There is a common misperception among psychology graduates, that they can do absolutely nothing with an honours degree in psychology – nothing but apply for Masters and pray for the best. So when they then come across something like the Humanitas Counselling Course information, it is completely understandable that many are sceptic and that both legal and ethical concerns are raised.
Through this short article, we aim to educate and reassure you that; you can legally and ethically live out your passion through counselling.
The HPCSA and the ASCHP (SAQA registration ID 984; NQF registered designation) operate in two very different fields; the HPCSA in the field of psychology and the ASCHP in the field of wellness.
Therefore, people registered with the ASCHP cannot register as Registered Counsellor’s (RC’s) or Psychologists; both of which are HPCSA designations, but can register as: supportive counsellors (NQF Level 4), holistic practitioners (NQF Level 5), wellness counsellors (NQF Level 7) or specialist wellness counsellors (NQF Level 8 ) – all four of these designations are listed on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as true occupations in South Africa.
The HPCSA is fully aware of the ASCHP.
Before the establishment of the ASCHP as a professional body, the CCSA (Counsel for Counsellors in South Africa; from which the ASCHP originated), consulted with the HPCSA , their scope of practice was submitted and the HPCSA was satisfied that the two bodies can co-exist harmoniously and that they complement one another.
In fact, you don’t even need to complete the Humanitas Counselling Course in order to register with the ASCHP. With an honours degree in psychology, and 100 hours of practical experience and/or a written board exam, you can register on their highest designation which is specialist wellness counsellor.
The Humanitas Counselling Course aims to bridge the enormous gap between theoretical knowledge and practical experience. We assist people with additional theoretical and practical training, offer them over 200 hours of practical experience as well as supervision, guidance and mentorship throughout, before they then apply for ASCHP registration.
Each one of our lecturers are registered as Specialist Wellness Counsellors at the ASCHP or registered at the South African Council for Social Service Professionals (SACSSP).
We also encourage psychology students to continue applying for Masters should they wish to. However, if they are unsuccessful, as so many students are, they can still do a world of good in the wellness field and live out their passion while counselling confidently, ethically and legally.
Supervision is one of the most important components of the Humanitas Counselling Course, as we firmly believe that it is crucial to guide individuals, to learn from one another, to keep each other accountable and to remain firmly within our scope of practice.
The HPCSA and the ASCHP have two different scopes of practice. As wellness counsellors, we often have to refer to other professionals in different fields, therefore we really strive towards good collaboration with Psychologists and Registered Counsellors in the field. We believe that it is of the utmost importance to know when to refer and who to refer to.
Our clients are also well aware and regularly informed of the fact that we are not psychologists or registered counsellors.
We encourage enquiring students to fully research all the options available to them. There are always pros and cons to any direction that one might pursue.
If you would like to read more about the ASCHP, please visit their website: www.aschp.net, or the HPCSA www.hpcsa.co.za.
You are also welcome to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org we will gladly assist where possible.
Disclaimer: This is a response by the Vita Nova Counselling Center and associated entities to common questions posed, and not a formal response by the ASCHP/HPCSA.