Becoming a Psychotherapist or Counsellor

How to become a psychotherapist

You can become a psychotherapist by wanting to be one - plus being prepared to commit many years to training, personal development and growth, hard work, and a lot of expensive. It is a life changing experience. And it is best to prepare yourself as far as possible. Below you'll find a variety of sources of advice, but probably the best advice to talk to a trainer and get a sense of what it is about.

UKCP Psychotherapy Advice

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is the principle organisation for most modalities of psychotherapy in the UK. It mainly licences organisations rather than individual members. These organisations in turn control the training and registration of psychotherapists. The UKCP offers advice on: 

BACP Psychotherapy Advice

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is the principle organisation for counselling, though it now also includes psychotherapists too. It is a member organisation - you become a member and then accredited to the BACP personally. It has an large section on: 

NHS Psychotherapy Advice

The is a large employer of therapists, though this is a comparatively new and evolving role. NHS Careers has information on: 

Guardian Newspaper Advice

The Guardian newspaper's careers section occasionally visits this topic, with stories such as: How do I become a Psychotherapist and more recently The Relationship Counsellor: The Healing Touch

TA Psychotherapy Training Advice

If you're considering training in Transactional Analysis the best advice is to call up your local Transactional Analysis training centre and to talk to one of the trainers there. They will able to advise you on your options, what requirements you will have to fulfil and indicate the stages of training. You should certainly attend a TA 101 course. This is both a requirement and give you a quick taster of what the process is going to be like. 

Becoming a psychotherapist outside the UK

This advice is UK specific. Other countries have different regulatory frameworks that can make the process quite different. Some of the books (right) may help, and well as the different sources of information gathered below.