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A career in counselling

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Becoming a Counsellor/Psychotherapist

Below is a three stage training structure we have gathered from feedback that is a guideline for which route and courses to take if you are looking to undertake counsellor/psychotherapist training. It is only a guideline to try and help you and the BACP can only recommend specific BACP accredited courses as we have seen the course criteria. Counselling training can be a 3-4 year path or sometimes higher depending on the specific course(s) and the individual and how much training and learning the individual wishes to take.

We unfortunately are not careers advice so cannot advise should you call customer services on which stage is best for you.

The best thing would be for you to look at the three stages below and determine this for yourself and contact a course provider at that stage and they will go through the entry requirements with you and hopefully this will then give you an indication as to what course you need to take if you are unsure.

 

We have also included some helpful FAQ's to assist you further down the page.

 

1. Introduction to Counselling.

The purpose of this course is to help establish some basic counselling skills and a general overview of how training is set up in order to show trainees what to expect before making a commitment to full Counsellor / Psychotherapist training. These courses are usually ran at local further education colleges and adult education centres and last between 8-12 weeks. You would need to contact these places of study directly in your local area to see when and where they are running.

2. Certificate in Counselling Skills.

This level of course will provide you with a theoretical understanding of Counselling and Psychotherapy at a deeper level and develop those basic counselling skills acquired on the introduction course to prepare you for core training at the next stage. Like the first stage they are usually ran at local further education colleges and adult education centres and we generally find them to be 1 year part time.

3. Minimum Diploma level.

Once the first two stages have been completed these should provide you with the entry requirements to move onto a core training in Counselling / Psychotherapy. This level of training is at a minimum of a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. If you are looking for a course at this minimum level that you want to make sure meets BACP requirements, then the course must meet the criteria listed below.

A minimum of a 1 year full-time course or minimum 2 years part-time course that has a supervised placement of a minimum 100 hours as an integral part of the course.

Should you then be undertaking classroom tuition on a course that meets the criteria above whether it is a BACP Accredited course or not then you can look to join the BACP as a student member as the course would then meet the requirements for this category

Membership Information Join BACP

 

Hopefully the information above has been helpful. Please see below some helpful FAQ's to assist you.
Again the best thing would be for you to look at the three stages above and determine where you think you fit into the 3 stages and contact a course provider at that stage and they will go through the entry requirements with you and hopefully this will then give you an indication as to what course you need to take if you are unsure as we do not run the courses so cannot advise this.

Once you have read all of the FAQ's below should you wish to discuss anything further please contact Customer Services and we can help you.

 

Helpful FAQ's below

 

Do i need to undertake all 3 stages?

Not necessarily this depends on you and your possible experience and also the course provider at the relevant stage as they set the entry requirements. The stages mentioned are a guideline, so for example, if you have completed the first stage some time ago or maybe covered a lot of counselling in a specific job role then you may wish to look towards the second stage of training and contact a course provider, they would go through the entry criteria with you directly.

Can I train via online or distance learning?

Online or Distance Learning would contribute very little (if any at all) to the training hours you need to become a member or an accredited with the BACP. These courses offer little or no counselling practice under supervision and have little opportunity for observation and practice of counselling skills with feedback from both staff and fellow students, all of which are considered to be important aspects of training. We are aware there are a number of courses in counselling and psychotherapy now available, which combine written, video and audio material. While these can offer a useful introduction to the use of counselling skills and a little theory, in most cases it is unlikely that they would greatly contribute to the training element required for BACP membership and any future accreditation. Counselling training requires both staff/student and student/student contact.

Please refer to the 3 stage training structure above for counsellor/psychotherapist training.

Why hasn't the BACP got a list of courses run at local colleges or universities?

We do not actively go out and look for courses so you would need to check with the local college's and university's in your catchment area to see what courses are being run. A lot of courses may be subject to change and the BACP possibly not notified so any list we would have would then become out of date very quickly.

