Thanks4helping
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Anyone has any experience with this? Is this harder for international students?
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Nerol
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Anyone has any experience with this? Is this harder for international students?
Hi!
It is quite hard as it is a very competitive field. Paid counsellor roles can be hard to find. Roles such as CBT or High Intensity therapist come up within IAPT and other agencies, but again they are very competitive.

I wouldn't think it would be harder for international students as long as you have the required qualifications and experience.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Anyone has any experience with this? Is this harder for international students?
The biggest single employer would be the NHS; To give you some idea of the range of roles, you could search the NHS jobs website and look at the job descriptions/person specifications for the roles you are interested in. https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/search_vacancy/

A lot of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists end up working wholly or partly as freelancers. In any case, registeration with the relevant professional body (eg BACP) is usually important/
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Thanks4helping
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(Original post by OxFossil)
The biggest single employer would be the NHS; To give you some idea of the range of roles, you could search the NHS jobs website and look at the job descriptions/person specifications for the roles you are interested in. https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/search_vacancy/

A lot of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists end up working wholly or partly as freelancers. In any case, registeration with the relevant professional body (eg BACP) is usually important/
Thanks, I have tried using the website. Is it correct that there are not many jobs (for counsellors and Psychotherapists)?
How about your own experiences? Was it hard to find a job? What about your classmates?
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Thanks4helping
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(Original post by Nerol)
Hi!
It is quite hard as it is a very competitive field. Paid counsellor roles can be hard to find. Roles such as CBT or High Intensity therapist come up within IAPT and other agencies, but again they are very competitive.

I wouldn't think it would be harder for international students as long as you have the required qualifications and experience.
When you say it is competitive, how competitive do you mean?
How about your own experiences? Was it hard to find a job? What about your classmates?
Do you see any non-UK peeps working in counselling/ psychotherapy?
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OxFossil
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Thanks, I have tried using the website. Is it correct that there are not many jobs (for counsellors and Psychotherapists)?
How about your own experiences? Was it hard to find a job? What about your classmates?
I'd say that there are - as you can see from the website - quite a lot of posts, but that competition is often quite high. My personal experience was that it wasn't hard, but that was becuasse I had extensive experience of working as a nurse in the NHS and in the non-statutory sector as a children's rights advocate prior to doing psychoitherapy qualifications.
As far as I know, my classmates had a variety of experiences; prior experience in a health-related role was probably the biggest advantage to get into a slaried role. Those without tended to become freelance
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Nerol
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
,


When you say it is competitive, how competitive do you mean?
How about your own experiences? Was it hard to find a job? What about your classmates?
Do you see any non-UK peeps working in counselling/ psychotherapy?
It's competitive because a lot of people train as counsellors - services take on trainees on unpaid placements as part of their training requirements - however, there are not many paid counsellor roles. Many roles are voluntary. There is the option to go into private practice, but I don't know much about that side of things.

Finding a placement was quite tough, but I managed. I'm still in training now and doing 3 hours of counselling per week as part of that.

I do think as a profession, psychotherapy needs to be more diverse, so international students would be welcomed as far as I know!

For me, I will not be looking for a role as a counsellor. I am an Assistant Psychologist and will use my training for this role and plan to do a psychology doctorate.
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Thanks4helping
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(Original post by OxFossil)
I'd say that there are - as you can see from the website - quite a lot of posts, but that competition is often quite high. My personal experience was that it wasn't hard, but that was becuasse I had extensive experience of working as a nurse in the NHS and in the non-statutory sector as a children's rights advocate prior to doing psychoitherapy qualifications.
As far as I know, my classmates had a variety of experiences; prior experience in a health-related role was probably the biggest advantage to get into a slaried role. Those without tended to become freelance
How much health-related experience did they have?
One of the Masters in Psychotherapy course has a practicum of about 100 hours. Will this greatly help me to find a job after graduation?
Would something like a Physical Therapy Assistant, short HCA work experience greatly help an application?
Have you seen non-UK employees in any of the psychotherapy roles? Or do you know if they were successfully sponsored to work there?
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OxFossil
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
How much health-related experience did they have?
One of the Masters in Psychotherapy course has a practicum of about 100 hours. Will this greatly help me to find a job after graduation?
Would something like a Physical Therapy Assistant, short HCA work experience greatly help an application?
Have you seen non-UK employees in any of the psychotherapy roles? Or do you know if they were successfully sponsored to work there?
THere's no simple answer to your fiorst question. Some of my fellow trainees were experienced nurses, social workers etc. Others had virtually no experience in a relevant setting. As I say, it was the former who tended to find it easier to get a salaried job, the latter who tended to set up a s freelancers (or give up).

Most practical psychotherapy trainings mandate a certain level of placement hours (mine was 200 hours). That will help you make some contacts in the field and to find out if there are any suitable vacancies. But by itself, it may not be suffiicent to get a job.

And yes, doing a role like a HCA might help - but I would recommend looking into support roles that are community based, and may be part of social care, rather than limiting yourself to health-based or hospital settings. In a community role, you will get a better sense of the way other agencies, such as probation, education support, domestic abuse services etc are involved with families. This is where psychotherapists can be most useful and it will broaden your understanding and may give more opportunities to work with other agencies than specialist NHS mental health.

