Before you take on the decision to become a counsellor, you may want to consider the training involved, the cost and whether counselling is for you. Counselling and psychotherapy training can take 3-5 years. Below are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- What qualifications do I need?
Generally, counselling and psychotherapy training may take between 3-5 years. You will need a minimum L4 diploma to practice as a counsellor.
- Will I go onto further training?
This is a personal choice, for example, a diploma qualifies you as a professional counsellor, however, you may want to go onto study in a specialist area, such as working with children or you may want to gain yourself a degree. Either way, you will need to think about CPD (continual professional development) after your training, which is a requirement of the counselling and psychotherapy professional bodies, such as the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) and should continue for as long as you are practicing as a counsellor.
- Do I have the time to devote to the training involved?
Counselling and psychotherapy training will require you to take additional time outside of class study time to complete assignments and work with real clients,(at least in the Diploma stage). You will also be required to undertake personal counselling and Supervision, all of which may be an additional cost to the course fee.
- what is the cost? can I cover each course?
Because of the length of training involved, this may be a consideration as you will need to pay for each step As discussed above, there may be additional costs aside from your course fee. Generally, counselling and psychotherapy courses are not cheap.
- Will I get a job at the end of my training?
This is certainly a question most might consider. After your training, you may want to work as a counsellor in an agency or you may wish to work in a related field, such as support work. Counselling jobs can be found and after a considerable time, you may wish to set up in private practice, working from home or hiring a room.
- Is counselling and psychotherapy for me?
This is an important question you may wish to ask yourself. Counselling training involves not only learning the theories but focuses very much on your own personal development. Are you willing to explore yourself, including your uncomfortable aspects of self? are you willing to explore personal issues? are you willing to share yourself within the safety of your group? the bottom line is, in order to work with others you will have to consider your willingness towards developing self.
Simms Counselling & Training Counselling Training Route
- CPCAB L2 Certificate in Counselling skills
- CPCAB L3 Certificate in Counselling Studies
- CPCAB L4 Diploma in Therapeutic counselling (Qualification)
You may also want to start with the CPCAB Award in Introduction to Counselling skills, which is a 10-week taster course which will give you a good idea of what counselling is, what skills are involved and importantly, answer your questions around, is counselling right for me.
In terms of further study, you may consider training in a specialist area or modality such as the CPCAB L5 diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory.