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Counselling Centre receives international accreditation


Personal counselling is one of the services offered by Memorial’s Counselling Centre.

By Geoff Ash

The Counselling Centre has again received accreditation by the International Association of Counselling Services (IACS), making it one of only two counselling services in Canada that is accredited by this body.

An intensive review conducted in September 2010 evaluated the centre against high standards of counselling practice. The review included a tour of the university, interviews with all counselling centre staff, interviews with other managers and directors within Student Affairs and Services as well as other representatives from the university community.

The review highlighted some of the strengths and successes of the centre such as its integration with the mission of the university, strong commitment to outreach, support of professional development and professional involvement of the staff, availability of psychiatric resources, extensive research productivity and was especially complimentary of the leadership of Dr. Peter Cornish.

Another purpose of the review is to suggest areas of improvement, the most significant of which being inadequate space and the need for greater staffing resources (both professional and administrative/secretarial). Issues that are well understood throughout the university, but yet another indicator of a successful and growing service.

To the staff of the counselling centre and its director Dr. Cornish, this accreditation affirms the importance of the centre to the university and the quality of service provided to students.

“I am thrilled to receive this acknowledgement of the hard work done by our staff. Demand for our services is growing by at least 10 per cent every year and the needs of students are becoming ever more complex. The recognition by IACS and the university community that ours is a valued, vital service will help us to obtain the resources needed to meet the growing demand.”

The counselling centre offers personal, academic and career counselling, psychiatric outpatient services, wellness outreach programming, chaplaincy services and disability accommodations, as well as a wide range of supportive and therapeutic counselling groups to all registered students of Memorial University.

The counselling centre’s predoctoral internship in professional psychology is also accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). It is one of only two counselling services accredited by CPA.

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