Whether you’re considering moving careers, or are ready for your next personal development journey, counselling skills are incredibly transferable. From career-specific learnings such as counselling theories to general skills like self-awareness and other interpersonal skills, working towards a Certificate in Counselling can be a hugely rewarding step in your development.
So, whether you’re looking to become a professional counsellor, or you’re just looking to further your personal and professional development, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining a certificate in counselling in the UK.
Why Should You Consider Learning Counselling Skills?
Counselling skills can be incredibly beneficial to have, regardless of whether you’re pursuing a career as a qualified counsellor or not. While you would be learning things that are specific to counselling, there are plenty of skills that can be used in any line of work. For example, one of the core aspects of a good counselling practice is having good listening skills, but this is equally important in the world of business. Being able to really listen to and understand your employees is a crucial skill for leaders to cultivate. Self-awareness is important for any budding counsellor to develop, but it’s also just a great skill for anyone to work on.
Where Can a Certificate in Counselling Take You?
Once you’ve successfully completed your certificate in counselling, there are a number of different options for where to go next. For some, this might be the end of your journey, now that you’ve learned more about yourself and developed your skills. However, for those who want to pursue a career as a fully qualified counsellor, the journey has just begun. Next, you’ll want to explore options for your Core Practitioner Training; another core element of the training to becoming a counsellor. This course is a blend of:
- Theoretical and practical learnings such as psychological theories, common medications, and having an ethical practice
- Competencies required in a therapeutic practice like monitoring and evaluation, relationship building and supervision
- Critical awareness of research findings and methodologies
You’d also begin to put your theoretical knowledge to practice with clinical placements so that you can build up your experience in the field.
What to expect when studying for your certificate in counselling
While the exact content of individual courses might change depending on where you study, there are a number of aspects that will be the same wherever you choose to do your training. You should expect a blend of both theoretical knowledge and practical skills, which means some time will be dedicated to learning specific theories or approaches to counselling and therapy, and some time will be spent in skills practice sessions. As this is a more introductory course, you should also expect a brief introduction into what counselling is, and what it isn’t.
Assessment can also vary from course to course. This is a great way to play to your strengths, as well as your goals for completing the certificate in counselling. For example, you might prefer to be assessed through written assignments. Others might prefer courses that require some kind of personal development journal in order to successfully complete the course. Explore the different options available to find the right balance to help you succeed.
How to Find a Counselling Course
Once you’ve decided that you want to pursue a certificate in counselling, you’ll want to begin exploring options for your training. There’s a lot for you to consider when you’re picking the right course and institution. You’ll want to factor in things like where you want to actually do your training – whether that’s a college or a training school – and how you prefer to learn.
The first thing to note is that a certificate in counselling is often the second stage of a budding counsellor’s training journey. For those who aren’t sure if training as a counsellor is right for them or those who want to dip their toe in first before they commit to a longer course, it’s advised that you start with an Introduction to Counselling short course. These take about 12 weeks to complete and will begin to develop counselling skills that will give you a solid foundation for any further study.
Reviewing Entry Requirements
Once you’re ready to start looking at courses, the best way to start narrowing down your options is to look into any entry requirements that might impact your choices. Some courses might ask for specific previous qualifications or for you to complete a written assessment as part of their application process. You might also be limited by course fees or additional costs such as personal therapy, so make sure that you’re choosing courses that fit your financial needs. The admissions team will also be on hand to advise if you have any questions.
How Do You Like to Learn?
In the last few years, distance and online learning have become increasingly popular, with many educational institutes offering some elements of their courses remotely. Consider whether you would prefer in-person or online learning to form the bulk of your training and evaluate potential courses with this in mind. A note though:
if you want to pursue an online course, make sure that the course meets any requirements that your accreditation body sets out.
Look into the course tutors to see if anyone in particular stands out as someone you want to learn from, and see if group work plays a role in assessments or lectures. Group work isn’t always for everyone so take this into consideration as you’re choosing where to apply.
Obtaining a Certificate in Counselling
Obtaining a certificate in counselling can be a hugely rewarding journey, whether you’re looking to further your personal or professional development, or start a new career as a fully qualified counsellor. The Awareness Centre’s Training School is a great place to do your training, with a number of courses available and counselling placements available from within the centre. Find out more about our Training School today.