Why Joining a Professional Group like PACFA Could Help Your Career in Counselling

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) is a leading national peak body for the counselling and psychotherapy profession. Joining PACFA is a great way to further your career in psychotherapy, counselling and healing. The membership benefits will provide you with the necessary support and guidance to help you reach your professional goals.


What is the difference between PACFA and ACA?

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) are two important organisations in the field of psychotherapy and counselling in Australia. Both organisations aim to promote mental health care, set professional standards for therapists, and advocate for their members. However, there are some key differences between PACFA and ACA.

While PACFA focuses on the delivery of therapeutic services, the ACA is more focused on providing access to information about mental health care practices and advocating for better consumer rights. Additionally, PACFA offers educational qualifications, while ACA provides professional development opportunities through its membership program.


What does the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia do?

As part of PACFA, you can access a range of resources that will support your professional growth. This includes webinars, workshops, conferences and other informative events that focus on topics such as mental health awareness, best practice approaches in counselling and psychotherapeutic treatments.

Additionally, PACFA provides its members with networking opportunities which can be invaluable for gaining insight from others working in the field or finding new career opportunities.

PACFA’s various college groups allow members to come together, network, practice, exchange knowledge and enhance their abilities in a certain area of expertise or framework. This is an invaluable resource to any professional seeking to stay ahead in their field. They are:

  • College of Counselling
  • College of Psychotherapy
  • Australian College of Relationship Counsellors
  • College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices
  • College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators
  • College of Creative and Experiential Therapies.


What is PACFA accreditation?

PACFA is dedicated to safeguarding the counselling and psychotherapy industry by regulating its members and enforcing high standards of training. As a result, practitioners in Australia are equipped with the utmost knowledge & skills to provide satisfactory service to their clients.

All members of PACFA and its Member Associations are included in PACFA’s National Register. By adhering to the Training Standards & ethical standards set by PACFA, registrants have proven to possess the required level of proficiency, knowledge and capability.


What are the PACFA Membership Categories?

Clinical membership in PACFA is the highest level, and you can qualify for it if you’ve been working as a professional for more than two years. You need to have had at least 750 hours of client contact and 75 hours of proper supervision since completing your studies.

Provisional membership is suitable for clinical practitioners and therapists who have recently finished their training and have not yet met the required client contact supervision hours. This level requires a minimum of 750 hours of client contact and 75 hours of supervision in the past 2 years. The vast majority of PACFA members are initially granted provisional membership, graduating to the clinical level once they accumulate the relevant client supervision hours required for clinical registration.

Provisional (New Graduate) Membership: Are you a recent graduate with up to two years of experience? If so, this membership is right for you! It offers the same advantages as an early career or provisional, and you will be visible on the Find a Therapist directory as ‘provisional’.

Association Member: Being a member of one of PACFA’s Member Associations is an advantage because you may be eligible to register with PACFA as either provisional or clinical and gain access to exclusive PACFA member benefits.

Academic Member: As an academic in the counselling and/or psychotherapy field, you will be able to help advance the profession through valuable research and education.

Affiliate: If you have an inclination towards the counselling and psychotherapy field or use counselling skills to help clients, PACFA is the perfect association you can affiliate with. With this membership, you’ll gain access to valuable resources and tools that can be immensely beneficial for your work. Affiliate members of PACFA benefit from the association’s community, even if their previous training doesn’t meet the required criteria. They understand the importance of being a part of something bigger.

Student: Students taking counselling and/or psychotherapy courses are eligible for free membership in PACFA. This is a great opportunity to access additional resources and support while you pursue your studies. As a student member, you get free insurance coverage, a selection of free digital publications and discounted professional development courses.


How Long Does PACFA Registration Take?

Clinical, provisional, and academic member applications may take 6-8 weeks to process. This timeline is subject to change depending on the complexity of the application.


Benefits of joining PACFA

As a member of PACFA, you gain access to exceptional services and resources that are tailored to ensure professional excellence. Membership benefits include:

  1. Promotion of the Profession:

  • Advocacy for greater professional recognition by governments, private health funds and counselling organisations
  • Professional promotion via media and social media
  1. Member Resources:

  • Access to a Members-only jobs board
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Professional development and networking opportunities
  • Code of ethics to guide members
  1. Continued Professional Development and Practice support:

  •  Supervision – Access to accredited supervisors and group supervision.
  • Endorsed supervision training and supervisor training programs


Three Reasons to Join PACFA today

Becoming a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) is an excellent step for anyone looking to take their psychotherapeutic, counselling or healing career to the next level. The membership will provide you with all the support, resources and advice you need to achieve your professional objectives and will assist you in launching your new career in the best possible way.

To become a member, you can register on the PACFA website. 

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