How to become a psychotherapist

Written by c. giles Google
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  • Introduction

    How to become a psychotherapist

    Psychotherapy is a method of helping people who are suffering from stress and emotional issues overcome their difficulties, mainly through what is commonly known as "talking therapies", relationship problems or troublesome habits. Psychotherapy is a flexible system that can be adapted to suit the individual patient; it may be provided in a range of settings: on an individual, group, marital or family basis. A psychotherapist may begin their career as a psychiatrist, social worker, psychologist, mental health nurse or other mental health professional, then go on to train in psychotherapy. Membership of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) as a psychotherapeutic counsellor requires proof of 450 hours of theory and practice.

    Psychotherapy is largely based on "talking therapies". (happy couple talking and laughing together image by NiDerLander from

  • 1 / 5

    Achieve an honours degree in a relevant subject, such as psychology, nursing or social work.

    A relevant honours degree is a must. (students image by dinostock from

  • 2 / 5

    Gain experience as a healthcare practitioner, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health nurse or social worker.

    Relevant work experience may involve nursing. (nurse chris image by John Keith from

  • 3 / 5

    Enrol on a psychotherapy training course; this normally takes a minimum of four years on a part-time basis. There is a range of training available that is provided by a number of organisations. Make sure the courses you choose is accredited by UKCP, the Association of Child Psychotherapists or the British Psychoanalytic Council (see Resources below).

    Online research helps establish the best training course for you. (online image by Leticia Wilson from

  • 4 / 5

    Complete the training course; this will consist of supervised treatment of individual patients and clinical discussions incorporating theory and practice. .

    The training is a combination of theory and practice. (time to study!!! image by horacio villamonte from

  • 5 / 5

    Look for job vacancies; check the NHS jobs website (see Resources below) and other recruitment websites as well as the job listings in your local newspaper.

    Suitable jobs may be advertised in your local newspaper. (newspaper image by Angelika Bentin from

  • Checklist

    Things you will need

    • A level qualifications or equivalent
    • Internet access
  • More information

    Tips and warnings

    Don't wait until you are qualified to look at job vacancies; often job descriptions and candidate specifications state which psychotherapy qualifications and experience they are looking for in their applicants. Use this information to decide what training route is best for you. Contact NHS organisations that you may be applying to for a job after your training and ask what qualifications will give you the best chance of securing employment.

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