The Value of Counselling Skills Training for Career Development Practitioners

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAUtAAAAJGFhY2ViNDUzLTZiODQtNDhkZS05ZGIwLWEzN2FjMjM3NGFmMQPart of the success in the role of a Career Development Practitioner (CDP) is contingent upon nurturing healthy and supportive practitioner-client relationships using effective counselling skills. Vancouver Community College (VCC) is proud to offer members of the British Columbia Career Development Association (BCCDA) the opportunity to acquire practical counselling skills through discounted access to our diverse part-time offerings. (Please check the BCCDA Membership section for details.)
Long recognized as among the best training programs in the field, VCC’s Counselling Skills Certificates have been firmly established since the 1980s. Designed on an experiential learning model, our courses are taught by practicing clinicians and have been articulated for transferability towards Master’s Programs in Counselling Psychology. Additionally, graduates from VCC’s Counselling Skills Certificates have the foundation to pursue registration with professional counselling associations, a great enhancement to the professional status of a CDP.
VCC’s Counselling Skills Programs and Courses are ideal for new CDPs, with or without formal training in career development practice, to improve their basic counselling skills. For experienced career practitioners, such as Certified Career Development Practitioners (CCDP), our courses can further enhance your quality of work by acquiring advanced counselling skills. Whether you are interested in taking individual courses or completing the certificates, you will find our Counselling Programs to be highly diverse in meeting your professional development needs.
Many core competencies for CDPs (as described in the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners, Revised 2012) are reflected in the learning outcomes of our Counselling programs. Shared core competencies between the S&G and VCC’s Counselling Skills offerings can be found in areas such as Code of Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making Model, theories, documentation, client confidentiality, diversity, and effective communication. Our courses also provide CDPs with a solid foundation to pursue Areas of Specializations in the S&G, such as career counselling.
The career counselling specialization defines a unique blend of competencies from two distinct professional groups: (1) career development practitioners and (2) counselling therapists / counsellors. To function effectively in this role, career counsellors need all of the core competencies from each of the two groups (i.e., they are fully competent counsellors and fully competent career development practitioners). (S&G, Areas of Specialization, Career Counselling, p.70)
To support your continual professional and personal development, we encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity for professional development by registering in our Counselling Skills offerings. Contact counsellingskills@vcc.ca if you have questions.

Contact counsellingskills@vcc.ca if you have questions.

Matt Stevenson

Program Coordinator- Counselling Skills Program

Vancouver Community College


How to Help Your Child Grieve the Loss of a Loved One

Fotolia_57778944_S*We would like to thank Jenny Wise– the author for sharing her story and experience. She created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.

Children don’t always understand death. They may think it’s a temporary condition, a punishment, or the result of magical thinking. Nevertheless, children experience grief in a profound way. Whether they’re two or 12, kids cope with a wide range of emotions after losing someone close. Here’s what to expect from grieving children of every age and what family can do to help.

Preschool: Ages 2-4

Young children assume that the world is unchanging — that the way the world is now is the way it always has been and always will be. Known as static thinking, this understanding of the world is shaken to its core when someone close dies.

This static reasoning is why it’s difficult for preschool-age children to comprehend that death is permanent. They may seem to take the news of a family member’s passing glibly because they believe the deceased person will return, that their world isn’t capable of changing in such a fundamental way. However, even young children feel sadness over their family member’s absence. Parents may notice temper tantrums and a greater level of attachment as children grow anxious about losing other family members.

Instead of trying to shelter young children from loss, talk to them about death, what it means, and how it will change their life. Since young children may ask when their loved one is coming back, parents should be clear about the fact that dead means gone forever, not just temporarily. Avoid talk of heaven or other abstract concepts to prevent confusion. Keep everyday life as routine and stable as possible to alleviate a child’s anxiety over abandonment, and aim to be a calm, reassuring presence in their life.

Elementary School: Ages 5 to 10

When children reach elementary school, they begin to understand the finality of death. However, that gives rise to other anxieties: Children under the age of 10 sometimes believe they themselves are to blame for a death. It’s easy for them to flash to an angry memory where they shouted an angry thought or “wish,” and come to the conclusion that they have actually caused the condition. This adds feelings of guilt and shame to their grief, and these complicated emotions may trigger a regression to childlike behaviors such as bedwetting.

