- Why choose Counselling Directory?
Why choose Counselling Directory?
Here at Counselling Directory, we understand the importance of knowing your therapist is trained and experienced - which is why we have a thorough approvals policy in place that must be met by each professional before we list their service.
When you see our Counselling Directory policy badge, this means we have verified the following:
A relevant qualification and insurance cover; or
Proof of membership with a professional body.
A relevant qualification and insurance cover from at least one member of the practice; or
- Proof of membership with a professional body from at least one member of the practice, or for the practice itself.
While this is our policy for allowing individuals and practices onto the website, please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to confirm that these details are still accurate as we do not monitor any changes.
Are counsellors and psychotherapists regulated?
Currently, there are no UK laws in position that stipulate the level of training required in order for an individual to practice as a counsellor or psychotherapist. Our verification process however, ensures that we only list therapists who are members of a recognised professional body or those who have sent us copies of their qualification(s) and insurance cover. This process is in place to assure you that any counsellor or psychotherapist you contact is capable and working to high standards, and allows us to provide you with the widest possible range of support.
Each profile clearly displays qualifications and/or memberships with professional bodies, and will also show our Registered/Accredited badge if the counsellor/psychotherapist has achieved a substantial level of training with their professional body.
All information on profiles is provided exclusively by the counsellor/psychotherapist - giving you a personal insight into who they are and how they work so that you can make a well-informed decision about who is best suited to your needs.
Below is some additional information about qualifications, professional bodies and various other factors you might wish to take into consideration when choosing a counsellor.
While the general practice of counselling and psychotherapy is unregulated, there are certain related titles which are protected by law. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), is a statutory regulator for a number of professions in the UK and was established with the primary aim of protecting the public through maintaining standards of proficiency and conduct for the professions it regulates. Professions and protected titles regulated by the HCPC and related to counselling and psychotherapy are as follows:
Arts therapist - Art psychotherapist, art therapist, dramatherapist, music therapist.
Practitioner psychologist - Practitioner psychologist, counselling psychologist, health psychologist.
Qualifications and insurance
While statutory regulation is not yet in place for the counselling/psychotherapy profession, the industry benchmark for training and experience recommend completion of a diploma level qualification or above - or a course involving at least 400 hours of classroom tuition - before counsellors enter into practice.
If a counsellor or psychotherapist would like to be listed on Counselling Directory using their qualification(s), we also ask that they provide evidence of appropriate indemnity insurance.
If you would like to find out more about the various counselling and psychotherapy qualifications, please see our professional qualifications fact-sheet.
A number of professional bodies (often known as member organisations) currently support the counselling and psychotherapy industry - providing you with a support network should anything go wrong during therapy, and ensuring that good standards of practice and ethical conduct are upheld.
Belonging to a professional body indicates that a counsellor/psychotherapist has met the organisation’s criteria in terms of training or clinical hours, and also means that they have pledged to abide by the organisation's code of ethics/conduct.
Many bodies are made up of varying categories of membership e.g. Member, Accredited Member, with different levels of training and experience required for each one. When you see our Registered/Accredited badge, this means that the therapist has undergone extensive training that has been recognised by their professional body.
While it isn’t a legal necessity for counsellors/psychotherapists to hold current membership with a professional body, knowing that your therapist has met specific criteria, is bound by a code of ethics and is covered by the organisations complaints procedure can be reassuring.
If you would like to find a counsellor or psychotherapist belonging to an industry professional body the process is simple. Visit our Advanced search, enter your location and tick the ‘Member of a professional body’ box before hitting ‘Search’.
For more information about the professional bodies we accept for membership, please see our Professional bodies fact-sheet.
In 2013 the Department of Health (DoH) launched the Accredited Register scheme (formerly Accredited Voluntary Register, or AVR), which was put into place to provide a layer of protection for members of the public looking for health and care services not regulated by law.
While there is currently no official regulation in position for counselling and psychotherapy, many industry professional bodies have established their own registers which professionals can voluntarily opt to join.
Under the Accredited Register scheme, these independent registers can apply to be assessed by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) - the standard setting body for health and social care voluntary registers. Upon meeting their criteria, a voluntary register will then become ‘accredited’.
If you choose to see a counsellor who belongs to a professional body assessed and ‘accredited’ by the PSA, this demonstrates commitment to high professional standards.
Please note - accreditation does not mean that the PSA has assessed the merits of individuals on the register - this remains the responsibility of the professional body holding the register.
A final note
Whichever counsellor/psychotherapist you opt to see, please make sure that you ask to view a copy of their relevant qualifications, as well as up-to-date insurance and professional body membership(s) before your first session. We strongly recommend that you do take the necessary steps to verify this information, as we will not be held responsible for any false information.
Whilst we use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that our policy is adhered to, Counselling Directory is not intended as a website for verifying the qualifications, abilities, credentials or professionalism of any counsellor/psychotherapist listed and is not responsible for any member listed in the directory. Although we see a relevant qualification for those not with a professional body, an approved listing does not mean that Counselling Directory endorses or accredits that qualification.
Counselling Directory does not warrant or represent that the directory or any part thereof is accurate or complete. Counselling Directory disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of fitness for particular purpose. Please read our terms and conditions for further information.
We list basic listings for some organisations for information purposes. We do not monitor basic listings and they will not have the Counselling Directory policy badge.