Last year was very important for Italian counselling. The Law 4/2013, recently ratified by the Italian Parliament, “Professions not organized in boards or professional bodies” (Professioni non organizzate in Ordini e Collegi) is an important innovation in Italy as it legally equalizes organized professions with the so-called professions not organized in boards or professional bodies.
This is the first fundamental contribution towards a radical change in culture and attitude for the liberalization of the professions in Italy.
According to this Law 4/2013, it is possible but not mandatory, for professionals, to organize into Associations.
This subject is extremely delicate and challenging at the same time, especially for the professional Associations, as the ongoing process aims at accrediting them with the official governmental authorities.
Counseling in Italy is dealing with wellness, health promotion, problem solving – considered in different fields, all issues that go beyond pathology. Therefore, a counselor in Italy never deals with, such as: anxiety, phobias, depression, etc., areas that are exclusively permitted to Psychologists.
For all the above reasons, Counseling in Italy is growing very fast and is building its specific professional identity.
In this framework Federcounseling, founded in Florence on April 18th, 2013, is the first national federation accepting all counselling associations fulfilling the standards set by above Law 4/2013.
Federcounseling affiliation structure corresponds to Art. 3 of the same Law, with specific functions of promotion and qualification of the professional activity we represent.
AICo, Italian Association of Counselling – 292 members
ANCoRe, National Association of Relational Counselors – 240 members
AssoCounseling, Professional Trade Association – 1,421 members
SICOOl, Italian Association of Counselors and Holistic Operators – 300 members.
The total number of Counselors represented by Federcounseling is: 2,253 as of 2013/12/31.
Our current efforts in Italy are focused on the following areas:
a) development of a UNI technical regulation
b) relations with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development to reach an adequate framework and space for counselling within the area of aid professions
c) the very delicate management of the relations with the Ordine degli Psicologi that believes counselling should be legally limited to psychologists only.
Federcounseling, acting as National Coordinating Committee for Italy, is willing to promote the European training standards in Italy and to make sure that all its member associations accredit exclusively training organizations and/or training courses complying with such characteristics.
Only such schools will be allowed to advertise – on their websites or elsewhere – their educational courses as being in line with EAC standards.
Federcounseling are willing to host an international event on counselling in Italy in 2015.