Networking opportunities. Professional development. Career guidance.
Those are just a few of the perks to student membership at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), as listed by Alissa Vincenti – Yorkville University’s designated student representative for the national association of professionally trained counsellors.
“Being a CCPA member gives students the opportunity to network with others and provides them with the opportunities to receive more information to better guide their future careers in the counselling domain,” said the 24-year-old Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) student.
Vincenti said it was while discussing the counselling profession’s standards of practice and codes of ethics during one of her online Yorkville classes that she was first introduced to the national body.
“It really intrigued me,” she said of the CCPA. “From there, I started researching more and more about this association…to the point where I actually called them to get more information.”
Impressed by what she learned during that phone call, Vincenti decided to sign up for a CCPA membership – which, for students, costs just $85 a year and comes with lots of perks.
Membership benefits for students include:
1) Subscriptions to both COGNICA – CCPA’s quarterly newsletter dedicated to keeping members informed about current trends in counselling in Canada – and the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy (CJCP), which provides members up-to-date information on counselling research, innovative practices, and book reviews.
2) Access to a members-only portal on the CCPA website that provides access to: previous issues of COGNICA; employment opportunities; updates on provincial regulations; and a members’ incentive program.
3) Entry to the CCPA’s annual national conference – which aims to provide members with “new ideas and new techniques to help them meet the needs of clients” – as well as to the CCPA’s special interest and regional chapters across Canada, including the Quebec Counselling Association (QCA) that Vincenti, a lifelong Montrealer, is also a member of.
“Being a student member (of CCPA), I receive newsletters about upcoming programs and events occurring around Canada – and that’s how I came across a celebratory dinner for the QCA’s 60th anniversary,” she said, noting that she decided to attend the event despite not knowing anyone.
“I was very eager to meet others in my profession, and I was extremely happy to meet so many great people at this event who really shared with me some wonderful suggestions.”
From that point on, Vincenti said she knew she wanted to get even more involved in the CCPA and QCA, so she signed up to become Yorkville’s student representative – a role she’s since relished.
“As a student rep, I work together with the CCPA regional director in my province to partake in different CCPA gatherings and structured information sessions for students getting to know what the association is really all about,” she said of her role as liaison.
“For me, being a student member has opened my eyes to the counselling community and how the profession works…
“What’s also great is they send out these awesome newsletters that get you aware of all these different programs that are offered…for me personally, I think that’s the big one, because it really allows me to see how I could extend my education and see what else is out there for me after my Masters.”
Any Yorkville student wishing to find out more about the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and its membership is invited to contact Vincenti by going to bit.ly/2zqsGKE, scrolling to the bottom of the page, and choosing Yorkville University from the Contact drop-down menu.