All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.
Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes
City University of Hong Kong
- University Website: https://www.cityu.edu.hk/
- Programme Website: https://www.cityu.edu.hk/catalogue/pg/201920/programme/MSSC.htm
- Programme Types: Master of Social Sciences in Counselling
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- University Website: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/
- Programme Website: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/apss/programmes/taught-postgraduate-programmes/master-of-arts-in-guidance-counselling/
- Programme Types: Master of Arts in Guidance and Counselling
The University of Hong Kong
- University Website: https://www.hku.hk/
- Programme Website: https://aal.hku.hk/tpg/programme/master-social-sciences-field-counselling
- Programme Types: Master of Social Sciences in Counselling
The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK)
- University Website: https://www.eduhk.hk/main/
- Programme Website: https://www.eduhk.hk/fehd/en/programmes.php?id=230
- Programme Types: Master of Arts in Educational Counselling
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- University Website: https://www.cuhk.edu.hk/english/index.html
- Programme Website: https://www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/higherdegree/programme/ma-degree-in-school-guidance-counselling/
- Programme Types: Master of Arts in School Guidance & Counselling
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
- University Website: https://www.hksyu.edu/en/
- Programme Website: http://www.hksyu.edu/counpsy/graduateprogrammes/msscp.html
- Programme Types: Master of Social Sciences in Counselling Psychology
Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres
Background & Context
Counselling in Hong Kong emerged during the 1960s in response to the need to improve social services and resolve widespread social discontent at that time. Counselling as a profession and academic discipline continued to grow in the 1970s and 1980s, beginning with the introduction of guidance services in settings such as secondary schools, universities, and community services, as well as key academic developments such as the region’s first postgraduate course, professional counselling association, and academic journal. Since then, the counselling profession in Hong Kong is gradually developing.
The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA) was established in 1995 and it is a professional organization that has a clear mission and rich history of promoting professional standards and practices, and developing counselling services in Hong Kong. After many initiatives have been done by the HKPCA, the profession of counselling in Hong Kong has made substantial progress in its efforts to systematically establish rigorous academic and practice criteria to enter the field and to recognize qualified individuals for professional counsellor and approved supervisor certification. Also, a code of ethics has been established to provide counselling professionals with a framework to guide their occupational activities. However, there is still a lack of public understanding on the importance of counselling services which may affect the development of the counselling profession in Hong Kong.
Current Regulatory Status / Level of Recognition:
The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA) has established standards to accredit counsellor training programmes in Hong Kong. There is a certification structure in place to recognize qualified counsellors and supervisors. The HKPCA also established the Certified Counsellor Membership status in its organization. This initiative was launched “to protect consumers, to maintain and monitor the professionalism of counselling, and to guide the continued growth and development of the counselling discipline” (HKPCA, 2017).
Mostly located in central Hong Kong, practice setting include:
- Private Practices
- Schools & Universities
- Non-profit & Non-governmental Organizations
Challenges & Trends
There is a positive development in the counselling scene in Hong Kong as counselling is being more widely recognized within the professional and academic community, and that many helping professionals, such as teachers, social workers, nurses, and university student affairs personnel, are seeking counselling training in their professional journeys.
The lack of public understanding has long been identified as a major obstacle to the growth of the counselling profession in Hong Kong (Heppner, Casas, Carter, & Stone, 2000; Leung et al., 2007; Yuen et al., 2010, 2014). Also, roles for counselling and counselling psychology are not included in the government’s occupational structure, so there are few jobs designated specifically for counselling and counselling psychology professionals.
According to HKPCA, if there is no mechanism to monitor the behavior of counselling professionals, the public will lose its trust in the entire profession (HKPCA, 2017). Also, the lack of a system of professional credentialing and monitoring will create much confusion within and beyond the profession (HKPCA, 2017).
Additional Information & References
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal & website articles:
- Busiol, D. (2015). Help-seeking behaviour and attitudes towards counselling: A qualitative study among Hong Kong Chinese university students. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 44(4), 382–401. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2015.1057475 https://sci-hub.tw/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2015.1057475
- The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association. (n.d.). Accreditation program list. https://www.hkpca.org.hk/resources-centre/accreditation-program-list/
- The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association. (n.d.). HKPCA professional indemnity insurance. https://www.hkpca.org.hk/resources-centre/insurance/
- The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association. (2011). HKPCA code of ethics (2011 Revision). https://www.hkpca.org.hk/about/code-of-ethics/
- The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association. (2017). Introduction for HKPCA new membership application. https://www.hkpca.org.hk/download/73832/Yuen, M., Leung, S. A., & Chan, R. T. H. (2014).
- Professional counseling in Hong Kong. Journal of Counseling & Development, 92(1), 99–103. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2014.00135.x https://sci-hub.tw/10.1002/j.1556-6676.2014.00135.x