The Northern Ireland Counselling Forum came into existence to fulfill the need of a representative body for the counselling and therapeutic communities in Northern Ireland.

The Forum has members from across the professional bodies, counsellors, students and supervisors. This need developed from the DHSSPS Counselling Review and the forthcoming registration and regulation for the Counselling Profession. We held our first meeting in February 2003.

The NICF was formed to promote quality standards within the counselling and therapeutic communities. Our purpose is to efficiently represent the practical needs of the counselling profession in Northern Ireland including lobbying, networking and representation to statutory and professional bodies.

We welcome contact from all who wish to offer their input and support to achieve this purpose.


To raise public awareness of counselling and be a common voice for the counselling community in Northern Ireland


To promote and develop professional standards and research related to counselling and be an influence in policy making at all levels concerning counselling


To promote and support professional standards of training and development for counsellors and raise awareness of accreditation for counselling in Northern Ireland

Strategic Report 2012 – 2015

The organisation had been operating on an ad hoc basis for 9 years from 2003 as a support mechanism and focal point for the counselling and therapeutic communities in Northern Ireland.

The organisation has within it several well placed members who sit on various forums and committees with strategic importance to the counselling and therapeutic community in Northern Ireland.

The Forum is now recognised as a focal point for the voice of this community as evidenced at the ‘Working Together’ Conference. The suggestions made at the conference for future work to be done by the Forum clearly show the direction and shape that the membership wish the Forum to take.

The membership have concerns and issues about the perception and status of their professions and wish to debate and discuss these concerns and issues in a way that could be brought to the attention of the decision makers at government and policy level.

The membership wish to see professional standard services being offered to those who require them and want pathways to attain that professionalism available in Northern Ireland.

The Forum and its membership are keenly aware of the added complexities to clients due to the historical conflict in and around Northern Ireland; the effect that this has on counsellor / client relationships and on the difficulties a client may be facing.