Over the past year, the ICP has taken an active part in the continuing dialogue with other counselling and psychotherapy organisations which began in 1995. The Forum participants have gathered information and put together a matrix of information on accreditation standards and requirements. In so doing, areas of commonality and difference began to emerge.

In September 2006, following much research and debate, the Forum put forward the following proposal: –

That the Registration Board should have the embracing title of “Psychological Therapies”‚ and that two titles, that of “Psychotherapist” and “Counsellor”‚ would be protected under this Psychological Therapies registration Board.

All organisations represented were asked to vote on this proposal and 20 of the 22 organisations agreed. In November 2006, a letter was written to the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr. Tim O’ Malley, outlining our proposal.

The Forum then began the task of separating out the baseline qualifications currently accepted by Counsellors and Psychotherapists, together with required hours of theory, supervised practice, personal therapy etc. At our March meeting, it was agreed that the two groupings would now meet separately to look at the information gathered and to try to agree a baseline that all psychotherapy organisations can agree to, with counselling groups doing the same.

At this point, there will need to be a lot of negotiation and diplomacy, but ICP is firmly committed to maintaining the standards set by the European Association of Psychotherapy, in order that our registration criteria will be accepted in Europe and practitioners who have achieved the European Certificate in other countries would be able to practice here.

The Forum aims to try to complete this task and bring further proposals to the Minister by the beginning of Summer 2007.