Opportunities for counsellors and psychotherapists


NHS Talking Therapies is the avenue to free-to-access talking therapies for a vast number of people. Last year the service provided therapy to over half a million people with anxiety and depression in England and we want to reach even more who can benefit. Services across England are keen to recruit more counsellors and psychotherapists to permanent paid roles.

Dr Adrian Whittington, NHS England’s Clinical Lead for Psychological Professions said:

‘All NHS Talking Therapies services should offer a meaningful choice of NICE recommended therapies for anxiety and depression. We are aiming to continue to expand our teams across the modalities, so there will be more opportunities than ever for counsellors and psychotherapists who want to work in these services to come on board. There are paid roles working in a range of modalities, and further training in a recognised modality is fully funded by the NHS.’

Practitioners represented in Column B or C of the SCoPEd framework can be appointed to an NHS Talking Therapies service to undertake further paid and funded training in one of the following NICE recommended modalities for anxiety or depression:

  • Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (for depression)
  • Person-centred Experiential Counselling for Depression
  • Couple Therapy for Depression
  • Interpersonal Therapy (for depression)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

The typical salary once a counsellor or psychotherapist meets the NHS Talking Therapies essential qualifications and accreditations will be the NHS Band 7 pay scale; whilst undertaking additional training requirements in any modality it is typically Band 6. After qualification and further experience, there may be opportunities to progress to more senior clinical and managerial roles.

We know that this may not be for everyone. However, we also understand that many members are eager to work with the NHS, particularly if a clear pathway into these roles is created. NHS Talking Therapies services offer high-quality opportunities to work with a diverse range of clients, in services that are free to access for everyone, in accordance with NHS principles and values.

Many counsellors and psychotherapists (about 1,000) are already working effectively within NHS Talking Therapies services, and we’re keen to welcome more.

Recognising that there has historically been no co-ordinated NHS training route into SCoPEd column B or C practice, NHS England has also worked with the SCoPEd partners to develop and pilot a fully funded and paid psychotherapeutic counselling training. This three-year postgraduate programme launched in Autumn 2022, with 47 trainees, meets all the requirements for SCoPEd column B practitioner competences and has one of the NHS Talking Therapies recognised modality trainings embedded within it. Three pathways are currently in operation: Person-centred Experiential Counselling for Depression, Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy and Couple Therapy for Depression.

Opportunities within NHS Talking Therapies services are usually advertised on NHS Jobs.