Here I sit on day two of the National Symposium on Counsellor Mobility in Canada. I am at the Sheraton Hotel in beautiful downtown Ottawa. The room is a buzz of counsellors of all walks of life and academics (or a combination of both). The conversation is a combination of “what did you do last night” and, of course, the profession of counselling and the process of regulating the profession. As a nubie to this group, I see old friendships rekindled and ongoing networking of the “power hub” of the National association. I’m a little reserved; meeting those at my own table (other nubies), but not really “hob-knobbing” Yesterday was a discussion on survey results that identifies a common definition of counseling and a scope of practice that attempts to encompass the variance of counselor activity. The afternoon session was focused on reviewing and approving a format for the code of ethics that can be utilized by each of the provincial bodies and each of the different groups within the provincial bodies. As expected, different provinces are at different stages of development in their bid to legislate/regulate; Quebec and Nova Scotia being close to completion, while other areas – like the prairies are just starting. Some provinces, like Alberta, have umbrella legislation that we are trying to “fit” into. Areas like Nova Scotia are having to create their own legislation. What is common amongst the members is their drive to create an identity for Counsellors across the country. Within that identity, they are trying to create a path that is easily navigational from province to province while maintaining a high enough standard to protect the best interest of the people that access their supports. What does this mean for the average counselor? Probably nothing, unless, of course, you are in a position where you choose to or have to move from one province to the next. I am hoping that we, as counsellors, will have a common language to be able to tell people what it is that we do. Even though we are such a diversified group we can “celebrate the things we have in common.” The day’s activity was on the agreement of the process involved in developing a framework for a comprehensive Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
It’s hard to capture everything within 500 words that went on in this group. Each human being is driven by a desire to belong (following, of course, our more primal needs). As counsellors we attempt to help people with that process (to belong in their group, relationships with others, and relationships with themselves). This symposium creates opportunities to help us, as counsellors, find a sense of greater belonging. My job right now is to point you in the right direction; which, for starts, is http://www.ccacc.ca/en/theprofession/interprovincialmobility/
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA