May 31, 2016

Charles F. Gressard

IRCEP Steering Committee Chair Charles F. (Rick) Gressard has been a counselor since graduating from a master’s program in counseling at Kent State in 1971. Although he enjoyed travelling for personal reasons, Rick did not have professional contact with counseling outside the United States until 2000, when he joined the leadership of the National Board for Certified Counselors.

“I visited and met with counselors on every inhabited continent. These encounters provided me with a global perspective and with contacts around the world.”

Following Rick’s tenure with NBCC, he continued to attend international meetings, and was asked to teach ethics courses in counseling programs in both Romania and St. Lucia.

“Teaching ethics in two different cultures was probably one of my most profound educational experiences. Engaging in ethical discussions and debates in Eastern Europe and the Caribbean did as much as any of my experiences to broaden my perspective and to appreciate the impact of culture on the practice of counseling.”

Participation in IRCEP was a natural progression from the meetings with NBCC and the World Health Organization. Both of those organizations believe that counseling can become a global profession and is the ideal profession to meet the mental health needs of millions of underserved people around the world.
“The development of IRCEP has been an important step in the globalization of our profession, providing programs with global recognition and creating a community of counselor educators that will transform our profession.”
Rick continues to be at the forefront of the internationalization of the counseling profession. Joining the CACREP Board in 2008 Rick became the board liaison and was later appointed as the Steering Committee Chair of IRCEP.

“It is through a global exchange of training models, theories, and pedagogies that the counseling profession will reach its full potential. An international counseling community is our future and IRCEP will play an essential role in that process. Our future as a profession lies in our ability to adapt to a changing world.”