I can't see any problem with being an international ccandidate. If you have a cultural/ethnic background that reflects the mix of a given community (especially in city/urban settings) that may actually be an advantage. I have no idea about sponsorship or the like, I'm afraid.
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Lord Asriel
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While doctors, nurses, psychologists and other healthcare professionals are in short supply, the market for counsellors is pretty much flooded. At most of the NHS and university services I have worked at everytime a counsellor post (modestly paid) is advertised it attracts dozens of applicants.

The reasons for this are on this website.

https://ukcounsellors.co.uk/cycle-of...-exploitation/

The Cycle of Counsellor Exploitation – Counsellors Together UK – working together to end the prevalence of unpaid work within our profession.

1. Counsellors pay thousands of pounds to train and often end up in debt. As well as course fees, they also have to pay for insurance, personal therapy (often mandatory), clinical supervision and membership body fees. This can leave newly qualified counsellors with debts over £45k.

2. Whilst training counsellors usually have to complete at least 100 hours of face to face clinical work. This is usually delivered via an unpaid trainee placement.

3. Placement providers, including private businesses, statutory services & charities, use trainees to deliver their counselling services and often require counsellors to pay their own supervision, travel expenses, etc. This means they actually pay to volunteer!

4. Once a trainee finishes their placement there is no paid work for them as all of the services continue to run on trainee volunteers; as services simply rotate trainee cohorts.

5. Many charities operate in this way, paying most staff except the counsellors delivering the service.

6. There are some paid jobs, but employers almost always ask for counsellors to be accredited with a membership body such as the BACP. Counsellors have to pay over £200 per application for accreditation.

7. Some membership bodies such as BACP and COSCA require counsellors to have completed several hundred hours (450) of clinical practice to be eligible for accreditation. This can take several years to gain.

8. Charities and organisations often advertise for volunteer counsellors by promoting the opening as a way for them to ‘gain hours towards accreditation.’ This is after they have qualified and been deemed fit to practice.

9. This often means that post qualification counsellors then need to work an extra 3-5 years voluntary part-time around other work, so they can become accredited and actually be in a position to apply for paying jobs!

10. Membership bodies make a lot of money from the accreditation process. Colleges working alongside membership bodies take in trainees and fail to prepare them for this reality whilst gaining money from the students for training them. Charities and organisations who use volunteers in this exploitative way often pay other staff salaries while the counsellors work for free. Counsellors are being discriminated against. We deserve to be paid for the work we do.
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Thanks4helping
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(Original post by OxFossil)
THere's no simple answer to your fiorst question. Some of my fellow trainees were experienced nurses, social workers etc. Others had virtually no experience in a relevant setting. As I say, it was the former who tended to find it easier to get a salaried job, the latter who tended to set up a s freelancers (or give up).

Most practical psychotherapy trainings mandate a certain level of placement hours (mine was 200 hours). That will help you make some contacts in the field and to find out if there are any suitable vacancies. But by itself, it may not be suffiicent to get a job.

And yes, doing a role like a HCA might help - but I would recommend looking into support roles that are community based, and may be part of social care, rather than limiting yourself to health-based or hospital settings. In a community role, you will get a better sense of the way other agencies, such as probation, education support, domestic abuse services etc are involved with families. This is where psychotherapists can be most useful and it will broaden your understanding and may give more opportunities to work with other agencies than specialist NHS mental health.

I can't see any problem with being an international ccandidate. If you have a cultural/ethnic background that reflects the mix of a given community (especially in city/urban settings) that may actually be an advantage. I have no idea about sponsorship or the like, I'm afraid.
Thanks for the information!

Is it very difficult to get into an accredited Psychotherapy programme (Higher diploma/ masters)? Is it better to pursue Occupational Therapy, but with a focus on mental health?
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Thanks4helping
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(Original post by Lord Asriel)
While doctors, nurses, psychologists and other healthcare professionals are in short supply, the market for counsellors is pretty much flooded. At most of the NHS and university services I have worked at everytime a counsellor post (modestly paid) is advertised it attracts dozens of applicants.

The reasons for this are on this website.

https://ukcounsellors.co.uk/cycle-of...-exploitation/

The Cycle of Counsellor Exploitation – Counsellors Together UK – working together to end the prevalence of unpaid work within our profession.

1. Counsellors pay thousands of pounds to train and often end up in debt. As well as course fees, they also have to pay for insurance, personal therapy (often mandatory), clinical supervision and membership body fees. This can leave newly qualified counsellors with debts over £45k.

2. Whilst training counsellors usually have to complete at least 100 hours of face to face clinical work. This is usually delivered via an unpaid trainee placement.

3. Placement providers, including private businesses, statutory services & charities, use trainees to deliver their counselling services and often require counsellors to pay their own supervision, travel expenses, etc. This means they actually pay to volunteer!

4. Once a trainee finishes their placement there is no paid work for them as all of the services continue to run on trainee volunteers; as services simply rotate trainee cohorts.