Teach children the words to express their emotions. Make yourself a safe space and encourage kids to talk about how they are feeling. If they’re struggling to talk about grief, use art and play to tease out their thoughts. Perhaps most importantly, reassure children that death is a natural process and not anyone’s fault.

Middle School and High School: Ages 11 to 18

As kids near middle school, their grief response becomes more similar to adults. They experience a full range of emotions, from anger to sadness to disbelief, and they understand that death is an inevitable part of life. However, the heightened emotions typical of pre-teen and teenaged youth could lead to more extreme grief responses. Adolescents may begin to ask big questions about the meaning of life and express anxiety over their own mortality. Teens and pre-teens are often anxious to talk about their loss, but also embarrassed to be different from their peers. This can lead to bottling up of emotions and lashing out in other ways, such as defiance, poor school performance, and risk-taking behaviors like experimenting with drugs and alcohol

At this age, the most important thing family members can do is listen, acknowledge the validity of their child’s emotions, and model healthy grieving. Monitor children for concerning behavior changes and pursue grief counseling if your child is struggling.

When a child loses a loved one early in life, she may experience each of these stages as her understanding of mortality grows with time. Parents shouldn’t be overly concerned if their child’s grief seems to worsen around developmental milestones; a child’s path to healing is not linear, and emotions may spike at unexpected moments. The important thing is to do your research to know what to expect and to seek support from a counselor, online programs, or other family members when you need it. When you more clearly understand what your child will be going through – and seek support when you need it – you will be able to provide her with a supportive, stable, and loving environment throughout the healing process.


Changes in Certified Career Development Practitioner Certification

CCDP Candidacy

To acquire CCDP certification, applicants who meet all requirements for CCDP certification may apply directly for Certification. Those who do not meet all the criteria required for Certification may apply for the provisional status of CCDP Candidate. Upon completing all the requirements for certification, a CCDP Candidate may apply for full Certification.

The CCDP Candidacy Program is designed to establish communication, assistance, and continuity between CCDP Certification and applicants in the career development field who are seeking CCDP accreditation. “Candidate” status indicates that a CCDP candidate has voluntarily committed to the ongoing professional development and continuous advancement in the career development field to achieve CCDP, the proof of professional excellence.

Benefits of Candidacy

The Candidate applicants will benefit from:

  • Ongoing professional training and supports
  • Access to BCCDA resources and job board
  • Connect and communicate with industry professionals using the BCCDA platform
  • Join BCCDA Mentorship
  • Attend BCCDA Career Fair
  • Obtain learning experiences via BCCDA volunteer opportunities

CCDP Certification

BCCDA values our members’ feedback and contributions. We are pleased to offer an improved certification application system. As of July 1, 2016, the following changes apply:

