July 2018 Print


Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Professional Education

October 12 – 13, 2018

Focusing on the theme of ‘Let's Get Practical’, this one and a half-day conference will include guest speakers and professional development sessions centering on hands-on tools and all things practical to help ACCT counsellors grow themselves and their practices. 

We are excited to announce our guest speakers and professional development line up:

Bernadine Fox will be our opening keynote speaker and PD session leader on Friday afternoon.  Bernadine will bring awareness to the issue of predatory therapists, doctors, and The Abuse of Power.

Comedian, Matt Turner, will join us for dinner on Friday night and will be our after-dinner entertainment.

A big thanks to those members who responded to our RFP for presenters. We have an excellent line up of professional development sessions planned.

To see what's in store, check out our the proposed Conference Agenda.

Registration is open! We have a variety of conference packages available to give you, our members, the ability to attend as much or as little as you choose.

Early Bird Price Extended!!

Register for The Whole Shebang BEFORE August 15, 2018, at the EARLY BIRD PRICE of $175.00 to be entered into a draw to receive $100 towards your registration. Winning the draw would mean a cost of only $75.00 for the entire weekend! 

We hope you will support your association by joining us for this year's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Professional Education. It will be a great opportunity to network with fellow members, make new connections and connect with old friends.

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful volunteers on our board of directors, committees and teams. We could not do this without you!


We are pleased to welcome Ange Frymire Fleming to the ACCT Board of Directors.  Ange is entering her final year as a student at Clearmind and has over 30 years of business experience.

To find out more about Ange and the rest of your Board, please click here to be redirected to the Board of Directors page on the website. 

If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors please email Susan Derry at, letting us know of your interest. In your e-mail, please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you believe you may bring to the board.


A special thank you goes out to our Membership Team volunteers. In the first six months of 2018, they have helped to process the same amount of applications as we had for the entire year in 2017!  Way to go team...Heather Kristenson, Stephanie Holland, Jane Jewitt, Kate Brodie and Geoff Clarke. And a big high five to Shannon and Mike for their part. It's been a very busy few months at ACCT.

We would like to thank Diane Auld for her contribution as Chair of the Ethics Committee for the past five years, even though we have welcomed a new Chair, Diane has generously agreed to stay on as a committee member. Thanks, Diane your insight and expertise on all things "ethical" it is much appreciated.

Welcome to the new Chair of the Ethics Committee, Geoff Clarke. Geoff lives in Saint John, NB and is an MTC specializing in relational counselling, anger management, crisis intervention and life skill development.

Welcome to the Team Geoff!

We'd also like to thank the other members of our Ethics Committee, past and present, for their contributions. Current members of the Ethics Committee include Brett Haughian (who has been on the Ethics Committee since its inception), Dean Pilkey and Diane Auld. Past Ethics Committee members include Ozzie Kaban and Darrin Taylor.

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New RTC Criteria effective July 1, 2018

The ACCT Board of Directors approved new registration criteria to ensure that Registered Therapeutic Counsellors entering the field hold a minimum level of competency which is in alignment with the FACT BC competency profile as well as industry standards that have been established by Provincial Colleges and Associations.


Educational/Training Criteria

Have attained a minimum of 360 hours of education and skills development training in applied counselling including training in the following topic areas:

  • Basic Counselling Skills including clinical assessment
  • Individual, Couples, Family and Group counselling methods
  • Trauma and Abuse
  • Counselling ethics and Ethical practice
  • Models of Therapy
  • Effective use of self
  • Human Development including Psychopathology/Abnormal Psychology and DSM

Direct Client Contact Hours

Have attained a minimum of 200 direct client contact hours under clinical supervision conducted within the last five years.

Definition of Direct Client Contact- Direct client contact (DCC) is any activity in which the client and the therapist are directly and formally engaged in the psychotherapeutic process. Ordinarily, this process occurs face-to-face, but other forms of direct contact, for example, using the telephone, Skype, video-link, or even email (with appropriate considerations for privacy and confidentiality) are relevant. The client may be an individual, couple, family or group.

Also included in direct client contact are:

  • interviewing for intake, as long as this activity is clinical in nature and then used to determine the nature and course of the therapy;
  • interviewing, administering a test or conducting a formal assessment as part of a clinical interaction with the client; and
  • facilitating or actively co-facilitating therapeutic sessions.

The following are not considered direct client contact:

  • practice and role plays conducted within an educational/training program
  • observing therapy without actively participating or providing follow-up to the client immediately after the observed session;
  • record-keeping;
  • administrative activities, including report-writing;
  • conducting a psychometric assessment that primarily involves administering, scoring and report-writing, with little or no clinical -interaction with the client; and
  • providing or receiving clinical or other forms of supervision.

Note: A standard 45 or 50-minute session qualifies as one hour of DCC.

New Registered Therapeutic Counsellor – Candidate/Accredited Counsellor- Candidate - RTCc/ACc Designation 

These new designations came into effect on July 1, 2018. This category of membership is for those graduates who have satisfied the educational/training requirements for registration as an RTC/AC and have attained a minimum of 100 direct client contact hours but have not yet attained the required direct client contact hours for registration as an RTC/AC.

