When writing your listing:
- wording should be aligned to the BACP Ethical Framework
- use appropriate language, without discrimination or obscenities
- write in the first person - for example "I’m an experienced therapist” rather than “she is an experienced therapist”
- you should only include information about yourself as a therapist, not about your colleagues or organisation
Including a photograph in your listing can help make it stand out and look more professional and friendly. Generally people like to see a photo of the counsellor they will be contacting.
Choose a clear, portrait style image of your head and shoulders against a plain background. Your photo should not include other people as this may confuse potential clients. We also advise excluding distractions such as pets, food or drink.
We will not accept any images which include logos or contact information.
Clients often search for a therapist based on geographical location. To help clients find you, you’ll need to include a full address and postcode in your listing. We can't publish your listing without this information.
Your full address won't be available to the public - your listing will just show the first part of your postcode. We only use your address to make sure you appear in the relevant searches.
For example, our head office address - 15 St John's Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4HB - would be shown as 'Lutterworth, LE17’.
The only time a potential client will be given your full address is when you're ready to give it to them.
How many views your profile receives depends on factors such as your location and those with listings in highly populated areas have a lot more competition. Adding keywords about your specialties can help make you more visible to people searching for your area of expertise.
In your listing, you can include a link to your professional website to help clients find out more about you, your practice and services. Please don't include links to other directories which you use to advertise.
If you do provide a website address, clients may click through to this and contact you directly. So you may find that you don't receive many direct enquiries from our contact form.
We strongly advise you not to include your email address within your profile. While this makes it easier for members of the public to contact you directly, it also increases the risk of you being sent scams and spam emails. Your email address is hidden behind your contact form to protect your privacy and, while we cannot stop you receiving spam, it does reduce the amount you receive.
Including short testimonials or quotes from clients can help demonstrate your experience and skills by giving the perspective of someone who has used your service.
You must ensure that you have permission from the person providing the testimonial to add it to your Directory listing. We recommend putting quotes in ‘quotation marks’ to help them stand out.
Testimonials must comply with the Endorsements and testimonials requirements from Section 3 of the Advertising Standard Authorities' UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Promotional Marketing.
Your subscription fee allows you to create up to six directory listings to advertise yourself as a therapist, trainer or supervisor.
If you create more than one of the same listing type, for example, two therapist listings, you need a different postcode for each listing.
Your name on your directory listing and the BACP Register will be the same. Keeping your name consistent is best practice and makes sure that people can easily identify you as a registered counselling professional.
If you want to use a shortened version of your name, such as Cathy instead of Catherine, we can update your details. This change will apply to your entire membership account so your new name will also appear on the BACP Register and any letters and emails we send you.
To change your first name, email us at email@example.com so we’ve got a record of your request. You’ll still need to send supporting evidence, such as a marriage certificate, if you want to change your surname.
The qualifications you list in your member account area are not automatically transferred onto your Directory entry. If you'd like to display details of relevant counselling and psychotherapy qualifications on your listing, please add them into one of the free text sections.
This is the ideal place to add details of any qualifications you have in more specialist areas, or if you belong to any our specialist divisions – BACP Children, Young People and Families, BACP Coaching, BACP Healthcare, BACP Private Practice, BACP Spirituality, BACP Universities and Colleges or BACP Workplace.
Registration or accreditation with other professional associations
If you want to include that you have registered or accredited status with another professional association, please ensure that you provide the URL of their webpage that supports this status. We will hyperlink this into your profile for you.
We will not be able to approve your listing if it does not have this link.
Titles such as Arts Therapist or Practitioner Psychologist are protected by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can only use these titles in your Directory entry if you are registered with the HCPC.
You can find a full list of protected titles, and check whether you are registered, on the HCPC website - Professions and protected titles.
Using the title Dr
At members’ request, we allow use of the title Dr in directory listings.
However, if your use of Dr relates to a PhD, we must add the following qualifying statement to your directory entry:
The use of the title Dr in this directory listing relates to the member’s doctorate qualification. However, this does not imply a general medical qualification.
This is on the advice of the Advertising Standards Agency.
If your qualification is in another discipline unrelated to counselling and psychotherapy, you should consider the following requirement from the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, and whether the inclusion of the title Dr could be potentially misleading:
“Whenever we communicate our qualifications, professional experience and working methods, we will do so accurately and honestly. All reasonable requests for this information will be answered promptly.” (Good Practice Point 45)
If you have a medical qualification that entitles you to use the title Dr, please email a copy of your qualification to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you provide any adoption support services, including counselling, advice, assistance and information in which an adoption related issue is the focus of the work, you must be:
- registered as an Adoption Support Agency (ASA) with Ofsted, or
- working as an employee or under a contract for services with an ASA, and the therapy work undertaken is in the context of that employment or contract
If you meet these requirements, you can advertise your services any of the free text sections of your directory listing. We recommend you include details of your Ofsted registration, if relevant, or confirm that you’re providing this service under a contract of employment or for services with a registered ASA.
You can include details of any languages you speak in the free text content as well as adding in the global settings. If you speak a language that is not widely spoken in the UK, this could set you apart from other counselling professionals working in the same area.
You can include a paragraph of a few sentences in a different language within your listing, but the majority of the content must be written in English.
If you provide your hourly rate, this will be shown in your listing.
If you don't include this in the relevant field, your listing will show ‘Contact [your name] for session rate’.
This section allows you to show what days and times you work, if you currently have availability or whether you're taking any planned leave from your practice.
'About me and my therapy practice' and 'Practice description'
These sections allow you to talk about your work and let clients know what to expect from you. The first few lines of this section will appear in the search results for clients to read.
When completing this section, put yourself in the position of someone looking for help and think about what you would want to know in that situation. Use plain English and avoid complicated or specialist counselling language.
Adding keywords for your areas of expertise within these sections, as well as selecting them as your specialties, will help you to appear within searches. The more keywords you use within the free text, the more likely you are to appear when a member of the public is searching for a therapist specialising in your areas. You'll find a regularly updated list of the key words people are searching for on our blogs page.
If you conduct your first session any differently to the rest of your therapeutic sessions, describe what you do here.
How you can help
Here you can highlight what you can help with, the types of therapy you use, who you work with and how you deliver therapy.
Clients can filter search results by issue or type of therapy, so make sure you select all the areas that apply to you and update these regularly.
Your listing is intended to encourage people to contact you. It's likely someone will be contacting you about their mental health so it’s important they know what will happen to their data when they do so. As a data controller, you must provide a privacy notice to individuals when collecting their data. We advise that you provide a brief summary about the use of their data on your listing itself or information on where they can find more details, such as a full privacy notice published on your website. For more information, please visit the ICO website.
Creating your directory listing
How to create and update your directory listings
Therapist directory telesurgery
Have any questions about your listing or its performance? Book a free 30 minute telesurgery with our Directories team.
Our regular updates on making the most of your directory listings