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About Me

What Type of Therapist do I want to be?

Therapeutic Approaches & Models

Identifying the approach I want to practice with


Training Programmes in Nottingham

Course Requirements Can Differ…

Personal Therapy

Clinical Placements in Nottingham

Clinical Supervision


A Final note…

INTRODUCTION I remember first starting my journey to becoming a Humanistic Counsellor and then a Psychotherapist. With all the options to choose from, I felt confused as to what to do, how to do them and when. I have therefore put together this booklet to support my colleagues in the steps which I identified as important in my journey to becoming a therapist. I hope you find this information useful. I have highlighted what I see as ‘ Tips’ throughout the document.

ABOUT ME I am a Psychotherapist working with Transactional Analysis (TA) as my main therapy model . I am qualified to Masters Degree Level (MSc) and hold both UKCP and MBACP accreditation. I started my initial training at Nottingham University and then moved on to The Berne Institute. I have been working as a therapist for seven years working in private practice and in the NHS. I offer individual, couples and group counselling, working short, medium and long term. I work with a range of presenting problems including depression, anxiety, abuse, bereavement, relationship problems, identity issues and many more.

Integrity, straightness and willingness to be honest and real with my clients are my main values. These values help me to be genuine whilst being respectful and facilitating clients towards their therapy goal(s). These values shape my style as a therapist. I believe that everyone has the right to expect open, honest and genuine dialogue that encourages recognition of different thoughts, feelings and behaviours. I respect individual uniqueness, whilst encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their own care, learning and development within a safe, boundaried and structured environment. For more information about me and my practice visit my website: www.counselling

HUMANISTIC THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES & MODELS In the first instance it's important you identify what approach (type) of counselling/psychotherapy you want to train in and use in practice with clients/patients. There are several therapies such as: 



CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

Interpersonal Therapy

I trained as a Humanistic Psychotherapist, therefore I have listed a few humanistic models below: 

Transactional Analysis (TA)

Person Centred



And more...

IDENTIFYING THE APPROACH I WANT TO PRACTICE WITH There are several ways in which you can identify which approach or model will suit you: 

1) Receiving personal therapy is one way. Receiving the therapy you are thinking of training in can be most informative because you are receiving what model you intend to offer. Although each therapist in each model will have there own personal style there will be a structure to the model which they use in practice. You can find therapists details on websites such as: British Association of Counselling Psychotherapy [BACP], Counselling Directory, United Kingdom of Counselling & Psychotherapy [UKCP] and generally on the web.

 Tip: Be mindful that you will probably be required to receive personal therapy with a therapist who is accredited (qualified and a member of an ethical body such as BACP or UKCP) 

2) Introductory training courses, seminars or open days. The Berne Institute offer free Saturday evening seminars on a monthly basis. The Sherwood Training Institute offer open days. This is another way to get a feel as to what model you like and the training establishment connected with it. 3) Reading books or watching videos online i.e. YouTube from the different models to see what appeals to you. 4) Talking with a trainer, therapist or supervisor for guidance.

COMMITMENT … Counselling and Psychotherapy training are like no other course I have attended. The following three aspects are important to consider before engaging on a training programme. 


Working out if you can commit time wise is important as your attendance will effect your pass or deferment on the course. 


This aspect is important as the course will undoubtedly change your life. This sounds like a grand statement. Yet in my experience and many of my colleagues (as further evidence!) experiences, this is the outcome. 


Some training programmes offer bursaries or if you are claiming benefits so the course may be paid for. Each of these three aspects need to be considered as the course will require a commitment from you.

TRAINING PROGRAMMES IN NOTTINGHAM Once you have identified the model you connect with and want to use, it's important to start to think about where to do your training. Your academic background and age will effect where you start. i.e. You may be required to attend a college introductory course before starting a university/university connected training course i.e. NCN College, Central College etc.

