training in counselling psychotherapy
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Training in Counselling & Psychotherapy

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Training in Counselling & Psychotherapy . “Where do I start?”. Counselling Introductory/Basic skills courses Usually 3 hrs pw . . 10 to 17 weeks Include background in basic theory, interpersonal/communication skills and some group sharing of personal experiences.

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where do i start
“Where do I start?”


  • Introductory/Basic skills courses

Usually 3 hrs pw . . 10 to 17 weeks

  • Include background in basic theory, interpersonal/communication skills and some group sharing of personal experiences.
  • Useful even if you’ve trained already as a nurse, social worker or similar as it will give a taste of what is particular to this professional field
  • “What next?”
certificate level courses
Certificate level courses
  • Usually 1 yr , c.4 hrs pw. (N.B. Some places offer a two year Certificate instead of Introductory + 1yr.Cert.)
  • Require trainees to have a regular setting where can practice skills – may be voluntary work as a befriender or integral to current employment (such as personal tutoring if you are a lecturer or talking/listening to patients if you are a nurse).
certificate level courses4
Certificate level courses
  • More theory; more skills development; some issues-based teaching; increasing emphasis on developing personal awareness (e.g. impact of self on others, understanding of own emotional baggage).
  • FE & HE certificates available. HE level will usually include more academic assignments and, if you have no previous HE experience, this can be invaluable in reaching the standard required by most courses at the next level…

“I think I want to become a Counsellor”

professional training as a counsellor
Professional Training as a Counsellor
  • 2 yrs, 6 – 7 hrs pw
  • Mandatory placement for 1 to 1 casework
  • Mandatory supervision of casework
  • May require personal therapy
  • Will usually include a weekly Personal Development group
  • Require good levels of written English and of academic skills.
  • Usually FE or HE institution with some private training bodies too. In near future a switch to university-validated courses will impact all training providers.
how much time should i allow
“How much time should I allow ?”
  • Placements require a serious investment of time; you will be doing 2-3 client hours per week plus whatever is required in terms of training meetings/internal supervision.
  • Supervision will be between 1.5 & 2hrs per month while you are seeing clients.
  • Personal therapy (if required) will be 1hr. per week
  • And don’t forget travelling time for all of these!
It is probably wise to regard this as an additional day’s worth of work to put alongside of your Diploma/Psychotherapy training. So you will be fitting in two extra days of stuff whilst you are in training. You will have to plan in advance and be clear about what you will give up to accommodate this.
post professional academic trainings
Post-professional academic trainings
  • Build on Diploma but are academic rather than experiential
  • One-year top-up degrees (e.g. BSc at Leedsmet)
  • Masters programmes; can be modular (e.g. Leedsmet, Salford) or group-based (e.g. York St. John)
  • Doctorates (PhD)
  • All are university based
i want to be a psychotherapist
“I want to be a psychotherapist”
  • For those who wish to specialise in longer term/in-depth work
  • Usually 4yrs pt, usually in private institution validated by a university
  • Mandatory placement which will also include a psychiatric placement
  • Mandatory supervision of casework
  • Mandatory personal therapy usually throughout the training
  • Usually lead to MA; although some trainings stand outside of this there is an increasing trend for psychotherapy trainings to seek university validation
cognitive behavioural psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy
  • NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) growth in 1 y full time training at University in CBT/P
  • In-post training at post grad level
  • For those with a professional qual in social worK – counselling – mental health nursing.
what about ft undergraduate programmes
“What about FT undergraduate programmes?”
  • First appeared during late 1990s as a way of responding to demand at 18+
  • FT 3yr courses
  • Not a practitioner training for counsellors or psychotherapists but a generic background (hence titles like “Counselling Studies”)
  • Traditional academic entry filter to what is, in effect, a vocational preparation for many careers involving ‘people skills’.
what personal qualities will i need
“What personal qualities will I need?”. . . .
  • Integrity.
  • Assertiveness.
  • Emotional resilience.
  • Good thinking skills and an enquiring mind.
  • Organised, punctual and generally well boundaried.
  • Compassion and respectfulness
  • A capacity for experiencing intense emotions without acting them out
  • This is not a complete list!
  • Useful website for more info
  • or
  • art therapy Sheffield NHS 4 days

MA Mod or stand alone cert

  • 3 day Counselling skills as a taster/CPD