KathrynWithaK
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Hi everyone
I’m currently studying certificate in counselling and psychotherapy. I was planning on doing my degree in counselling and psychotherapy after this which is 4 years and qualifies me to practice counselling in private practice or an agency. Which appeals to me as it’s what I’m interested in and I can practice once completed.
http://pcicollege.co.uk/degree-couns...herapy-belfast

However after reading a lot of posts about counselling jobs and lack of job prospects for the amount of cost and time it takes to qualify it has made me question if this is the right choice.

My other areas of interest are mental health nursing and psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP)

I understand that those are all totally different areas and training under the umbrella that is mental health, but I want to work in mental health but have job opportunities.
PWP I’m very interested in however to get onto the PWP postgraduate course that’s is accredited by BPS the University states you need a Psychology degree. I don’t want to do psychology degree as all the maths terrifies me. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.u...herapies-21299

I have seen the Queens Uni here in Belfast does a post graduate CBT course accredited with BABCP if I did this after my counselling degree would this qualify me to apply for PWP roles? https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgr...therapy-pgdip/

I’m a mature student, I’m 31 with three little boys. I have very little qualifications do this is really me starting over and because I’m older I feel it’s my chance to really do this. Also courses cost a lot of money and time, I want to make sure I’m making the right choice.
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LuigiMario
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The psychology prof at Warwick that I chatted to said the best part of the degree for her was that you could (allegedly) understand post degree what humans were about, and in any job vacancy interview situation, take control & nudge your way through to success. That might have been a bit of a rosy view, but does highlight perhaps why a psychology degree is the most chosen as major by US students. She also mentioned that often practicing needs a very long career, with much life experience. isn't the Maths, mostly needing scientific statistics? - you could do an Open University Statistics module to get confidence, or spend a week on YouTube self learning?

...just ending on a positive note, my brother did a few random degrees but wasn't satisfied (or employed!) until he did a mental health Nursing degree, now he's always had a job - when his nearest hospital closed a few years ago he moved from fixed ward work, to a smartphone app, bank nursing type things, but it's always beeping and he can work as much or as little as he needs. Lastly, isn't Nursing funded, grants & expenses? (it is in Scotland) and I think you'd be a perfect candidate, and could build upon your certificate study - hence lessening costs, then when in a job, presumably NHS, take advantage of their excellent training. A nurse friend of mine did her MSc sponsored by the NHS, on block release, 3-months on/off
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KathrynWithaK
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(Original post by LuigiMario)
The psychology prof at Warwick that I chatted to said the best part of the degree for her was that you could (allegedly) understand post degree what humans were about, and in any job vacancy interview situation, take control & nudge your way through to success. That might have been a bit of a rosy view, but does highlight perhaps why a psychology degree is the most chosen as major by US students. She also mentioned that often practicing needs a very long career, with much life experience. isn't the Maths, mostly needing scientific statistics? - you could do an Open University Statistics module to get confidence, or spend a week on YouTube self learning?

...just ending on a positive note, my brother did a few random degrees but wasn't satisfied (or employed!) until he did a mental health Nursing degree, now he's always had a job - when his nearest hospital closed a few years ago he moved from fixed ward work, to a smartphone app, bank nursing type things, but it's always beeping and he can work as much or as little as he needs. Lastly, isn't Nursing funded, grants & expenses? (it is in Scotland) and I think you'd be a perfect candidate, and could build upon your certificate study - hence lessening costs, then when in a job, presumably NHS, take advantage of their excellent training. A nurse friend of mine did her MSc sponsored by the NHS, on block release, 3-months on/off
This is so insightful thank you so much!
There is so much to think about! But this has really helped!

I will delve further into mental health nursing and find out more. This could be a great route.

Thank you
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Nerol
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(Original post by KathrynWithaK)
Hi everyone
I’m currently studying certificate in counselling and psychotherapy. I was planning on doing my degree in counselling and psychotherapy after this which is 4 years and qualifies me to practice counselling in private practice or an agency. Which appeals to me as it’s what I’m interested in and I can practice once completed.
http://pcicollege.co.uk/degree-couns...herapy-belfast

However after reading a lot of posts about counselling jobs and lack of job prospects for the amount of cost and time it takes to qualify it has made me question if this is the right choice.

