A guide to studying counselling and psychotherapy

Your top questions answered
Mary Morris answers your questions.

What counselling courses do you offer at University of South Wales?
Here is the full list of psychotherapy courses offered at the University.

What are the main differences between a counsellor and psychotherapist? 
Some people claim that there is a clear distinction between counselling and psychotherapy, however increasingly the differentiation is less clear. Traditionally a psychotherapist would have expected to train for longer and at a higher academic (postgraduate) level than counsellors, and to work with more complex problems. However, today many counsellors train at postgraduate level, and might work in the same kind of settings as psychotherapists. 

Are the job opportunities better for someone who has trained as a counsellor as opposed to a psychotherapist? 
Job opportunities exist in a wide range of services both in the public and voluntary sector. Some of our graduates also go on to set up their own private practices. The variety of opportunity depends on many factors including: length and type of training; level of complexity of the work; the nature of the employing organisation etc. When people are trying to decide which route to take it is always advisable to discuss your options with us. Please feel free to contact us to have a general discussion. One thing is clear - both subjects draw from the same wells. The literary and practice development traditions are essentially the same.

Are there any retraining grants available? 
Sometime students are able get funding from their employer, or through the BACP

It is obligatory to be in personal therapy and why?
Personal Development is a requirement for all counselling and psychotherapy courses, as a way to enhance the practitioners’ use of self and promote a high level of personal awareness. For our counselling programme, students have to undertake 50 hours of personal development. 40 of these are provided within the course, the remaining 10 need to be found outside the course. This may be done with a therapist, on a one-one basis. 

What are the students like?
Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds. They may have been out of education for many years, perhaps concentrating on bringing up their family; or working in an unrelated area and needing a change of career. They may have been working in an allied profession, such as social work or nursing, but wanting to develop their counselling skills. We also have those who are in the early stages of their working life, but who have had life experiences that give them a sense that this is the kind of work they would like to do. 

Our Psychotherapy students will have been qualified and working in an allied profession, such as mental health nursing, social work, psychiatry, psychology or teaching, for example. 

Come and talk to us at the next Postgraduate Open Evening | See our full range of counselling and psychotherapy courses