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Step A: Considering a career in counselling or psychotherapy

There are many things that need to be given thought when considering a career in counselling or psychotherapy.


Theoretical Approach  

If you have decided that you want to begin a career in counselling or psychotherapy, you will need to think about what type of counsellor or psychotherapist you want to become. There are many different approaches which can be generally categorised as behavioural, humanistic or psychoanalytic .

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Training

Currently, in the UK, there is no minimum level of qualification that needs to be reached in order to practice. However, this is likely to change in the near future as counselling and psychotherapy become regulated professions.

In order to become a student member of BACP, you must be training on a counselling or psychotherapy course that is undertaken via face to face classroom tuition and is a minimum of one year full time or two year part time with a supervised placement that is a minimum of 100 hours.

BACP has assessed and awarded accreditation to just under 100 courses. Search for a BACP Accredited Training Course

If you are interested in finding out more about training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist, you can call BACP on 01455 883300 or email bacp@bacp.co.uk . Alternatively, if you would like a training pack emailed to you please text your name and email address to 01455 560606.

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Tutor Advice

Counselling and Psychotherapy courses often have vigorous entry procedures. Requirements differ from course to course but there may be a minimum age limit, interviews and written assessments. For advice on what tutors look for in potential students click here .

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Careers

Once you have qualified as a counsellor or psychotherapist, there are various opportunities open to you. You may choose to work privately or voluntarily or within the NHS or an educational setting. This page provides more information on counselling careers .

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Counsellors' Stories

Read accounts  from students and newly qualified counsellors about what made them decide to change career, training and what it's like to see clients for the first time.

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Fees

Aswell, as the obvious cost of training courses there are other fees to consider when training and when newly qualified. Full details on what fees you may need to think about can be found here

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Other Considerations

Embarking on a counselling or psychotherapy career is a big step and can impact those around you. Training will require a lot of time, self evaluation and dedication.

When in her first year of training, Eve Menezes Cunningham had discovered that therapy courses should come with a health warning: they can seriously affect your relationship with partners, friends, family and colleagues.

Members and non-members can purchase Eve Menezes Cunningham's article ' Make or Break ', which appeared in the June 2009 issue of Therapy Today online or by contacting Customer Services on 01455 883300.