Introduction to CAST Guidelines for Professional Practice
All CAST members (including professional, non-professional, student, and affiliate members) are asked to read CAST Guidelines for Professional Practice.
All CAST members will note that CAST is not a regulatory body and is not liable for any professional misconduct.
In the event that a therapist is convicted of a criminal offense, CAST will revoke membership.
CAST recommends that all members of CAST who practise psychotherapy attain membership in a regulating, professional body and acquire adequate professional liability insurance.
CAST members who are therapists working in clinical settings other than their private practices will ensure that they are informed about the code of ethics and standards of practice of their agency or employment setting.
CAST members are expected to maintain and upgrade their standards of practice via participation in ongoing professional development.
CAST members are asked to reserve the name "Sandplay Therapy" for the therapeutic approach using sandtrays and figurines as formulated by Dora Kalff.
Provincial regulation of the practice of counseling and/or psychotherapy is underway in several provinces. Through our members in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, we strive to remain abreast of the developments in regulation and their potential implications for our training programme as well as for our individual members in their practices.
Members of CAST and the public should be aware that as a national member of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy, we are required to certify our members in accordance with international standards. We also maintain our representation on the board of the international society through our ISST representative. This affiliation includes practical, clinical, and ethical aspects of professional practice, in addition to which we maintain our own national standards in these regards. Thus, though the core of our curriculum is fixed, we may find it advisable and to the benefit of our members, to adjust or amend our curriculum in future on a provincial basis.
While it remains our responsibility to be aware of and, where appropriate, involved in the political process around regulation in the interest of the organization and its members; we strongly encourage individual members to familiarize themselves with developments in their own provinces in order to protect their professional status and ability to practice. It is not clear at present that certification through CAST would on its own qualify a clinician for registration in any of the proposed provincial regulatory bodies; however, depending on the province, CAST certification may partially meet regulatory requirements.
Below, we provide brief summaries of developments in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, with links to websites when available. If a member requires further information or support in navigating this process, we will attempt to connect you with CAST members, or other individuals or organizations in your province that may be able to assist. Contact us for more information.
The Quebec government is in the process of establishing new provincial regulation in the area of mental health. The new regulations under Law 21 will have many ramifications; concerning psychotherapy it means that the title will be reserved and a license will be given. The Order of Psychologists will be in charge of licensure.
Once the law passes, only members of Orders who require a master's degree, with training in psychotherapy from recognized programmes will be granted a license to practise psychotherapy in the province of Quebec. These Orders are: Order of Nurses, Order of Ergotherapists, Order of Doctors, Order of Psychologists, Order of Social Workers, Order of Psychoeducators and Guidance Counselors. However, at the time the bill passes, the full members of three professional groups will also automatically be given the license; these groups include The Quebec Society of Professional Psychotherapists, and two other groups of Psychoanalysts.
The Psychotherapy Act was passed by the provincial legislature in June 2006 although it is not yet fully in force. The Transitional Council of the new College of Registered Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists of Ontario has been appointed and its mandate and progress are outlined at www.crpo.ca.
Two groups have formed in Ontario to influence this process and CAST is represented in both organizations. The Alliance of Psychotherapy Institutes (APTI) represents over 25 training institutes in Ontario, www.apti.ca. The Ontario Alliance of Mental Health Practitioners represents professional counselling and psychotherapy associations from a variety of practice approaches, www.ontariomentalhealthalliance.ca.
For government information and the history of the development of the legislation, see the website of the Ontario government’s Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council at www.hprac.org.
The provincial Ministry of Health Planning has been gradually moving towards regulation of the health professions since 1991. The inclusion of ‘Counselling Therapists’ as one of those health professions is inevitable; however, because of the scope of the larger initiative, a definite timetable is not known.
Various groups of clinicians have been working towards influencing and guiding the regulation of psychotherapy, and there is extensive information available at the site of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors: www.bc-counsellors.org.