Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland is a self-regulating profession. There is a diverse range of views on the theory and practice of both counselling and psychotherapy. The different approaches and theories are represented within a number of different professional bodies. The Department of Health and Children have begun moves towards the statutory registration and regulation of Health and Social care professionals. The professions of
Counselling and Psychotherapy are not included in the list of professions identified in the proposed legislation. This research involved participants from within and with an interest in the professions of counselling and psychotherapy. The aim of the research was to elicit the views of the participants as to whether statutory registration was a welcome development and how the profession should participate in and influence the process.
Agreeing educational standards and training requirements for counselling and psychotherapy is an issue which arose. A further potential obstacle which the research identified is around the right or otherwise of current practitioners to continue to practice under the new statutory regulations. The research concluded that, as the proposed new regulator, there is an onus on the Department of Health and Children to bring the diverse strands of the profession together. It is further recommended that this process should involve all interested professional bodies, the Area Health Authorities and the Department of Health and Children.