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Counselling the counsellors

Media release October 19, 2012

Counselling the counsellors

Counsellors in New Zealand have a new guide to help them navigate the minefield of the ever-changing legal system.

The New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) has just produced the second, updated edition of its book Counselling and the Law which is published by Dunmore Press. The first edition was published in 2003.

Written by Robert Ludbrook, the new resource updates counsellors on the numerous legislative changes that have occurred in recent years and that can affect counsellors’ work with clients.

“The laws that counsellors have to be aware of and work within are quite complex, and this book tries to outline in non-technical language both their rights and their responsibilities to their clients,” Mr Ludbrook says.

He says relevant law changes since the first edition was published include the introduction of the Care of Children Act 2004 and amendments to the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act of 1989 and the Crimes Act of 1961.

There are also new decisions of courts and tribunals which are relevant to counsellors’ legal and ethical duties to clients.

NZAC spokesperson, Alastair Crocket, says Counselling and the Law is a set text in many counsellor education programmes and is widely used by practitioners.

“Counsellors are often engaged in some very delicate situations, dealing with very challenging issues and with some quite emotional individuals.

“Working under those circumstances in what can sometimes be a legal minefield means counsellors need to understand their professional, legal and ethical boundaries as part of ensuring they serve their clients effectively.”


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