Psychotherapy and Counselling
I am often asked what the difference is between counselling and psychotherapy. I can only relate my experience of training which required different skill sets for counselling and psychotherapy. I am sure many other therapists may disagree with me, which is absolutely fine.
When I originally trained, I trained as a counsellor. This was a BACP accredited BA(Hons) training course of 3 years, after completion of a year long introductory course in Listening Skills. I then went onto train as a psychotherapist which was a Masters level qualification and took another 3 years - 2 years of training and 1 year of exam preparation for the Viva. The Masters included a significant written dissertation, a great deal more knowledge of theory, in particular an in-depth training into unconscious process, it also included a psychiatric placement, which for me was in an inpatient mother and baby psychiatric unit. This MSc then gave me accreditation with the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy).
I would very much like there to be a statutory regulating body for counselling and psychotherapy as I think it is all too easy to call yourself a therapist with little or no training, no therapy of your own, nor any understanding why your own therapy and supervision are extremely important and valuable parts of the training. As yet there is no such body. This is not helpful for our clients as it is difficult for them to differentiate, particularly as they may have little or no knowledge about basic training and supervision requirements.
I would like my clients and supervisees to come to me in the knowledge that I am fully trained and qualified and I do adhere to a high level of CPD each year, as well as having my own supervision and therapy. I am constantly updating my knowledge and attend and present at worldwide conferences on an annual basis. I also publish some of my work and research in academic, peer reviewed publications.
This year my CPD includes an in-depth course on neuroscience. This is an area I am fascinated in. The reason why I have chosen to train in this is to gain a greater understanding of the biological mechanisms of the brain. My hope is that this will dovetail with my clinical work, helping me to treat my clients more effectively.