My other areas of interest are mental health nursing and psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP)

I understand that those are all totally different areas and training under the umbrella that is mental health, but I want to work in mental health but have job opportunities.
PWP I’m very interested in however to get onto the PWP postgraduate course that’s is accredited by BPS the University states you need a Psychology degree. I don’t want to do psychology degree as all the maths terrifies me. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.u...herapies-21299

I have seen the Queens Uni here in Belfast does a post graduate CBT course accredited with BABCP if I did this after my counselling degree would this qualify me to apply for PWP roles? https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgr...therapy-pgdip/

I’m a mature student, I’m 31 with three little boys. I have very little qualifications do this is really me starting over and because I’m older I feel it’s my chance to really do this. Also courses cost a lot of money and time, I want to make sure I’m making the right choice.
Hi!

I feel your confusion, I was in a similar boat not long ago. I started by doing a BSc in Psychology and Counselling and then decided to also train in counselling as I loved it. I also did a level 3 counselling certificate and then started an MSc in Psychological Wellbeing in Clinical Practice, which I dropped after 60 credits and took a postgraduate certificate in psychological therapies. I am now doing my level 4 counselling course so I can qualify as a counsellor.

I think to maximise job opportunities, having a BPS accredited psychology degree and a counselling qualification is best as it opens up a lot of doors. At the moment, my possible routes are to qualify as a counsellor then train in high-intensity/CBT therapy, or to possibly go on to a doctorate in Counselling Psychology. I'm not sure yet, which is why I chose to continue with my counsellor training, as it can be used as a 'core profession', which is required to go on to high intensity therapy training.

I did my BSc with the Open University and loved it. I was also concerned about the maths, but it wasn't so bad. Getting to grips with reading all the statistical outputs from the analysis software was the hardest bit for me, but there were loads of tutorials and help with this. I'm also a mature student, I'm 31 now too and have another 2 years of counselling training before my next step.

My work experience has been as a support worker on a mental health ward and with adults with learning disabilities, and I now work as a complex case worker for people with substance misuse issues.

As for PWP training, those positions are few and far between, but you don't necessarily need a degree if you have relevant experience. You will need to be able to study at a postgraduate level, though. I considered this route, but I am more interested in working with people with more serious mental health problems. I was also told by a PWP that it can be difficult to progress in the role, which put me off a little.

I hope some of this is helpful. Feel free to PM me if you want any more advice or to chat, I feel like I basically just rambled on there!

Loren
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KathrynWithaK
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(Original post by Nerol)
Hi!

I feel your confusion, I was in a similar boat not long ago. I started by doing a BSc in Psychology and Counselling and then decided to also train in counselling as I loved it. I also did a level 3 counselling certificate and then started an MSc in Psychological Wellbeing in Clinical Practice, which I dropped after 60 credits and took a postgraduate certificate in psychological therapies. I am now doing my level 4 counselling course so I can qualify as a counsellor.

I think to maximise job opportunities, having a BPS accredited psychology degree and a counselling qualification is best as it opens up a lot of doors. At the moment, my possible routes are to qualify as a counsellor then train in high-intensity/CBT therapy, or to possibly go on to a doctorate in Counselling Psychology. I'm not sure yet, which is why I chose to continue with my counsellor training, as it can be used as a 'core profession', which is required to go on to high intensity therapy training.

I did my BSc with the Open University and loved it. I was also concerned about the maths, but it wasn't so bad. Getting to grips with reading all the statistical outputs from the analysis software was the hardest bit for me, but there were loads of tutorials and help with this. I'm also a mature student, I'm 31 now too and have another 2 years of counselling training before my next step.

My work experience has been as a support worker on a mental health ward and with adults with learning disabilities, and I now work as a complex case worker for people with substance misuse issues.

As for PWP training, those positions are few and far between, but you don't necessarily need a degree if you have relevant experience. You will need to be able to study at a postgraduate level, though. I considered this route, but I am more interested in working with people with more serious mental health problems. I was also told by a PWP that it can be difficult to progress in the role, which put me off a little.

