In 1999 a group of counsellors started discussing the possibility of forming an association for counsellors. The number of qualified counsellors had increased over the years and the need was there for all to see. The first general meeting took place at the University of Malta in January 2002 where the statute was presented. The first executive council was elected and Micheline Sciberras was chosen as the first president of the association.
Their main objective was to set up a professional body to represent the profession of counselling and to safeguard professional standards.
The first newsletter was published in March 2002. Professional development sessions for the members and people using helping skills soon followed:
Avoiding burnout; Making the best of supervision; Storytelling; Sandtherapy are just a few of the issues that have been tackled.
One of the first sub-committees set up was the Ethics Committee.
Most of MACP’s energies are invested in the yearly National Conference & Training Weeks. So far we’ve had:
|2004||Prof Tim Bond - Counselling Young People: The Ethical Challenges|
|2005||Dr. Kim Etherington - Working with Survivors of Child Abuse|
|2006||Dr. Jane Speedy – Narrative Approaches in the Helping Profession Sue Parker Hall presented a workshop on Anger & Rage|
|2007||Dr. Gabrielle Syme – Dual Relationships: Fetters or Freedom? Exploring the Limits|
|2008||International Conference on behalf of the International Association of Counselling with various local & foreign speakers addressing the participants: Counselling: A means of Bridging Differences
This was the biggest & most arduous task MACP ever undertook
|2009||(May) Various local speakers - Together Everyone Achieves More: (May) Overcoming Barriers & Creating Synergy|
|2009||(Nov) Dr Charlie Azzopardi - Keeping the Family in Perspective:
Thinking Child, Thinking Family
|2010||Ms Sue Webb - Addressing current issues in Counselling: Coping with
Trauma & Youth at Risk.
|2011||Prof. Barry Jackson - Fighting Roadblocks of the Mind - Crosscurrents in Mental Health|
|2012||Prof. Robert Wubbolding - Reality Therapy & Choice Theory|
|2013||Ms Val Potter – Boundaries & Space: Creating A Framework for Well-Being|
|2014||Various Local Speakers – The I & We within the Family
A Fund-Raising Conference on behalf of Home-Start Malta
In Feb 2006, after weathering histrionic episodes & giving MACP prestige, standing & a sound footing since 2002, Micheline Sciberras handed over the presidency with its huge amount of responsibility to Dione Mifsud. We consider having Micheline Sciberras as Director General Student Services a great asset to our profession.
Since the beginning of 2007 Dione Mifsud took on the onerous task of making the necessary contacts, presentations, arguments and eventually designing the Masters in Counselling at the UoM. It has already taken 3 cohorts. Dione was also very instrumental in the setting up of the Dual Master in Art in Transcultural Counselling.
Dr Dione Mifsud was chosen as the first MACP Fellow Member and Ms Micheline Sciberas as the second.
Below is a list of endeavours by MACP
· National Training Weeks are a Trademark of MACP
· The International Conference on behalf of IAC was such a success that we will be organising it again in 2018
· Professional Indemnity Insurance – after meetings, presentations & discussions it was eventually finalised in 2010
· Relevant information & details about courses related to the helping professions is sent by the secretary via e mail-regularly
· The Newsletter is being resumed
· Peer Supervision was successfully organised for 3 years’ running.
· The Statute has been thoroughly amended to reflect the best interest of the members & the counselling profession
· The Ethical Framework has been reviewed. On Prof Tim Bond’s advice it was written in Maltese so as to be linguistically true to our culture.
· Increasing membership continues to be a priority
· A delegation from MACP had met with the pro rector of the UoM, regarding the great need for a Masters in Counselling in support of Dione’s committed efforts to procure the MCouns
· MACP has been registered as a Voluntary Organisation
· A list of counsellors & other helping professionals who are MACP members & who have private practice is provided when asked for
· Professional Development Sessions are organised on a regular basis
The most important endeavour for MACP was to regulate the profession which became a reality on 24th February 2015 with the 3rd Reading of the Counselling Bill and with its enactment on 3rd March 2015. This involves establishing standards of practice to include supervision and CPD hours in order for counselling professionals to receive an annual warrant; also to set up an independent Complaints Board
None of this would be possible without the concerted effort of the whole team of the Executive Council