What is a Registered Counsellor?
A Registered Counsellor (RC) is a qualified mental health care professional registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). To qualify as a RC, one needs to complete an accredited BA degree in Psychology, as well as an Honours in Psychology. An RC must successfully complete 720 hours of practical work, under the supervision of an experienced RC or Psychologist. Thereafter, a board exam is written which requires a minimum pass rate of 70%.
An RC is obliged to adhere to the ethical rules and guidelines of the HPCSA. My practice number is PRC0037095 and you can verify my registration on the HPCSA website on following link: http://isystems.hpcsa.co.za/iregister/.
Being registered with the HPCSA also authorises an RC to perform certain psychometric assessments that fall within their scope of practice. For example: school readiness and career guidance assessments.
An RC’s role entails more short-term psychological services to individuals, couples, families, and communities, providing counselling, screening, psychoeducation and engaging in preventative and restorative interventions. Whilst an RC must be able to recognise whether a client is struggling with more severe mental health issues, their scope is not one of diagnosis, but rather to refer such clients to either a psychologist or psychiatrist for in-depth therapy.