Also some places for training will not accept you on the course unless you are over 25 years old, this is due to the requirements which UKCP implement (this is not for all courses as I started training when I was 23 years old at Nottingham University). There are several places to train to become a counsellor or psychotherapist in Nottingham: 

The Berne Institute

The Sherwood Psychotherapy Institute

Nottingham Psychotherapy Training Institute

Nottingham University

New Dawn Counselling Centre

Counselling and Psychotherapy training programmes are usually part-time i.e. one weekend a month, one day a week or one evening a week. However it's my understanding that Nottingham university offer a full-time course.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS CAN DIFFER… You are likely to be required to complete an application form, provide references and attend an interview for the course. Once you have been accepted on to a course you will receive a summary of your training dates and times. Your commitment to attendance is important as this relates to your course credits. Also... As part of the training you will be required to complete: 

Assignments (these vary in word count and number of assignments required for each training programme)

Personal and Professional Journals/diary

Logs of Hours (Training, Clinical, Supervision, and Personal Therapy).

Tip: Log all of your hours as you go along. I used a spread-sheet with a formula which added my hours up on my journey, an easier way to keep track!

PERSONAL THERAPY Each training course will require you to receive personal therapy. In the academic year (often September to July) usually 20 hours is required in foundation year and then 40 hours of personal therapy is required in advance training years. The therapist (as I said before) must be BACP or UKCP accredited and signed off by your training establishment. This is because you'll be required to show a log of personal therapy signed off by your therapist in each year. When applying for accreditation with BACP or UKCP this is a requirement.

ď‚ŻTip: Joining a therapy group may be useful as a support network, cheaper fees and in gaining required personal therapy hours.

CLINICAL PLACEMENT As part of the training your trainers will be assessing you on several aspects of your work and self development. At some point in your training (through which you will be guided) you will be required to do 'skills practice' or 'triad-work' (being the role as the counsellor, the client and the observer). From these experiences and as a requirement, you will need to gain a clinical placement i.e. joining a charity or counselling organisation to offer face to face counselling. Here are a few ideas for placements in Nottingham: 

Cruse Bereavement Care (Counselling for Bereavement)

ISAS (Incest and Sexual Abuse counselling)

Rape Crisis (Counselling people who have experienced rape)

Relate (Relationship and Family Counselling)

Age Concern (Counselling with elderly people)

Nottingham Hospice (Counselling services for pending loss or loss)

Nottingham Women's Centre (Counselling for women only)

Treetops hospice (Counselling for loss etc.)

Framework (Counselling for homeless and disadvantaged people)

Place2Be (working with children at schools). (**Please note: it's my understanding that any counselling work with children is counted at the ratio 1:4 (with BACP or UKCP). i.e. You can count one clinical hour for four face to face sessions) Lets Talk Wellbeing Service – NHS service provider

Tip: Please note that although Childline's training and experiences gained are valuable, BACP do not accredit telephone counselling (unless it's a regular call with a person) as clinical hours.

CLINICAL SUPERVISION You will be required to gain clinical supervision. This is to support you in your role as a therapist ethically and with professional development.

The ratio for clinical hours is either 1.5 per month (as per BACP requirements) one supervisory hour to every six clients you work with (as per UKCP [in the first instance]). Clinical supervision may be offered with your placement or you may be required to gain and pay for this yourself privately. Therefore it's important to consider this when applying for your placement.

ď‚ŻTip: Supervision groups are a great way to gain hours, along with peer support. Be aware that when logging group supervision hours that the ratio requirements will change, check this out on the BACP/UKCP websites.

ACCREDITATION Gaining accreditation is in my opinion an important aspect of career development. Many (if not all) counselling or psychotherapy vacancies require the applicant to be accredited. BACP Accreditation 

For BACP accreditation you will need to complete at least 450 hours professional training, 450 clinical hours and 1.5 hours supervision per month. See the BACP website for further details:

UKCP Accreditation 

For UKCP accreditation you will need to complete at least 750 clinical hours and a ratio of one supervisory hour to every six clinical hours(1:6). See the UKCP website for further details:

A FINAL NOTE‌ As I finish writing this guide, I reflect on how much commitment is required to become a therapist.

I have changed so much through my training and personal therapy. Although some of my journey to becoming a psychotherapist has been tough going at times. I sincerely believe it has all been worth it!! I enjoy working therapeutically with people. I feel it is a privilege to be alongside people whilst they develop and change. I hope this guide is of some help to you on your journey to becoming a Counsellor or Psychotherapist. If you would like any other information, you can email me at and I will do my best to help. Best wishes in your journey. Janine Piccirella Certified Transactional Analyst, Psychotherapist, MSc. MBACP Accred. & UKCP Accred.

A guide to becoming counsellor or psychotherapist nottingham 2014  
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