There are many reasons why people choose to become a psychotherapist. Often this is a second career for people from a wide range of backgrounds.

Whatever the reason, for many the experience of training to become a therapist involves a transition to a different lifestyle and way of working and thinking.

For some, it seems to be a natural progression from a role in the ‘helping professions’, for others as a result of having experienced being a therapy client.

UPCA approved training courses are recognised by UKCP and meet their rigorous Standards of Education and Training.

UPCA approved training courses have undergone an in-depth assessment to achieve UPCA approved status. Upon successful completion of your training, you can apply to become an Accredited Clinical Member of UPCA and apply to join the UKCP Register of Psychotherapists

All UPCA training courses will ensure that you develop the depth of theoretical knowledge, client practice skills and professional and ethical awareness to become a safe practitioner.

Typically training takes between three and six years of part time study, many students continue to work part-time whilst training. Training includes theory and skills practice (with a requirement to achieve approximately 450 hours of supervised practice). You will have to undertake your own personal therapy and have your client work supervised for the duration of your training. These hours will vary slightly depending on which modality* of psychotherapy you choose to train in.

(*the theoretical and philosophical foundation for practice)

Some things to consider before embarking on training

UPCA recognises the contribution of all its members and associates, and the diversity and vulnerability of those seeking counselling and psychotherapy. UPCA is committed to eliminating discrimination and to promoting equality and diversity for all. Our full Equal Opportunities and Diversity Statement can be found here

  • Geographically, where do you want to train?
  • From the list of UPCA approved courses -check out the course information on the university websites, including the entry requirements
  • Email the named contact from the UPCA approved courses list for the course(s) that interest you and find out about the process of enrolment
  • Different universities teach different modalities of psychotherapy at different academic levels, so you need to consider which modality most closely fits with your views of human development and the emergence and treatment of mental disorders.
  • Consider the level of qualification you wish to achieve.
  • Think about whether you want to practice with adults or children.
  • Look into what the earnings potential and employment opportunities are in your area, many therapists are self-employed private practitioners and undertake a range of related roles for other organisations. (Your university may offer advice about this)
  • Check out the fees charged by the approved courses, you will need also to factor in costs for travel, supervision, personal therapy, professional association fees and indemnity insurance.
  • All students on UPCA courses are required to become student members of UPCA and remain in membership for the duration of their training. Student fees are currently £21 per year.