Can Anyone Call Themselves A Therapist?

BBC News have created a video highlighting the unregulated nature of counselling (you can view the video here).

The article correctly states that currently the only regulation in the industry is voluntary. Doctors have to be registered with the GMB in order to practice. There is no equivalent requirement for counsellors.

There are calls for counselling to become regulated and the article likens the industry to the ‘wild west’ due to its lack of regulation. It can be hard for a client to know what to look for when there are no agreed standards.

The article suggests that you contact your GP to see about a referral for an NHS counsellor. Whilst this is a good suggestion, waiting lists for NHS counselling can be lengthy and some GPs are unable / unwilling to recommend specific private practitioners. The article goes on to quote the charity MIND’s list of what to look for in a counsellor:

  • Someone who is registered with an accrediting body
  • Check their professional qualifications, training and experience
  • Don’t sign up for treatment unless you’re totally happy

Accredited body

I am a member of two of professional membership bodies – the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS). In order to become a member I had to meet their training requirements. As part of my membership I agreed to abide by their Ethical Frameworks as well as committing to ongoing continued professional development (CPD) and regular supervision sessions to help me monitor my caseload. Should a client wish to make a complaint about me, they can register that complaint with either of these membership bodies both of whom have a details complaints procedure designed to support clients.

Qualifications, Training & Experience

I started training as a counsellor in 2014 and qualified in June 2018.

  • Introduction to Counselling Skills (AQA, June 2014)
  • Level 2 Counselling Skills (CPCAB, June 2015)
  • BA (Hons) in Integrative Relational Counselling (Middlesex University, June 2018)
  • 150 hours supervised practice
  • 2 years working as a voluntary counsellor at Kingston Womens Centre
  • 3 years working a voluntary counsellor for Royal Borough of Kingston (In house employee counselling service)

Counselling With Me

I offer all clients an introductory session, which is a chance to come into my counselling room and experience me as a counsellor. In this way you can judge for yourself whether or not you think I would be the right fit as a counsellor for you.

To book an introductory session, or if you have any questions for me please get in touch. You can use my contact form or send me an email lindsay@willow-tree-counselling.co.uk.

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