RTCc/ACcs status shall not exceed 2 years. The RTCc/ACc is entitled to receive professional liability insurance through the ACCT group plan and offer therapeutic counselling at a reduced rate of no more than 70% of the industry rate for the counsellor’s particular geographical area, per session. The RTCc must be under direct supervision.

In order for an RTCc/ACc to become registered as a RTC, the member shall complete an Advance to RTC application and will need to upload a letter of reference from a clinical supervisor that can validate that the required number of direct client contact hours for RTC have been attained and can attest to the counsellor’s readiness and ability to enter the counselling profession.

ACCT to Introduce Late Renewal Administration Fee

The objective of the Lapsed Registration policy is to outline the process for maintaining good standing status and the penalties for non-compliance.

Registration will be considered lapsed when a member fails to meet all of the association’s requirements for renewal—payment of professional fees and meeting any other requirements set out by the association to remain a member in good standing (PD and Supervision reports, proof of current liability insurance).

Members will receive regular notifications and reminders of the requirements to keep their good standing status. Members will be granted a grace period of 30 days following their renewal date to satisfy their renewal requirements. If a member has not satisfied their renewal requirements within the 30 day grace period, he/she will no longer be in good standing and an administration fee of $75 will be levied against the member.

It is important to keep your membership in good standing as it is expected that counselling association members who have been registered and have been members in good standing for at least 24 months before the colleges commence will be 'ported' into the new colleges, assuming they meet all other requirements.

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Being the Informed Voice of Reason

We counsellors are a special breed of unique beings doing sacred business. Our uniqueness comes from us as individuals and from work we do. We provide space for people to bring all kinds of challenges, situations, problems, and issues to a place where they can be listened to, really listened to. We share very little of our personal “stuff”, as it’s all about the client. I know I’m telling you what you already know. This is the sacred trust we are given and from an ethics point of view, we are to hold and honour this trust.

In the ACCT Code of Ethics under Ethical Principals, you will find six points, four of which emphasize this trust.

  • Responsible Caring
    Being proactive in promoting the client’s best interests
  • Integrity
    Honouring commitments to clients and maintaining integrity in the counselling relationship
  • Do No Harm
    Refraining from actions that risk harm
  • Fairness
    Respecting the dignity and just treatment of all persons

Recently I had a conversation with a colleague who wanted some support with an ethical dilemma. She held a counselling position within an organization which offered services to clients in many different capacities. Officially she was the only counsellor within the group although support services were offered by others not officially in a counselling role.

What became evident to her as she began the process of letting her clients know she was retiring, was that she needed to help the people she worked with, and for, know the uniqueness of the counselor/client relationship and how important it was to give the client’s plenty of notice and time to process in session permanent changes such as the ending of one’s counselling practice. She found herself having to inform her Supervisors and Board Members that clients are not like other consumers. Each decision made that had a direct impact on the client needed to factor in: current mental states, relationship with loss, abandonment and closure. She was demonstrating the difference between caretaking and responsible caring.

What became evident was she was the one person who had to hold herself and her organization accountable to an ethical code.

I am writing about this because sometimes we find ourselves in situations/dilemmas where knowing to check the ACCT Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics is imperative.

And will help us not to be the cause of what could become an Ethical Dilemma and complaint.

I have some questions for you to ponder.

  • When you take a holiday, how much notice do you give your clients?
  • Are you aware of the clients in your practice who might struggle the most with your absence?
  • If you are, what actions do you take to prepare your clients?
  • Do you know the guidelines around sharing client info with a third party?
  • Are you aware of the procedures you are required to take regarding a client’s records – current clients and inactive clients?
  • Are you willing to hold yourself and your colleagues accountable for decisions and choices made in relationship with clients?
  • Do you know you are not alone – there is a whole association out there you can reach out to when you need someone to listen to you?

What struck me the most in this situation I shared was this colleague, like most of us, was taking into account her client and honouring the relationship. She did check out the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and was insuring to the best of her ability to “Do No Harm”.

Sometimes we are called upon to be the voice of reason and make the ethical choice for the good of the client even when we are also being asked to factor in the community setting and clinic we work in.

Do you feel well informed enough to be the needed caring ethical voice?

Do you feel you are familiar with our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to hold yourself accountable when the challenging situations happen?

Do you have a Supervisor/ Mentor/Peer Group you can talk to?

It is such an honour to be part of a group of unique individuals offering support, care, and all kinds of amazing processes to help clients explore themselves.

Diane Auld MTC., RCS., HT.

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Currently, there are four provinces In Canada that have been regulated, QC, ON, NS & NB. The remainder are in the process of regulating.  Each Provincial federation is working to establish a College to promote and ensure public protection, accessibility and accountability.  Once regulated, it is anticipated that each province will move toward creating their own professional colleges. The Canadian territories have also expressed an interest in regulating counsellors.

The following document contains a summary of the status of regulation in each province as of May 23, 2018:

Statutory Regulation in Canada

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