5. Many charities operate in this way, paying most staff except the counsellors delivering the service.

6. There are some paid jobs, but employers almost always ask for counsellors to be accredited with a membership body such as the BACP. Counsellors have to pay over £200 per application for accreditation.

7. Some membership bodies such as BACP and COSCA require counsellors to have completed several hundred hours (450) of clinical practice to be eligible for accreditation. This can take several years to gain.

8. Charities and organisations often advertise for volunteer counsellors by promoting the opening as a way for them to ‘gain hours towards accreditation.’ This is after they have qualified and been deemed fit to practice.

9. This often means that post qualification counsellors then need to work an extra 3-5 years voluntary part-time around other work, so they can become accredited and actually be in a position to apply for paying jobs!

10. Membership bodies make a lot of money from the accreditation process. Colleges working alongside membership bodies take in trainees and fail to prepare them for this reality whilst gaining money from the students for training them. Charities and organisations who use volunteers in this exploitative way often pay other staff salaries while the counsellors work for free. Counsellors are being discriminated against. We deserve to be paid for the work we do.
Thanks for the link. The situation is quite concerning.

Have you personally seen/ heard counsellors/ psychotherapists needing to volunteer for 3-5 years after graduation, to be able to get a full-time job afterwards? It is quite concerning that other professions (who provide unpaid internships) are seemingly going along these lines in the near future.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Thanks for the information!

Is it very difficult to get into an accredited Psychotherapy programme (Higher diploma/ masters)? Is it better to pursue Occupational Therapy, but with a focus on mental health?
Lord Asriel makes very valid points. That is why I was lucky in already having professional health qualifications, and why those of my fellow course-mates who did not often ended up setting up as freelancers/in independent practice.
Re your other questions, my perceoption is that it isn't necessarily diffult to get on an accredited programme - colleges generally welcome anyone who can pay the fees! But as you are learning, more imortant is what else you can offer to potential employers after qualifying. I don't know much about OT qualifications, but it does offer a training that can be turned to good use in a wide variety of settings, including mental health. When I worked in CAMHS, there were several OTs in the care centre, and we had another in our community team too.
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Thanks4helping
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(Original post by OxFossil)
Lord Asriel makes very valid points. That is why I was lucky in already having professional health qualifications, and why those of my fellow course-mates who did not often ended up setting up as freelancers/in independent practice.
Re your other questions, my perceoption is that it isn't necessarily diffult to get on an accredited programme - colleges generally welcome anyone who can pay the fees! But as you are learning, more imortant is what else you can offer to potential employers after qualifying. I don't know much about OT qualifications, but it does offer a training that can be turned to good use in a wide variety of settings, including mental health. When I worked in CAMHS, there were several OTs in the care centre, and we had another in our community team too.
Is independent practice not desirable?
I do see students who graduated from a Msc Counselling and Psychotherapy course, and secured an IAPT CBT high-intensity trainee position, but I do not know how rare is that. I tried looking this up, and apparently, it is band 5/6?
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OxFossil
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Is independent practice not desirable?
I do see students who graduated from a Msc Counselling and Psychotherapy course, and secured an IAPT CBT high-intensity trainee position, but I do not know how rare is that. I tried looking this up, and apparently, it is band 5/6?
Independent practice is fine, but can be quite precarious. Some people make a great success with it, others struggle. I'm afraid I have no idea about the IAPT positions you mention.
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Lord Asriel
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Thanks for the link. The situation is quite concerning.

Have you personally seen/ heard counsellors/ psychotherapists needing to volunteer for 3-5 years after graduation, to be able to get a full-time job afterwards? It is quite concerning that other professions (who provide unpaid internships) are seemingly going along these lines in the near future.
I am a clinical psychologist so spend more time with psychiatrists, CPNs etc, but yes, and I have come across people in that loop. I am also aware of some trained counsellors who have always had to work voluntarily and have never had paid work, which is quite shocking to me.

(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Is independent practice not desirable?
I do see students who graduated from a Msc Counselling and Psychotherapy course, and secured an IAPT CBT high-intensity trainee position, but I do not know how rare is that. I tried looking this up, and apparently, it is band 5/6?
Depends on the person. Independent practice is basically running a small business, with all the ups and downs that entails. It is very different from being an employee, no steady salary, having to do admin, marketing and other duties. On the other hand it can be lucrative and rewarding if you find the right niche, but it will all come down to how good a businessperson you are. In my experience many of people who go down the counselling route aren't really that hard nosed or business minded, so can struggle. Then again some are and make it work for them.
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Nerol
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(Original post by Thanks4helping)
Is independent practice not desirable?
I do see students who graduated from a Msc Counselling and Psychotherapy course, and secured an IAPT CBT high-intensity trainee position, but I do not know how rare is that. I tried looking this up, and apparently, it is band 5/6?
Private practice may be desirable for some - it's just not my plan, so I haven't really looked into it.

Trainee IAPT roles are an option and do offer a decent salary, however they are very competitive and don't tend to come up all that often. Roles like this would be advertised by NHS trusts.
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