The counselling profession is one that is of great use and appreciated by many people, especially those who avail of the service.
It is a profession that requires you to be understanding, non-judgmental, a good listener and a compassionate person.
If you want to add to your education and continue to develop and add to your career, we have the information you’ll need to kick start your research.
What is counselling?
Counselling is a form of talking therapy and psychological therapy. It involves speaking about your thoughts and feelings with a professional in order for you to gain an understanding of your own mind, behaviour and understand your problems. It helps those experiencing personal difficulties to explore ways of coping and solving their problems and can help to recognise mental illness.
What does a counsellor do?
The day to day duties of a counsellor may differ from case to case. As a counsellor, you will typically work between 37.5 hours a week, depending on your employment. You may sometimes work evenings or weekends but typically it is 9-5. Working with the NHS may be different to other employers with regards to working hours and salary. You may work with people with mild to severe mental illnesses, addiction, coping difficulties, bereavement difficulties, harmful behaviours and more.
General duties may include:
- Work with clients in confidence
- Help clients to overcome problems and issues in their lives
- Advise on making certain changes in clients lives
- Provide counselling face to face
- Listen to people’s worries and struggles
- Record and keep confidential information
- Build a relationship of trust with people
- Empathise with people
- Work with individuals, families or groups
There are many courses to choose from in this area across the UK. Some courses offer the option of studying both part-time or full time. Some courses may have restrictions or changes due to Covid-19. More detail on courses can be found on university websites or course overviews. Examples of courses include:
Counselling and Psychotherapy
Courses in this area allow those who have a degree in counselling or psychotherapy to develop their skills and knowledge in the area. Students will carry out an independent study approach as well as take workshops. Exact content covered may differ from course to course but in general, you will cover the relevant skills, integration and the self.
Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents and Families
The majority of these courses are studied part time. With a postgraduate degree like this you will be eligible for individual practitioner registration with BACP. You will gain the necessary skills and knowledge necessary to have a positive impact on children and adolescents and their mental and psychological health and their development. You will look at the integrative approach to therapeutic interventions with children and focus on therapeutic and theoretical traditions such as humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral.
Postgraduate courses in clinical counselling gives students the education needed to develop quality relationships with others. These courses reflect the ethos of a person-centred approach to counselling as well as the opportunity to carry out your own research dissertation on a field of your interest.
Entry requirements may change from course to course and University to University so it is important to research your specific course to be sure you meet the criteria. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in counselling or a relevant discipline is required. Some courses will look for a 2.1 degree while a 2.2 may suffice in others. More detailed course outlines can be found on University websites and course overviews.
Typical employers of counsellors include:
- Universities, colleges, schools
- Youth services
- Human resource departments
- Care agencies
- Counselling services
- Self employed
Like most professionals under the healthcare umbrella, starting salaries range from between £20,000 – £26,000. With time and experience your salary can increase to between £30,000 to £40,000. Salaries can vary depending on your employment. If you are self employed, you will be paid by session. All figures are based on estimates made.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements needed in this area include:
- Excellent people skills
- A good listener
- Kindness and compassion
- Ability to remain calm
- Cope with emotional situations
- Ability to adapt communication styles to each individual
- Ability to relate to people