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Frequently Asked Questions - General
Professional IssuesWhat is a psychotherapist?
Is counselling the same as psychotherapy?
What is a psychiatrist?
What is a psychologist?
What is a psychoanalyst?
What letters may I use after my name if I complete the CSCT Diploma?
Will I be able to call myself a counsellor?
What is Accreditation?
What is the BACP?
What is the UKRC?
What is the UKCP?
Will I be able to get a job as a counsellor if I get my CSCT Diploma?
Are CSCT courses BACP Accredited?
Will I be BACP Accredited when I get my CSCT Diploma?
Why are there different theories about counselling?
Counselling is an established and recognised profession in which a trained counsellor seeks to help a client to understand and learn to deal with a wide variety of issues in their life. It is different from teaching, caring and advice-giving, and requires a particular kind of training. It is also possible to learn to use counselling skills in other kinds of work, without seeking to become a professional counsellor. CSCT has many years of experience of providing training of both kinds.
A good basic counselling training will be a mixture of :
CSCT courses are designed to provide a good balance of these elements.
This involves taking turns to act as counsellor, client and observer to gain experience of using the skills of counselling and getting feedback from fellow trainees. The trainers will demonstrate skills in action and help trainees gain confidence and give each other helpful feedback. Most skills practice involves role-playing imaginary 'helpees' or clients.
Experiential work means learning from trainees' own experience of being a member of a training group and of thinking about how counselling theories may help us understand ourselves. Trainers will help by suggesting exercises and by encouraging trainees to learn about how to co-operate with and support fellow trainees.
Psychotherapists are usually graduates, and are highly trained professionals who may or may not be medically qualified. Psychotherapists, like counsellors, usually seek to help their patients by listening, talking and trying to establish a particular kind of helping relationship. Many of the skills and theories used by psychotherapists are equally relevant to counsellors.
The two professions are closely related, and the skills and knowledge needed are very similar. In general, counsellors are more likely to do shorter-term work focusing on particular problems such as addiction and bereavement, while psychotherapists often encourage a deeper, more fundamental process of change in clients who seem to require it. Experienced counsellors often go on to become psychotherapists. CSCT's Therapeutic Counselling Programme is designed with this possibility in mind.
Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that deals with mental and emotional disorders. Psychiatrists are doctors who have a specialised training and are able to diagnose and treat patients classified as having mental illness. Although many psychiatrists have also received some training in psychotherapy and counselling skills, the way they understand and approach their patients is likely to be very different from how a counsellor relates to a client.
Psychology is the science that deals with mental processes and behaviour. A psychologist usually means someone who has a degree in psychology. Clinical psychologists have a degree in psychology and a postgraduate qualification in clinical psychology. They are able to assess and treat patients. They may also received some training in counselling skills. The way they understand and approach their patients may or may not be very different from how most counsellors relate to their clients, depending on which theories they favour. A counselling psychologist is a counsellor who has an initial training in psychology and who uses methods and models drawn from the science of psychology in her work.
Psychoanalysts are practitioners of psychoanalytic psychotherapy within the tradition founded by Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis places emphasis on the importance of unconscious forces in the way the mind works and requires a long and demanding training. Theories derived from psychoanalysis about human development and the practice of psychotherapy are an important influence for many counsellors, and are included in CSCT training courses.
As there is no statutory regulation for counselling within the UK, It is still the case that anyone may call themselves a counsellor. This is likely to change so that only those who have, at least, obtained a Diploma in Counselling such as that offered by nationally approved awarding bodies or universities will be able to use the term. Accreditation by a recognised body such as the BACP is also likely to be important. Increasingly, agencies and potential clients are seeking information about qualifications and accreditation before employing an individual counsellor.
Accreditation means the recognition by a professional organisation of an individual practitioner or of a training course or organisation as meeting certain minimum requirements. The BACP is the most important professional organisation for accreditation as a counsellor. Further information: www.bac.co.uk
BACP stands for British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. The BACP, established in 1977, is now widely recognised as the voice of counselling in Britain. It seeks to promote and develop the profession by evolving standards for practice and training. Its Codes of Ethics and Practice are widely regarded as the essential guidelines for responsible practitioners. Its Accreditation scheme for professional counsellors is now well established, and employers of counsellors increasingly require BACP Accreditation as a benchmark of competence. CSCT courses are designed with trainees' likely desire for future BACP Accreditation in mind. CSCT is an organisational member of the BACP, and therefore seeks to abide by its relevant Codes of Ethics and Practice.
