If you're considering a career in counselling, you'll no doubt have many questions.
We've covered many of the common questions we're asked about our BTEC Therapeutic Counselling courses, as well as some other information we hope you'll find useful.
If you have other questions that we haven't covered here, please do get in touch.
Frequently asked questions about Counselling Training
Why do you take direct entry and the colleges and other training providers insist you work your way up the levels?
We attract professionals such as nurses, teachers, social workers and other health and social care professionals who have a vast amount of knowledge and experience to bring to the profession. In addition we acknowledge your life experience, your self awareness and any previous academic study.
It is not just your academic or professional knowledge that makes you an excellent therapist but your humanness, your realness. We embrace and value the diversity within people and encourage those applying for our course to have some understanding of their identity and the fluidity this may take as you embark on your new profession.
Is the course professionally recognised?
Yes, BTEC is a nationally recognised qualification and provides access to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS) professional membership bodies required to work as a talking therapist in the UK.
NB. Re the BACP: This course meets the BACP training requirements to practice as a safe and ethical therapist in the UK and apply for BACP membership (MBACP). On completion of this course you can apply for BACP Individual Membership, you then have two years to complete the BACP’s Certificate of Proficiency. This is a free, online multiple choice ethical “test”, on passing you will then be able to apply for Registered member of the BACP.
You can find out more HERE on the BACP website about their different membership categories.
Which level should I study at?
To work as an ethically qualified therapist in the UK you need to have successfully completed a level 4 qualification or above. As a non regulated profession there are a number of routes into the profession. What’s most important is your ethical practice and professional body membership. You can work successfully as a talking therapist with a level 4 qualification or a level 7 qualification. Some people choose the more formal academic route and others choose the more experiential route- both have value. Our qualification, at level 5, encompasses both and ensures the robustness of the ethical requirements needed to be successful in this field.
Can I apply to university on completion of this course?
This course has a credit value of 120 on the QCF framework. Therefore you will be able to apply for a university place, should you choose to on completion of this course.
It’s important to recognise within yourself where you want to take your professional career; down the academic route or down the experiential route. Both have value and they will take you on different paths. This course will provide you with the opportunity to do both.
What happens if I need to take a break during my studies?
We recognise that life can take over at times and sometimes you may need to pause your studies. We are supportive of self responsibility and self care. We will allow you to pause your studies for up to one year and join a new intake within that one year period.
NB that you will be starting the course over, with a new group and potentially a new tutor. Any previously passed assignments and client hours will still stand and can be transferred over to your new intake.
You will still be required to meet your financial commitments as previously agreed to by signing our financial agreement.
What happens if I am poorly or I miss a session?
Again, we know that life happens, your tutor and your group will guide you in getting caught up.
Where do I find a counselling placement?
We will guide you and advise of the best counselling placements available. We are well established in Lincoln and most of our students are successful in securing placements within and outside of Supporting Minds. As you can imagine Covid has had an impact on placement providers being able to offer placement opportunities at this time, we know how frustrating this is and can offer reassurance that we can extend final deadlines to ensure you meet the course and BACP requirements for client hours.
What are the job opportunities like?
It is important to recognise that traditional fulltime, 9-5 jobs in the therapy world are much harder to come by than in other professions.
However, what this means is you have the creativity and freedom to truly create the career of your dreams, doing exactly what you love.
This qualification will provide you with the skills and knowledge to apply for counselling jobs within organisations such as the NHS, charities and not for profits. It will also provide you with a safe and secure basis and the confidence to set up in private practice and start making your dream job a reality.
Do you offer student finance?
As a private organisation we do not have the same access to funding streams like the colleges and universities and therefore we cannot offer your typical student finance. However, we do have our own finance options in place.
How big are the class sizes?
We keep our group sizes to 10 and under. We encourage you to make yourself vulnerable and share a part of yourself during your training with us, we deliberatly keep class sizes small to encourage a safe space to do this.
Will I be a qualified counsellor on completion of this course?
Yes, you will be able to apply for BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and NCS (National Counselling Society) membership upon completion of this course and therefore practice ethically and safely as a counsellor in the UK.
You will be able to apply for jobs in a variety of charities, organisations, schools and set up in private practice.
Is this course accredited?
The term "accredited" is often misunderstood in the counselling field.
This course is accredited by BTEC/ Pearson- the acadmic element and is nationally recognised.
The course is recognised by the BACP and not accredited. What this simply means is that on qualification you will need to complete the BACP's Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) which is free to do and then allows you to become a full Member of the BACP (MBACP). You have two years post qualification to do your CoP and in the meantime you will be classed as an Individual Member and can still ethically work and get paid as a qualified counsellor. If the course was accredited by the BACP, you wouldn't need to complete the CoP. We have chosen not to be an accredited BACP course simply because of the cost of applying to the BACP which will then be fed down to the students.
Of course, you can apply to the NCS, in which case you don't need to complete the CoP as they are a different ethical membership body with slighlty different membership requirements and categories.
This is where is can get a little confusing...
Some qualified counsellors choose to become "accredited" counsellors which is simply a term used to describe counsellors who have been in practice for 2+ years post qualification and have more experience under their belt. Both the NCS and BACP offer accredited membership status, they're just worded slightly differently. You can be very successful without going down this accredited route, it's simply personal preference and not a requirement.