How to choose a counsellor

Our Tinnitus Support Team are often asked for recommendations for counselling services. We cannot make recommendations, but our friends and colleagues at the National Counselling Society have shared some tips about how to find the right counsellor for your needs:

At the National Counselling Society (NCS) we are committed to making sure people can receive information and help where they need it.

It is important to find a counsellor via an Accredited Register, providing peace of mind that the professional has undergone sufficient training, has regular supervision, CPD and insurance in place.

The NCS’ Accredited Register can be searched by the client, or anyone else, by visiting the website and entering in their UK postcode:  www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/find-counsellor  

The Accredited Register programme

The Accredited Register programme was set up by the Department of Health in 2012 to ensure that high standards are maintained across Health and Care Professsions. The programme is administered by the Professional Standards Authority who are an independent body, accountable to Parliament. 

By signposting someone to search for a counsellor on an Accredited Register you can be assured that the counsellors have had to meet set standards.  

All counsellors listed on the NCS’s Accredited Register must have the following in place to remain as a practising Registrant with us:

  •        Agree to abide by the Society Code of Ethics and terms and conditions of membership,
  •        Maintain annual insurance
  •        Complete at least 30 hours of varied CPD in a 12 month period
  •        1 hour 30 minutes supervision per month if in full time practice

This is what the NHS Employers website states about Accredited Register holders:

[A]ccredited registers work alongside employers, commissioners, local authorities, patients, and consumer protection agencies as part of a quality assurance network. They set the same level of standards for practitioners working in unregulated health and care occupations as those on statutory regulated professions.

Seeking health care professionals that are on an accredited register can offer piece of mind to employers, the public and patients that they are competent, trustworthy and are committed to achieving high standards of personal behaviour, technical competence and, where relevant, business practice. It also offers a means to take action if there is any cause to raise concerns about a registrant’s fitness to practise.

Other Accredited Registers for counsellors and psychotherapists include:

Association of Christian Counsellors

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

British Psychoanalytic Council

COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland)

National Counselling Society

UK Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners

UK Council for Psychotherapy

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