I hope some of this is helpful. Feel free to PM me if you want any more advice or to chat, I feel like I basically just rambled on there!

Loren
Loren, thank you so so much for the taking the time to reply. What you have described sounds exactly like what path I want and the areas I’m interested in.

Do you think I should do the Psychology and counselling degree With OU rather then the counselling and psychotherapy. As you say the Psychology and Counselling is BPS accredited which opens more doors.

Also thank you for sharing some insight into The PWP area of work.

This has been so helpful
Kathryn
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KathrynWithaK
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(Original post by KathrynWithaK)
Loren, thank you so so much for the taking the time to reply. What you have described sounds exactly like what path I want and the areas I’m interested in.

Do you think I should do the Psychology and counselling degree With OU rather then the counselling and psychotherapy. As you say the Psychology and Counselling is BPS accredited which opens more doors.

Also thank you for sharing some insight into The PWP area of work.

This has been so helpful
Kathryn
Why I’m more leaning towards the degree is Counselling and Psychotherapy is that at once completed you are qualified as a counsellor, so that would be more “ core” Rather than doing psychology degree and a counselling diploma After this I was planning to do a masters in CBT so that more doors could be opened.

Do you think this would be a good option?
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Nerol
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(Original post by KathrynWithaK)
Loren, thank you so so much for the taking the time to reply. What you have described sounds exactly like what path I want and the areas I’m interested in.

Do you think I should do the Psychology and counselling degree With OU rather then the counselling and psychotherapy. As you say the Psychology and Counselling is BPS accredited which opens more doors.

Also thank you for sharing some insight into The PWP area of work.

This has been so helpful
Kathryn
Hi again Kathryn,

I mean on the one hand, having the BPS accreditation is useful if you do end up wanting to go more down the psychology route (e.g. doctorates, assistant psychologist jobs), but it does not really go towards qualifying as a counsellor. If you already have a level 3 counselling certificate, you could move on to level 4, which is a 2-year course involving a placement (usually 100 hours). This leads to qualified counsellor status and you can continue to work afterwards to gain accreditation from the BACP (they ask for 250 client hours). In theory, you could work on a bachelor degree with the OU alongside this on a part-time basis. I did my level 3 course alongside my final year with the OU.

Obviously, if you study a BSc part-time, it would take you much longer to finish, but you could possibly train as a counsellor and then work as a counsellor while you complete your BSc studies.You would need to consider the time commitment, of course, but the OU is useful for fitting around a busy schedule.

If it is more psychotherapy and counselling that you want to go into, you don't need that degree, so you just need to decide if it will be a benefit to you. If not, just go with the counselling/ psychotherapy training as this will get you into that career. It is competitive, but there are jobs around!
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Lord Asriel
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As someone who has experience in various mental health teams and therapists, I think it depends on what you prioritise.

Mental health nursing is more of a sure thing. You will find work easily as an MHN, and you will be absorbed into the NHS system, with the corresponding pensions and benefits once qualified. There is a clear system of progression from Band 5 upwards, and it is a core profession if you want to go into IAPT/CBT. There are strict controls on the number of MHNs that are linked to workforce planning so you won't come out into a crowded workforce. There will be some degree of salary support, and your placements will be arranged for you within the NHS, and you will have access to the CPD opportunities and extra training that being part of the NHS workforce delivers.

Counselling is more of a risk. Training courses are not linked to workforce planning so you are going to emerge into a world where you have to make your own way. You will have to secure your own placements, pay for your own supervision and fight for your place in the world of counselling. If you are able you may be able to secure a place within the NHS or at a university which will give you some of the above opportunties, but paid counselling roles are fiercely contested. On the plus side you will focus on the therapeutic approaches you want to do, and you choose the options you want, rather than it being given to you as a MHN.

It depends on your appetite for risk, how important it is for you to tailor your own training and factor such as mobility and progression. If you are desparate to only focus on say Rogerian person centred counselling, and don't care about anything else, the doing a counselling qualification is probably the best way to go. If you want the certainty and occupational mobility, the MHN is probably a better bet.
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