Counsellors work with clients experiencing a wide range of emotional and psychological difficulties to help them bring about effective change and/or enhance their wellbeing.
Training and qualifications requiredTo work in the NHS as a counsellor, as a minimum you will need to be registered on a counselling or psychotherapy register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). Some services, such as IAPT services, also require additional levels of accreditation and that you undertake additional training in a particular therapy delivered by the service. For some roles, employers may also require a clinical/professional qualification, such as being a registered nurse, occupational therapist or social worker. Each employer will indicate their individual requirements so make sure to check the person specification for the role.
Expected working hours and salary rangeCounsellors are typically paid at Agenda for Change (AfC) Band 5, 6 or 7 on entry, depending on the role. There may be opportunities to progress to more senior roles. Counsellors work full or part time. Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and valuesSkills needed include being able to make people feel relaxed, excellent communication skills and the ability to positively challenge people. If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the values of the NHS Constitution apply in your everyday work.
ProspectsDepending on the level and type of training you've undertaken, it can lead to a number of opportunities in psychology and psychotherapy. You could specialise in an area such as eating disorders or addiction or apply to be a high intensity therapist or psychological well-being practitioner.
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