People move into counselling from various types of backgrounds; frequently counselling is a second or third career choice for many people and as previously mentioned, life experience is something that is highly valued in this profession.
The BACP advises that, in order to work as a fully qualified counsellor, you need to complete training that is accredited by an official body and includes the following steps:
- Introductory course either part-time, 10 to 12-week course based around the basic ideas and skills of counselling
- Certificate in counselling, a one-year, part-time course introducing counselling theories and ethics, as well as practical counselling skills
- A diploma or advanced diploma in counselling – this could be a detailed study of counselling theory and ethics, and a supervised work placement. The type of course is normally completed over two to three years
Accredited courses are available within colleges and even training centres, so it’s certainly worth researching your options fully. Beginning a course in counselling is a huge step. It’s something that takes time and dedication and it can be personally and emotionally challenging, so you will also need to consider how it will affect you. Here we have accumulated the mains steps you’ll need to take and consider:
Do you have the necessary personal qualities
To be a counsellor, you’ll need to be able to work and communicate with a variety of people from many different backgrounds. Here are a few traits that would certainly be beneficial for you to possess:
- Warm, open, and empathetic
- Able to gain trust and help people to feel relaxed
- Being patient, tolerant and emotionally sensitive, with an impartial non-judgmental attitude
- Being trustworthy and discreet
- A strong sense of personal ethics with a clear moral compass
- Resilience and a sense of self-awareness
- The ability to examine your own thoughts and to have an awareness of your boundaries
Training and qualifications
Most employers and, in a great many cases, clients, will understand the importance of using a councillor who has the accreditation of a professional body and who is professionally qualified this is the minimum level of training and experience that is recommended.
Supervision for your counselling training
As a training counsellor, it’s worth taking the step to utilise the services of a supervisor. They are not a manager but a professional mentor who will help to supervise you to harness the skills you are learning and work to the best practice standards, all while providing personal and psychological support to you.
Some courses require you to have had therapy or are happy to have your own counselling during your training. This is so that you can experience therapy from the client’s point of view, but it’s also for your own sense of personal development and to ensure that you are able to cope with the emotional upheaval of discussing what at times can be highly serious issues with clients. It’s important to note that personal counselling is not always a requirement.
Counselling certification and membership to a professional body
Many courses recommend that you join a recognised professional body. This can be beneficial to both your training as well as your future career in being able to access resources, knowledge, and networks. It also gives you a sense of credibility, showing that you are committed to practising competently, ethically, and safely and to continuous professional development. This is undoubtedly something that clients will seek out.
There is currently no statutory regulation in this particular area, however, you can improve your prospects by working towards membership of a professional body, such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), or the National Counselling Society (NCS).
Key Counselling Training Birmingham
Key Counselling Training in Birmingham are the leading provider of counselling courses. We are proud to assist with both aspiring and qualified counsellors providing a safe and highly motivating atmosphere designed to promote discussion and engagement for those who want to study counselling.
Contact us for more details.