Counsellors and psychotherapists play a crucial role in improving the health and wellbeing of our society. They help people to talk about their feelings, think about their choices or their behaviour, and make positive changes in their lives.

What counsellors do?

People seek counselling to help them resolve emotional, psychological and relationship issues. Clients may be experiencing difficult and distressing events in their lives, such as bereavement, divorce, health problems or job concerns. Or they may have more general underlying feelings of anxiety or dissatisfaction with life.

Some clients feel isolated and have no one else to talk to, but even people with supportive family and friends can find it difficult to talk to loved ones about feeling anxious or depressed. They may find it easier to talk about personal, family or relationship issues with an independent professional therapist.

Counselling involves a series of formal sessions where the therapist and the client talk about the client’s issues and feelings. Even short-term therapy typically involves six to 12 sessions. The sessions take place at a regular, agreed time and in a ‘safe’ private place where the client and therapist will not be overheard or interrupted.

Therapy may involve talking about life events, feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The therapist will listen, encourage and empathise, but will also challenge to help the client to see their issues more clearly or from a different perspective.

Counselling is not about giving advice or opinions, nor is it a friendly chat with a friend. The therapist helps the client to understand themselves better and find their own solutions to resolve or cope with their situation.

How to become a counsellor or psychotherapist?

Starting out on a counselling or psychotherapy career is a big step. It will take a great deal of time and dedication, it costs a significant amount of money, and it can be personally and emotionally challenging. You’ll need to think about how it will affect you and your family.

But if it’s the right career for you, the rewards and satisfaction once you have qualified will outweigh the initial costs.

To find out more about the pathway click here.

For more information (click here) and please contact the PFA Education team to discuss funding support available.