Becoming a Counsellor

Becoming a Counsellor is not that straight forward. We try and show in simple terms what steps you could take to become a Qualified and then Accredited Counsellor.

The Professional Body for Psychotherapy and Counselling

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PATHWAY TO QUALIFIED COUNSELLOR STATUS

Your Path, Your Life, Your Journey

What no one seems to tell you is how complex the route to becoming a qualified counsellor is. So we’re trying to make this simple. The example below is only related to the United Kingdom.

Either route A or B will get you to where you need to be. Degrees deemed worth more, but also costs around £25k more than the Diploma route. It is also worth noting that Degrees do not gain you any higher level of membership. Levels of membership have a number of factors applied to them. For more on membership criteria please click here.

A)  The Diploma Route

B) The Degree Route

The Degree route is simple, they teach you to write, a lot. So we’ve decided not to include a break down of this. Below is a break down of the Diploma route which can seem complex…

You need:

All training to be completed face to face (unless Covid restrictions apply)

Year 1 – Counselling Skills (90hrs)

Year 2 (Level 4, Part Time, Year 1) – Counselling Theory (90hrs)

Get Insured – Apply for Student Membership

Year 3 (Level 4, Part Time, Year 2) – Advanced Skills (90hrs) +100hrs Placement Hours

Apply for Qualified Counsellor Status (Associate member) + Upgrade Insurance

Upon gaining Qualified status, counsellors must complete 1.5 hours Supervision per month

(This concludes the basic level training and membership)

To gain further recognition counsellors must complete 450 hrs training in total (Not including +100hrs Placement) and complete a minimum of 3 years face to face client work (paid or unpaid) and complete 5 case studies to be Accredited. This then gains you potential employment with some organisations and companies. Accredited status seems to be the standard for Employer Assistance Programmes (EAP) and work within some schools. 

If you’re wanting to build a Private Practice the minimum standard is Associate Member status. However, it is a requirement that you pursue 30 hrs CPD’s (Continued Professional Development) annually to continue to be a member; and further training to gain higher Accredited status if you are a member of the ISPC.

Year 1
Stage 1 Learn the Practical Skills of Counselling
Counselling Skills 90hrs

The course teaches the basic skills that counsellors require to work effectively with clients. It is based on the person centred model and uses Egan’s three-stage model of exploration, understanding and action.

  • Person Centred Theory
  • Egans 3 Stage Model
  • Listening
  • Open Questions
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarising
  • And much more...
  • 30 min practical assessment

 

Year 2
Stage 2.1 - Level 4 Year 1 Counselling Theory: Freud, Jung, Skinner, Rogers...
Counselling Theory 90hrs

Carl G Jung - Analytical Psychology

The student will be required to undertake a 50 min practical assessment of their counselling skills at the end of this year, in order to be enrolled onto year 2 Level 4 Diploma course.

Theories on this course could include the below examples...

  • Sigmund Freud
  • Hans Eysenck
  • Albert Ellis
  • Carl Rogers
  • B.F. Skinner
  • Eric Berne
  • Aaron T Beck
  • John Bowlby
  • Carl Jung
  • Melanie Klein
  • And more...
Year 3
Stage 2.2 - Level 4 Year 2 Advanced Skills and Practice
Advanced Counselling Training 90hrs

Students adopt a clinical approach and examine examples of contemporary problems using various counselling techniques. This will be applied to working with individuals and groups who are coming to terms with the emotional and psychological problems that modern living can cause.

Students during this course can also apply for Insurance and Student Membership to begin their 100hrs Placement.

Year 3 cont...
Placement hrs not inc. in training hours Apply for Insurance and Student Membership
+100hrs Placement

Placement hours must be with a recognised organisation or health care setting, that includes supervision as part of the requirements.

Students must be insured and a member of an organisation to carry these hours out. This helps to raise standards and protects both counsellor and client.

Qualified Counsellor
Qualified Counsellor Status Apply for Associate Membership
Associate Membership
Congratulations!!!! You can now gain Indemnity Insurance to begin your own Private Practice with the Associate Level Membership

Year 4
Level 5 Personal Development Adding another 90hrs
Personal Development = 360hrs Overall

This course is available to students who have gained their Level 4 (2 year) counselling qualification.

  • Group process discussions

  • Self awareness practical group exercises

  • Personal Values

  • Awareness of others

  • The influence of family

  • Unconscious contracts in relationships

  • Primal wounds

  • Autonomy

  • How we relate to others

  • Feelings

Year 5
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Adding another 90hrs
CBT - Completion = 450hrs Overall

Aaron T Beck - CBT

Learn to construct and deconstruct behaviours and make changes for the better. Once you can understand how to “reprogram” the mind, you can use the techniques and resources you have studied to the benefit of others, as well as yourself.

Specialising in CBT will give you a better understanding of the mind and how to control it to alleviate anxiety, depression, grief, anger, sleep disorders or even chronic pain. 

Apply for Accreditation
3 Years Face to Face client work This can be in Private Practice, Paid or Unpaid
Accredited Membership

To apply for Accredited Membership Level counsellors must have:

  • Completed 450 hrs study
  • Inc. Skills, Theory, Advanced Skills
  • Completed 100 hrs Placement
  • Received 1.5 hrs Supervision per month after completion of Level 4, whilst seeing clients
  • Completed 30hrs CPD training each year whilst practicing
  • 450 hrs with Clients (which can include placement hours)
  • 3 Years of Practice after Qualified
  • Complete 5 Case Studies
  • 50 Min Recorded Session
  • Final Written Reflection on Session
  • Insurance


Top Up Degree
1 Year Top Up Degree This will cost you £9000 for the Privilege
Top Up Degree
Addiction, What counsellors should know about me, ISPC

To gain your Top Up Degree you will have to apply through the University of Your Choice.

A Degree will help you in the long run as certain membership body's want to keep pressing for standards, (whilst knowing that Degree Level Courses have nothing to do with basic skills, communication and above all, building and maintaining positive relationships).

However, the degree will stand you in good stead in the future as the landscape of Counselling is shifting to the more elite practice.

It is only our view that Universities do not give you everything you need and are charging people £9000 per year for study skills.

WE WORK TOGETHER WITH COLLEGES

OUR PROFITS GO TOWARDS HELPING STUDENTS TO BECOME QUALIFIED COUNSELLORS

Therapist Directory

If you’re looking for counselling and psychotherapy please look through our directory. All of our members are fully qualified, follow our code of standards and ethics, and undergo continued professional development.

Codes of Ethics

If you’re looking for counselling and psychotherapy please look through our directory. All of our members are fully qualified, follow our code of standards and ethics, and undergo continued professional development.

Making a Complaint

If you’re looking for counselling and psychotherapy please look through our directory. All of our members are fully qualified, follow our code of standards and ethics, and undergo continued professional development.

TRAINING FOR OUR FUTURE

Becoming a counsellor

Counsellors work with clients experiencing a wide range of emotional and psychological difficulties to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing. Clients could have issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, loss and relationship difficulties that are affecting their ability to manage life.

Counselling Membership, Profits, towards helping others

OUR PUBLIC DUTY

Our profits go towards helping students through meaningful training and qualification

Counsellors work with clients experiencing a wide range of emotional and psychological difficulties to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing. Clients could have issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, loss and relationship difficulties that are affecting their ability to manage life.

GIVING YOU PEACE OF MIND

Indemnity Insurance

£1,000,000+ Cover

UK Members of the ISPC are able to take advantage of special indemnity insurance rates by applying to Holistic Insurance Services, please contact ISPC for details. Or click the link below to go straight to Holistic Insurance.