Christian Counsellors Form National Association
CHRISTIAN counselling is distinctively different from secular or professional counseling which strives to be religiously neutral. Professional counselling bodies are increasingly influenced by values that are shaped by political correctness. Professional ethics also demands that counsellors do not impose their personal beliefs and values upon counselees.
In contrast, the aim of Christian counselling is personal transformation by encountering a personal God. Recognising this, Christian counselling is growing as a practice in more affluent countries. Many pastors are trained in both theology and Christian counselling. In these places, there is a national association to represent Christian counsellors.
In Malaysia, the National Association of Christian Counsellors (NACC) was recently formed by a group of local counsellors and therapists with endorsement from the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) Malaysia. NACC was registered as an independent body by the Registrar of Societies Malaysia on 9 May 2011. NACC is a member of the International Network for Christian Counselling (INCC), a world body sponsored by the American Association of Christian Counsellors.
Professionally, secularly-qualified counsellors here are registered under the Board of Counsellors Malaysia, which does not recognise Christian counselling. It must be noted that being a member of the NACC does not certify a Christian to set up a professional counselling practice. However, NACC hopes to impart basic counselling knowledge and skills to all Christians, and in doing so, many more will be motivated to pursue academic qualifications to be professional counsellors. To this end, NACC intends to organise annual national conference and workshops.
NACC membership is open to all Christians interested in learning about and practising Christian counselling. Members are eligible for registration discounts to annual national conferences and pre-conference workshops. They will also have access to forums and meetings for fellowship and networking.
There are three categories of membership:
- Professional Members: Comprising qualified counsellors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and other related professional mental health practitioners;
- Probationary Members: Open to all Malaysian Christians; and,
- Ordinary Members: Probationary Members who have successfully accumulated the required number of contact hours to qualify as Ordinary Members of the NACC.
Contact hours are awarded to those who attend NACC workshops and main conference plenary sessions.
At annual general meetings, only Professional and Ordinary Members are eligible to vote and be office bearers. Professional and Ordinary Members will also be listed in the NACC website.
The official launch of NACC and the first national counseling conference will be held on 29 Oct 2011. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries.
(Article source: National Association of Christian Counsellors' statement)