How to train to become a psychotherapist

Embarking on a career as a psychotherapist can be incredibly rewarding, interesting, and fulfilling, with lots of fantastic opportunities to explore as you learn and grow on this career path.

The main role of a qualified psychotherapist is to use a range of talking therapy and therapeutic techniques to assess and help patients with mental health concerns and elements of trauma to overcome their problems.

If you are considering this career route, it’s important to note that extensive education and accreditation are required to become a psychotherapist.

We’ve created a helpful guide outlining everything that you need to know about becoming a qualified psychotherapist.

What does a psychotherapist do?

Psychotherapists are responsible for helping patients to manage and overcome a broad range of problems. This is achieved by using a number of different therapeutic techniques to address the relevant issues.

Common psychotherapist techniques include:

  • Encouraging clients to talk about difficult subjects
  • Encouraging patients to explore their emotions
  • Assessing your clients' ways of thinking
  • Delving deep into their past to bring to the surface trauma
  • Analysing behaviours to help you understand your patient’s problems
  • Helping clients develop new strategies to deal with trauma and difficult situations
  • You might also have to mentor less experienced psychotherapists

How to become a psychotherapist

In order to work as an accredited psychotherapist, you will need a postgraduate degree in psychology or a related subject.

Your academic journey will begin by choosing to study A levels or embarking on an equivalent college course, which will give you the same level of qualification.

You will then need to study towards a degree, with many universities requiring at least one of the main sciences - biology, chemistry or physics in their entry requirements. Many universities will also ask for you to have obtained qualifications in subjects such as psychology and sociology, although these are not compulsory.

If you decide to complete a college course instead of A-levels, you will need to study towards a qualification in a course such as a Level 3 or 4 Diploma in counselling.

There are lots of different courses available and all have different requirements, which you should look into carefully before deciding the best option for you.

How long does it take to become a qualified psychotherapist?

In the UK, it generally takes around four years to become a qualified psychotherapist. This involves completing theoretical studies alongside clinical training under supervision.

Training should be accredited by the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, or the British Psychoanalytic Council.

What is a psychologist's salary UK?

The average psychologist's salary in the United Kingdom is around £45,000 per year, with entry-level positions starting at around £41,697.

Becoming a qualified psychotherapist is a great way to help people gain an understanding of why they are feeling the way they are, giving them the techniques they need to change and manage their thoughts and feelings.

If you're interested in becoming a psychotherapist, then why not check out our Level 5 Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Get in touch with us today to see how you can make a difference.