There is also Hot Courses that may help if you have checked the local college's and university's in your catchment area and have had no joy finding a course then hot courses may have a list of courses in your local area however the BACP can only recommend specific BACP accredited courses as we have seen the course criteria.

I have had a look on your BACP accredited course list but there is nothing in my area or the courses are too far for me to travel, is there anything else?

If you are looking at doing a course not on the accredited course list BACP Accredited Course Search and you are at the later stage of training i.e. completed a Certificate in Counselling Skills, then try and make sure the course you are looking at meets the requirements below.

Classroom based, not distance learning and a minimum of one year full-time or minimum 2 years part-time with a supervised placement of a minimum 100 hours as an integral part of the course criteria.

This way even though the course you are looking at may not be accredited with us as long as it meets the criteria then this would enable you to become a BACP member.

Does the BACP provide funding for courses?

The BACP does offer a Bursary for those accepted onto a specific BACP accredited course. Please see here for details Bursary / Funding Information

How much are the courses and what time do they run?

You would need to contact the course provider directly to find out this information as we do not run the courses, so any questions on fees, times or entry requirements contact the course provider and they will be able to go through these details with you.

Do I have to do a degree or masters?

If you are at the 3rd stage of training then as long as the course you are looking to undertake meets the criteria listed below then this is what we require so whether its a Diploma, Degree, Masters or Doctorate it does not matter as long as it meets the criteria below.

A minimum of a 1 year full-time course or minimum 2 years part-time course that has a supervised placement of a minimum 100 hours as an integral part of the course.

Do i have to take a BACP Accredited course?

BACP only accredit courses at the 3rd stage of training (Minimum diploma level) the first two stages will give you that initial experience, training and understanding.

So if you are at the 3rd stage of training then as long as the course meets the requirements below then whether the course is BACP accredited or not then this would enable you to join the BACP as a member.

A minimum of a 1 year full-time course or minimum 2 years part-time course that has a supervised placement of a minimum 100 hours as an integral part of the course. 

What jobs will be available to me once I finish training?

This is difficult to say because things change daily so when your training is finished and you are ready to work you would need to check at that specific time the opportunities available. It also depends on which work path you wish to take and the criteria required at that point.

What we can say is that current members of the BACP as part of their individual membership get access to jobs online which lists current vacancies we have been made aware of and also as a benefit of membership you would get the therapy today journal which lists jobs that companies/agencies wish to advertise. A good way for you to possibly to get an idea what jobs are available at this current time is to do an internet search for Counselling jobs in...(your location) and it may give you an idea?

My goal is to become an accredited Counsellor / Psychotherapist.

If you refer to the three stage training structure we have mentioned then it would be best to focus on this first in order to complete full core practitioner training.

Eventually if you complete a course at the Minimum diploma level stage that meets our requirements you could then start to look at becoming an accredited Counsellor / Psychotherapist should you meet the criteria.

Individual Accreditation is only available to current BACP members and enables clients, employers and colleagues to recognise proven and competant practitioners and is awarded to current BACP members who can meet the standard for accreditation.

So focus on the 3 stage training structure, then once qualified and you have joined the BACP as a current member, you could then start looking into the accreditation process.

Do you have any other helpful information?

Please see below some helpful documents.

pdf file Approaches
pdf file Approaches.pdf
Size: 2.41Mb
Click the link above to begin downloading
pdf file Attitudes Survey
pdf file Attitudes Survey.pdf
Size: 0.89Mb
Click the link above to begin downloading
pdf file Awarding Bodies
pdf file Awarding Bodies.pdf
Size: 1.53Mb
Click the link above to begin downloading
pdf file Information for students
pdf file Information for students.pdf
Size: 0.96Mb
Click the link above to begin downloading
pdf file Membership Benefits
pdf file Membership Benefits.pdf
Size: 0.52Mb
Click the link above to begin downloading

However if you would like further information then please do contact us Contact Customer Services

 

   
       
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