UKRC stands for the United Kingdom Register of Counsellors. BACP Accredited Counsellors may be listed on the Register, which has been established to protect and inform the public, to promote high standards of practice and to answer the criticism that counselling is an unregulated profession.
UKCP stands for the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. The Council exists to promote and maintain the profession of psychotherapy. A National Register of Psychotherapists is published annually ; only therapists who have completed a rigorous training programme (usually post-graduate) that meets UKCP's high standards, and who abide by its ethical code are included. A Diploma in Counselling, followed by BACP Accreditation, while not sufficient in themselves for UKCP registration, may be regarded as substantial steps in that direction for those who wish to obtain it.
The number of opportunities for paid employment in the counselling field is increasing. Salaries for employed counsellors are comparable to those for Social Workers. Many of these positions are part-time, and experienced counsellors often develop a private practice alongside their employment. Counsellor vacancies may be in a variety of settings, such as schools; further and higher education; organisations for people with disabilities, in the workplace; youth work; for alcohol, drugs and AIDS agencies; General Practice and other general counselling services. Many telephone helplines are staffed by people trained in listening and counselling skills. CSCT offers a number of specialist courses in growing areas such as Drug and Alcohol work, as well as general counselling training.
It is important to realise that BACP Course Accreditation is completely different from BACP Accreditation for Individual Counsellors. Whilst completing a BACP Accredited Course makes the process of applying for Individual Accreditation slightly more straightforward, CSCT's counselling training programmes comfortably fulfil the training requirements (450 hours of Skills and Theory training), which counsellors need in order to apply. The most important factor in determining the quality of a counselling training course is probably the experience and qualifications of the tutors. However, CSCT training materials provide extensive programmes of study that address comprehensively the theory and skills needed to counsel ethically and effectively.
No. To apply for BACP Accreditation as a counsellor, you have to have completed 450 hours of Skills and Theory Training, which trainees who complete CSCT programmes will have done. You also, regardless of which training course you have done, need to complete 450 hours of supervised practice over a three year period.
What is a 'Breakdown of Study Hours'?
How can I get a Breakdown of Study Hours for my CSCT
A counsellor needs to have some understanding of how the issues and problems that clients talk about may arise, and of how a helping relationship based on talking can help. There are many different ideas in psychology and philosophy about these questions, which has resulted in there being a number of different approaches to counselling. CSCT counselling training introduces trainees to the most important of these different approaches.
It is generally recognised that there are three 'core' approaches:
Within these general headings there are many other approaches. The differences between these are often difficult to define and are of limited relevance to the trainee counsellor. CSCT Intermediate and Advanced training courses provide a grounding in all 3 core approaches. Advanced Level training provides a deeper exploration of either the Psychodynamic, Humanistic or Integrative approach.
Psychodynamic counselling has its origins in psychoanalytic theory, from which it has drawn basic assumptions about human growth and development, and above all the importance of unconscious forces in the way the mind works. The counsellor-client relationship invites the development of transference, in which the counsellor is experienced by the client in a way that resembles their relationship with significant others in their past or present. Psychodynamic counsellors generally use some techniques derived from psychoanalysis but are unlikely to engage in intensive psychotherapy with the objective of personality change, and will probably focus on specific issues or life events that their client has sought counselling to resolve. CSCT offers a psychodynamic route as one option on its Diploma course.
Behavioural psychology is the study of actual human behaviour, how it is learnt and how it can be changed. This approach has evolved out of behavioural psychology and has three key features : a problem-solving, change-focused approach to working with clients; a respect for scientific values close attention to the cognitions (beliefs, thoughts and perceptions) through which people monitor and control their behaviour. The counsellor using this approach may be experienced by the client as more like a trainer or teacher than in the other approaches.
Humanistic psychology evolved in the 1950's because a
number of psychologists including Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers argued
that the Psychodynamic and Cognitive-behavioural approaches were too limited
in their understanding of human nature and potential. Humanistic counsellors
are particularly concerned with how their clients experience fulfilment,
creativity and choice as well as with their emotional problems. The client
in humanistic counselling is likely to feel that the counsellor is more
of an equal partner in the relationship than an expert who knows what
is best for the client. The person-centred approach of Carl Rogers is
the best-known humanistic approach, and is given considerable attention
in CSCT training.
An eclectic approach to counselling tries to provide the best mixture of ideas and techniques for each client. An integrative counsellor seeks to bring together different elements into a new theory or model. Many practitioners take the view that while one of these approaches may work well for the experienced counsellor, the trainee needs to become familiar with the important differences between the core approaches before deciding whether to try to combine them. CSCT training is designed to provide this experience.