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"Cult of NZAC" threatening client service availability

"Cult of NZAC" threatening client service availability


“Cult of NZAC” attempts to illegitimately capture the Counselling profession will limit client access to service, says Counsellor and Social Service Outcomes Researcher

A Social Service Outcomes Researcher has raised serious concerns about an upcoming attempt by the New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) to illegitimately capture the New Zealand Counselling industry, by restricting membership to the NZAC to degree qualified members only.

Steve Taylor, a double-degree qualified Counsellor, private practitioner, and Social Service Outcomes Researcher, says that there is no evidence anywhere in the world that shows that Counsellors belonging to a professional association, or the level of qualification attained, makes any difference to counsellors achieving positive outcomes with clients.

Mr Taylor says that there is also no correlation between safe practice, ethical behaviour, qualification, membership, age, gender, culture, sexual orientation, length of practice career, or type of practice model, on client outcomes.

“My concern is that it appears to me that the NZAC, which is actually a voluntary-to-join counselling association, are increasingly growing into a corporate cult, and are recruiting membership via scaremongering, mis-information, and isolationism – if someone chooses not to join their “club”, then that person comes under intense attack for daring to choose autonomy, very similar to how cults both recruit members, whilst isolating "dissenters" said Mr Taylor.

I find this reaction hilarious and dangerous all at the same time, as autonomy is a core feature of the NZAC Code of Ethics, yet there are thousands of people being hoodwinked and none-too-subtly pressured into paying fees to an organisation that is actually very anti-autonomy” said Mr Taylor.
There are actually 7 voluntary-to-join professional associations for Counsellors and other allied health professionals to join in New Zealand – the NZAC don’t have sort of exclusivity on “professionalism”.

In the near 40 years of its existence, the NZAC has not collected one iota of industry data, evidence, or outcome, which was a primary reason that Counselling was removed as a first-service option in the recent Family Court reforms – the NZAC were asked to furbish this evidence to the Review – and they didn’t have any”.

In an age of Social Service provision whereby measuring outcomes are becoming the order of the day, and where the results of same increasingly determine future funding, placing false arbitrary constructs such as a qualification in the way of both graduating and currently practicing Counsellors , as NZAC intend to do, and without any evidence that doing so justifies the decision, will simply reduce service availability to clients, at a time when the Government has just increased funding in the Counselling sector.

If we are not measuring service provision effectiveness, we are not managing service provision effectiveness, and if we are not managing service provision effectiveness then, we consign service provision in the field of Counselling to “best guess”, popular opinion, industry ideology, and myth”.

Vulnerable clients seeking Counselling services in New Zealand deserve much better than this” said Mr Taylor

ENDS

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