There are a number of respected organisations which regulate counsellors and psychotherapists. These professional bodies have a specific set of standards and ethics which applicants must agree to upon registration. The following is a list of the main authorities.
BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
One of the leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy in the UK. It provides a recognised and respected ethical framework by which it expects members to abide by. All member counsellors are expected to have achieved appropriate qualifications and have a certain amount of experience in supervised practice. Courses enable their counsellors to achieve accreditation and achieve a level of competence that is recognised throughout the profession.
BABCP – British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists
This organisation governs therapists who practice Cognitive and Behavioural methodologies. It has over 5000 members in the UK with membership available for anyone interested this type of psychotherapy. However accreditation is dependent upon seven strict criteria that includes degree standard professional training and at least two years experience in a professional practice.
BPS – British Psychological Society
It achieved a Royal Charter in 1965 and was entrusted with the responsibility of promoting and applying psychology, and to maintain high standards throughout the profession. Membership is granted to those who have achieved a pass in the Society’s qualifying exam and/or an accredited honours/post-grad/conversion degree in Psychology. A candidate must also be proposed by at least two other members of the society.
COSCA – Counselling and Psychological in Scotland
A professional body for counselling and psychotherapists in Scotland, COSCA aims to maintain and promote high standards of counselling. Accreditation is available through a diploma route and a combination route. The diploma route is available to counsellors who have completed a COSCA Diploma and have two years experience. The combination route is for those who have several years experience but have not achieved a COSCA Diploma.
NADAAC – The Association for Addiction Professionals
A US based organisation for addiction counsellors with over 11 000 members, from all over the world. They aim to help their counsellors and professionals achieve the highest standards through education and training, which can then be passed on to their clients. They have a strict code of ethics which must be observed – membership is available to anyone in the profession of counselling so appropriate qualifications are a prerequisite.
UKAHPP – UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners
As an independent member of the UKCP, they are a nationally-recognised accrediting organisation intended for Humanistic counsellors and therapists. To achieve accreditation, members must have completed full training, post-training supervision and have experienced personal therapy themselves. There are also additional requirements specific to certain types of counselling and therapy.
UKCP – UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UKCP was set up to promote and maintain high standards in the practice of psychotherapy in the UK. They have 80 member organisations with over 52 000 registrants. Accreditation is achieved through accreditation courses offered by these members organisations. The UKCP is also the awarding body for the European Certificate of Psychotherapy.