COUNSELLOR / THERAPIST
Becoming a counsellor or therapist can open up opportunities to practise a range of specialised techniques . In the latest part of our careers series with Addiction Professionals we look at how to take this path
Some people choose to develop their skills in counselling to pursue a career in addictions . There are also counsellors who become interested in specialising in addictions as a result of coming into contact with people with addictions in their work role .
TRAINING REQUIREMENTS Counselling is an unregulated profession in the UK and practitioners are not required to have a qualification in order to advertise counselling services , although the UK government encourages voluntary registration for counsellors / therapists / psychotherapists .
There are a number of voluntary registers in the UK , including Addiction Professionals , that practitioners can register with , and most voluntary registers require counsellors and psychotherapists to have completed a degree-level course with specified hours of supervised practice and learning .
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT Addiction Professionals is the only regulatory body that provides accreditation for addictions counsellors . Some practitioners choose to study addictions at a masters level and / or to specialise in areas of interest , for example EMDR ( eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing ).
‘ Many people are surprised to hear that you do not need any qualifications to advertise as a counsellor ,’ explains Kate Halliday , Addiction Professionals executive director .
‘ That ’ s why it ’ s so important that people seeking counselling check to see that practitioners are voluntarily registered with a regulatory body which requires
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practitioners to sign up to a code of practice and ethical standards . These standards require practitioners to have a required level of training , to commit to ongoing professional development and supervision , and to maintain boundaries with clients to keep them safe . Ultimately if a practitioner breaches these standards the regulatory body can take action and sanction – and even remove – a practitioner from their membership , providing safety for the public and for the reputation of the profession .
‘ Addiction Professionals provides accreditation for counsellors working with addictions which emphasises ongoing experience and training in addictions – something that many counsellors do not have . We are committed to upholding and improving standards in the field to give the best possible service for the public .’
‘ It ’ s so important that people seeking counselling check to see that practitioners are voluntarily registered with a regulatory body which requires practitioners to sign up to a code of practice and ethical standards .’
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