A Brief History of SAC
The context in which the beginning of an association of counsellors in Singapore came to be was the participation at the inaugural conference-workshop of the Association of Psychological and Educational Counsellors of Asia (APECA) held in Manila, Philippines in 1976, in which the late Dr Rev Gunnar Teilmann, founding Director of Counselling and Care Centre (CCC), was invited to attend. That was the beginning of CCC’s involvement with APECA.
In 1982, 3 of CCC’s staff attended the conference-workshop in Salatiga, Indonesia and made a bid for the conference-workshop to be held in Singapore. This was unsuccessful but provided impetus for the then Deputy Director of CCC, Ms Ginny Heng to return with plan for setting up a local association that would in some way be affiliated to APECA.
She initiated meetings with other staff Therapists of CCC and together with the Director of CCC, (Anthony Yeo) utilised the constitution of APECA as the basis for formulating the constitution for registration of SAC.
Since there was only a small cohort of counselling professionals in Singapore at that time, the original intention of the founding members of SAC decided to be inclusive. This led to a fairly easy passage for those involved in some kind of counselling work such as social workers, pastors and educators to be accepted as members, even if they did not have formal qualifications in counselling.
CCC also initiated the first formal counsellor-training programme in 1981 and that also formed the basis for qualification for membership in SAC.
The affiliation with APECA led to SAC sponsoring and organising the APECA conference-workshop in 1986. This was followed up with another conference-workshop held in 1994.
(The Late Mr Anthony Yeo, Founder of SAC)