Hong Kong


Counselling Associations

All Professional Bodies, National Associations (e.g. Mental Health, School, Guidance, Addiction, Faith-based etc.) and Accrediting Organisations.

The Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA)

Asian Professional Counselling & Psychology Association (APCA)

Universities and Other Education and Training Institutes

City University of Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The University of Hong Kong

The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Baptist University

Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Counselling Agencies, Services, Group Practices, Counselling Centres

The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK)


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).


Practice Settings

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:

Hong Kong
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