A GoodTherapy.org News Update
The idea of government regulation of mental health professions, especially where therapy is concerned, has long been an issue of considerable contention for those in the practice. Laws, paperwork, and the stress that can often accompany either are widely variable throughout the country and the world, where in many places the rules have been relatively loose for quite some time. One such place is the Canadian province of Quebec, where regulations have been remarkably lax for years, as legislation to introduce official control was tabled during the dissolution of the National Assembly in 2007. But this modern, urban, and bustling region is getting ready to embrace the benefits –as well as the setbacks– of regulation for the mental health industry.
One of the key concerns serving as an impetus for the introduction of regulation in the area has been the fact that anyone, regardless of background or qualification, is able to market themselves to potential clients as a “psychotherapist.” With many untrained individuals passing off their amateur, or agenda-driven work as professional psychotherapy, local therapists have noted that clients have often found it difficult to navigate the sea of advertisements and assurances.
Under the new laws, only those professionals with the proper licensing as psychologists, social workers, doctors, family and educational counselors and so on will be able to retain the title of “psychotherapist.” All of those wishing to present the title must also have a post-graduate degree. Legislators, as well as local professionals, hope that these measures will help ensure that Quebec’s psychotherapy clients are able to make informed and confident decisions when it comes to finding a therapist. Though working with regulation can be a frustrating process as professionals toil to fit the imposed mold, the overall winners in the scheme –the clients– are bound to find it worthwhile.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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