IAC Member Associations & Organizations
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Additional Counselling Associations & Organizations
Fédération Francaise de Psychothérapie et Psychoanalyse
Universities & Training Institutes
IAC Education Institute Members
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Additional Education Institutes
No majors or training programs in counseling were found, but many psychology studies are offered in France.
L’Institut national d’étude du travail et d’orientation professionnelle (INETOP)
Fédération Francaise de Psychothérapie et Psychoanalyse
- Programme Types: Certificat Européen de Psychothérapie (CEP)
L’Institut de Formation à l’Approche Centrée sur la Personne selon Carl Rogers
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices & Centres
IAC Member Centres/Group Practices
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Background & Context
As early as the 1920s, information and guidance centers (Centre d’Information e d’Orientation) were developed in France to inform pupils and students about the possibilities regarding studies and careers. The centers are managed by the Ministry of Education and there are now over 600 centers with more than 4,700 counsellors. (cf. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009, p. 331).
Also since the 1920s, psychoanalysis has played a major role in France. Experts dealt with this subject in depth. Psychoanalysis reached the entire culture and society. The theories of Sigmund Freud continue to play a major role, with approaches and methods evolving over the years to adapt to modern times. Despite the monopoly position of psychoanalysis, people are open to other procedures and methods. (cf. Sonnenmoser 2011)
Counseling is a new field in France. There is no adequate translation possibility into French for the word Counseling. The verb, ‘conseiller’ (to counsel) rather refers to education and career counseling, which became established at the beginning of the 20th century. Accordingly, the ‘counseling’ field initially dealt with issues of general counseling and career development. In the 1980s, career counseling was reformed. Counseling practices were adapted to the new environment, new methods were developed, and, over time, counseling services for students and young professionals were expanded to include adults and organizations. In addition, new laws profoundly changed the practice of career guidance in the public sector. (cf. Pouyaud /Guichard 2013, p.193f.).
Between 1970 and 1980, as the school system became more complex, the number of career counsellors doubled. Since 1981, school counsellors are officially called educational and vocational psychologists and are employed by the state. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the number of these counsellors has decreased again. The number of career counsellors for adults has been in constant change since the 1970s. (cf. ibid., p.195).
Since the 1990s, the need for counseling has increased. Globalization and the change in living conditions are among the reasons for this. This has led to both a large increase in counseling services and a growing number of counsellors. (cf. ibid., p.194) The increase can be observed in all consulting fields. Since the 1990s, human resources departments of many companies have also increasingly offered consulting services to promote and support employees. (cf. ibid., p. 196)
Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition
The profession of counsellor is not clearly regulated.
- School counseling (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
- Career counseling (Specialized counsellors work with employees or with work applicants who seek to be trained or want to change their career path.) (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
- Vocational guidance intended for high school students (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
- Vocational guidance intended for prisoners (created by the Ministry of Justice) (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
- Counselling services for soldiers (by the Ministry of Defense) (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
- Integration counsellors (help to find employment or a new training; these counsellors are mainly financed from public funds) (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
- Counselling in Private Practice. (Some agencies offer School and Vocational counselling for a fee, F.e. The press group L’Etudiant) (vgl. Cohen-Scali/Guichard/Gaudron 2009)
Counselling Practices within Companies
- Gestalt therapy
- Systemic Family therapy
- Hypno therapy
- Cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy
- Person-centred psychotherapy
- Transaction analysis
- Social Integration/ Integration counselling
- Occupational integration counsellors
- Health Care field (e.g. hospitals, clinics; drug use, alcoholism, sexual abuse)
- Coaching (implement individualized supports, intervene at group level, work in education field, help students address problems such as stress, anxiety)
- Therapeutic counselling
Challenges & Trends
There is an increasing need for counseling in all areas of life, but there is a lack of training and study programs that deal specifically with counseling. Counsellors do not form a homogeneous unit, they do not consider themselves members of a real, specific profession, nor do they consider themselves part of the same professional group. In many cases, counseling professions are linked to other professions. In addition to traditional counsellors, such as counseling psychologists, marriage counsellors, and career counsellors, other professionals, such as nurses, teachers, and social workers, also offer counseling services. The professional status, salaries, working conditions and training of counsellors therefore differ greatly from one another. (cf. ibid. p.330).
The spread of online counseling is increasing. (cf. Pouyaud/ Guichard 2013, p.197). Another challenge is to develop scientific networks for counseling to create a body of knowledge, practices, and research to formalize counseling professions. (cf. ibid., p.200).
Due to the lack of legal regulation of the professions of psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, any person can pretend to be one and offer therapies without qualification and official registration. This has even led to sects and fundamentalist organizations offering counseling. Patients basically get too little information about the quality of the offered treatment. Through the development of a professional association, one could counteract these grievances. (cf. Sonnenmoser 2011)
Family- and systemic therapists can frequently receive qualified further training through special further training funds. However, it is a problem that most of these therapists only work in child and adolescent psychiatric institutions and counseling centers. There is a shortage of such professionals in clinics for adults. (cf. Cohen 2002, p.20).
Additional Information & References
Karl Rogers’ work was translated into French in the 1960s. Since then, it has greatly influenced counseling in France. The theoretical work of Holland and Super have also played an important role in practice since the 1970s. (cf. Pouyaud /Guichard p.197). Interested readers are recommended to read the following books and articles for a more in-depth discussion of the counseling profession:
- Cohen-Scali, V.; Guichard, J. & Gaudron J. (2009) Career Counseling in France: A Growing Practice Among Diverse Professional Groups. In: L.H. Gerstein, P.P. Heppner, S. Ægisdóttir, S-M. A. Leung, K. L. Norsworthy (eds) International Handbook of Cross-Cultural Counseling – Cultural Assumptions and Practices Worldwide. (329-336) Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
- Pouyaud, J. & Guichard, J. (2013) France. In T. H. Hohenshil, N.E. Amundson, S. G. Niles (Eds.) Counseling around the world. An international handbook (193-202). Alexandria: American Counseling Association.
- Van Broeck, N. & Lietaer, G. (2008). Psychology and Psychotherapy in Health Care: A Review of Legal Regulations in 17 European Countries. European Psychologist, Vol.13 (1), pp.53-63.