Dept of Psychosocial Studies | Study here | How do I become a Counsellor / Psychotherapist?
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How do I become a professionally accredited Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

Counselling and Psychotherapy at Birkbeck offers a number of routes to become an accredited counsellor or psychotherapist, depending on your current level of experience and training

If you have no experience or training

Does this apply to me?

  • This information applies to you if you are at the beginning of your journey, i.e. you:
    • have not completed any previous introductory counselling courses or counselling related courses (like a psychology degree)
    • do not already work in a relevant occupation (like teaching, social work or nursing)
    • have little or no experience of counselling-related work (e.g. voluntary work)

If the above criteria apply to you, the following option is available:

Year 1 of the HE Certificate in Counselling and Counselling Skills Course

If you have some experience or training

Does this apply to me?

  • This information will apply to you if you have some experience and/or training, i.e. you:
    • have already done a previous introductory counselling course (e.g. Introduction to Counselling at Birkbeck or elsewhere) or counselling related training (such as a psychology degree)
    • or work in a relevant occupation (teaching, social work, nursing etc.)
    • and/or have relevant experience in paid or voluntary counselling or counselling-related work

If the above criteria apply to you, the following four options are available:

Option 1: Direct entry to year 2 of the Certificate of Higher Education in Counselling and Counselling Skills

Option 2: HE Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling and Organisational Dynamics

Option 3: MSc in the Psychodynamics of Human Development

Option 4: Foundation Degree in Short-term Dynamic Counselling & CBT

  • About the FD in Short-term Dynamic Counselling and CBT
    • Entry requirements: Minimum entry requirement is the Introduction to Counselling (Year 1 of the HE Certificate in Counselling and Counselling Skills) or its equivalent. Recommended entry requirement is the full two-year HE Certificate in Counselling and Counselling Skills or HE Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling & Organizational Dynamics.
    • Taught two evenings each week over two years and two terms.
    • Professional training offering fundamental knowledge and skills of short-term dynamic counselling and CBT
    • Students undertake supervised clinical placements as part of the programme
  • For non-graduates who complete the Foundation Degree a top-up of 4 extra terms are available for the award of a BSc. Honours Degree
  • Standalone professional training, or can lead on to further training (i.e. MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy Adult or Children & Adolescents)
  • Programme is currently seeking accreditation with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

If you have more experience and/or training

Does this apply to me?

  • This information applies to you if you are at the beginning of your journey, i.e. you:
    • Have completed 2 year HE Certificate in Counselling & Counselling skills or He Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling & Organizational Dynamics, or an equivalent
    • And/or are qualified in a relevant occupation (teaching, social work, nursing etc.)
    • And have relevant counselling or counselling-related work experience

If the above criteria apply to you, you are eligible to apply to directly to our clinical trainings, eitherthe Foundation Degree in Short-term Dynamic Counselling and CBT (described in Option 4 previously) or one of our two clinical trainings at Master's level:

Option 1: Grad Dip/MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy

Option 2: Grad Dip/MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents

  • About the Grad Dip/MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling & Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents
    • Entry requirements: as for the MSc Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy but applicants who have relevant work experience with children and/or adolescents who don’t meet all of these requirements also considered
    • Syllabus and programme design similar to MSc Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy, but includes an infant observation and focuses on theory and practice with children and adolescents.
    • Three-year programme, taught during the day (Mondays year 1, Tuesdays years 2 and 3)
    • Students undertake supervised clinical placements in Child and Adolescent settings
    • Programme is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy