Registered Counsellor, one needs to have completed 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 the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) with a minimum of 70%.

Thus, a Registered Counsellor is a highly trained mental health professional.

Registered Counsellors cannot, according to their scope of practice, diagnose pathology or prescribe any medicinal treatments. Personally, I do not believe in doing any of those anyway. We provide short-term, solution-focused counselling, working with your 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.

In addition, Registered Counsellors are trained in community development in order to assist communities who are unable to afford or access more expensive healthcare services. Our focus lies in empowering individuals and communities, health promotion, awareness raising, and prevention.

For more information please feel free to contact me.