  • CCDP applicants may apply using their official transcripts from an educational institution. It is not necessary that the  documents required for certification and candidacy (such as official transcripts or professional references) be sealed.
  • You may apply in any of six categories. Alternatively, you may apply in multiple categories, in which case the Review Committee will determine the most appropriate category for your file:
    • Category 1. Related Master’s degree in Career/Employment Development and at least 1 year full-time or an equivalent amount of part-time, related, paid, qualifying work experience
    • Category 2. Related Bachelor’s degree in Career/Employment Development and at least 2 years full-time or an equivalent amount of part-time, related, paid, qualifying work experience
    • Category 3. Related Diploma/Associate Degree (minimum 400 hours) in Career/Employment Development and at least 3 years full-time or an equivalent amount of part-time, related, paid, qualifying work experience
    • Category 4. Related Certificate (minimum 200 hours) in Career/Employment Development and at least 4 years full-time or an equivalent amount of part-time, related, paid, qualifying work experience
    • Category 5. Unrelated degree and at least 4 years full-time or an equivalent amount of part-time, related, paid, qualifying work experience
    • Category 6. Employment Pathway: Minimum of 8,000 hours of paid, qualifying work experience in the past 10 years.
  • “Full-time” means at least 30 hours of paid work in one week. One year of full-time work is at least 1,560 hours.
  • Candidates who apply using international paid work experience must have at least one year of paid work experience in Canada.
  • If career/employment related duties account for only part of an applicant’s past jobs/roles, or applicant’s work experience was only part-time (less than 28 hours/week), then the applicant must demonstrate having accumulated the required experience over more years than indicated for the category in question.
  • Applicants must have obtained their core education from an accredited or government-approved institution of higher education in Canada, or from another institution that is approved by BCCDA.
  • Applicants with certificates, diplomas, or degrees from other countries must provide evidence that these certificates or degrees are from an accredited or government-approved institution. Otherwise, applicants must submit a credential-recognition document from a government or university-approved ICES or PLAR service.
  • Applicant’s educational programs or degrees for Categories 1 through 4 (listed above) must be in Career/Employment Development, Vocational Rehabilitation, or the following related fields: Psychology, Sociology, Counselling, Education, Human Resources Management, Social Work, or Marketing.
  • Applicants must be current, individual voting members of the BCCDA. Professional Membership is required for the Association to have continued jurisdiction over the member and over continued use of the CCDP designation. Successful applicants must maintain their BCCDA professional membership to maintain CCDP certification. Those who have been “grandfathered in” with a three-year certification period will have a Professional Membership credit of $50 for each remaining subscription year with BCCDA. To read more about how this compensation would apply to you, please refer to our BCCDA membership benefits.

CCDP Maintenance

BCCDA is pleased to announce that we have streamlined and simplified the process for maintaining your CCDP designation. Below is a list of changes effective as of July 1, 2016:

  • Professional activities will now be tracked in hours rather than in credits. (If you watch a one-hour Webinar, it simply counts as 1 hour of Professional Activities.)
  • BCCDA has shifted to requiring an annual CCDP Maintenance Log. The annual system, in addition to being more convenient, will ensure that our members are engaging in continuing education activities on a consistent basis.
  • Your professional membership fee of $130 will cover the CCDP maintenance fee.
  • Member profile with Professional Hours Tracking System: With the launch of our new website, your member profile now will automatically track all Professional activities obtained through BCCDA.
  • In order to maintain your CCDP designation and title, practitioners must:
    • Maintain continuous Professional Membership with BCCDA.
    • Complete and document a minimum of 25 hours of professional activities per year.
    • Ensure that each professional development activity claimed addresses at least one Core Competency and one area of Specialization from the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners.
    • Provide supporting Documents: Please retain verification documents for all continuing education activities claimed for one year after submission, as these may be required for randomized audits.

Changes in BCCDA Membership

Important Notes for BCCDA Members:

  • Staring June 11, 2016 BCCDA will combine your CCDP expiry date with your BCCDA Individual Membership expiry date by taking the longer date as your new annual CCDP/Professional Membership Anniversary date. For example, your CCDP expiry date is on August 15, 2016 and your BCCDA individual membership expiry date is on December 31, 2016- Your new CCDP/Professional Membership expiry date will be on December 31, 2016)
  • If your CCDP expiry year is greater than 2017, you will have a credit of $50 for each remaining subscription years in BCCDA new Professional Membership (As you have pre-paid a total of $150 for re-certification fee over a three-year period). Therefore, when you renew your Professional Membership and fill-in CCDP Maintenance Log, you will pay a discounted fee of $80/year. For example, if your CCDP expiry year is 2019, then you will have a total of $150 in credit for the three remaining years. From 2017-2019, you will pay the discounted fee of $80/year for your Professional Membership. Starting 2020, you will pay a normal fee of $130 for your Professional Membership. If this is the case for your membership, please contact BCCDA Registrar office for a promo code.
  • For those who are not CCDP holders/candidates and have renewed your membership up to 2017, the new fee structures will apply on your next membership renewal term.

Important Notes To Agency Members:

  • For those who have renewed their membership accounts up to 2017, we will ask you to select your types of agency membership again. After 2017, all agency membership renewal fees will be charged according to the new fee structures.
  • CCDP holders/ candidates can enjoy a 5%-9% discounted rate on your individual Professional Membership if your agency is maintaining a current and valid agency membership in the BCCDA. Please contact BCCDA Registrar office for your promo code.