Competence framework

The competence framework identifies the competences required for delivering effective humanistic counselling with young people aged 4 to 18 years.

The humanistic approach emphasises a relational way of working, placing less emphasis on technique than other therapeutic orientations. The key counsellor competences are sustained empathic relating, openness, receptiveness and maintaining a fundamentally accepting stance.

Humanistic therapists also tend towards interventions which support and validate immediate client experience, facilitating the integrity of the self and a sense of personal authenticity. Humanistic approaches encourage self-awareness, including awareness of experience itself, of emotional reactions, and the experience of interactions with others. The counsellor's role is to help children and young people extend their awareness of their subjective world and support their natural striving toward self-awareness, self-acceptance and personally-determined solutions.

Counsellors' guide

The counsellors' guide describes the competence framework and explains its uses, how practitioners should apply it and its advantages for clinicians, trainers and commissioners.

Training curriculum

The evidence-based curriculum is underpinned by these competences. It can be used by training providers delivering courses in a variety of contexts, to a diverse student audience.

The counselling young people (11-18 years) training curriculum is being updated to reflect the revised competence framework for work with children and young people (4-18 years). We aim to publish this in autumn 2019.

Further information

If you have any questions or feedback about the CYP competences or the curriculum, or want these documents in a Word format, please email Caroline Jesper, Professional Standards Development Facilitator.

BACP competences and curricula

Our competences and curricula are based on the latest research evidence into effective practice. They can be used by practitioners, trainers, supervisors and services to ensure practitioners have the skills and knowledge needed to work in a particular setting, or with particular clients.