How is a counsellor trained?
A good basic counselling training will be a mixture of:
• Theoretical learning through lectures, discussions, reading and reflection.
• Practical learning through applying skills in small groups, for example, triad counselling skills practice.
• Experiential learning through group and small group exercises to increase self-awareness and awareness of others and our patterns of relating to others.
These can be summarised as the professional, skills and personal development aspects of counselling training.
At diploma level, there is an additional element of personal counselling and supervised client work experience.
How long will it take to become a counsellor?
It will take an average of three years to qualify as a counsellor.
For example, if you enrol now for the Basic Counselling Course, beginning September 24th 2015, and follow this with the Fast Track Level 3 Certificate in January 2016, then you would begin the 2 year Therapeutic Diploma in September 2016.
You will therefore complete your studies in July 2018.
However, this varies depending on which route you take and your own personal circumstances.
Can I do a full-time course with you?
Most counselling courses are part-time to fit in with trainees’ working lives, as well as allowing for sufficient time for personal development, which is an important part of counselling training.
It generally involves a few hours a week plus some weekend workshops and for Level 3, and 4 you will go on a Residential weekend each year.
You need to add time for study and on the diploma, for personal counselling and client and supervision hours.
Apart from the actual hours involved, counselling training can be emotionally taxing, and therefore a strong commitment is needed and where possible time needs to be created to allow for sufficient time and space in your life to fulfil the demands of the course.
There are full time counselling degrees available at university however, this incurs full time tuition fees at the university rate of approximately £9000 a year.
Do you offer any counselling home study courses?
No. Most counselling training is offered face-to-face. There are however, some counselling courses offered as “distance” courses, however we wouldn't recommend these because you need to carefully consider how much face-to-face counselling and tutoring is involved (if at all) and how rigorous the training is and its implications for practice and employment.
Many aspects involved in face-to-face counselling cannot be learnt exclusively through individual studying from home.
Additionally it is important to know that the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) to date does not recognise ‘distance learning’ and it might prove difficult to register as a professional member once qualified.
What sort of personal qualities are you looking for in a counselling trainee?
Trainees need to demonstrate evidence of the following qualities, or the potential for developing them:
• Self-awareness, maturity and stability.
• Ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience.
• Capacity to cope with the emotional demands of counselling training.
• Ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirements.
• Ability to form a helping relationship.
• Ability to be self-reflective and use both positive and negative feedback.
• Awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression.
Is there a minimum age to be eligible for counselling training?
Most trainer providers will accept trainees over 18of age for level 2 courses, and 21 years for level 3 and 4. Due to the nature of counselling and counselling training, it is essential that an applicant has got the required maturity and life experience to undertake counselling training.
Can I apply for the Level 4 Diploma if I have completed the Level 3 at another training provider?
Yes you can. We will need to see your qualifications/certificate.
Will I be BACP Accredited when I get my Diploma?
To become an accredited counsellor with the BACP you need to have been qualified as a counsellor for a minimum of 3 years and have complete 450 client contact hours.
You also need to have completed counselling training with a minimum of 400 guided learning hours (this is why with a ‘distant learning’ qualification it might proof difficult to register as a professional member once qualified.