In the United Kingdom psychotherapy is voluntarily regulated. National registers for psychotherapists and counsellors are maintained by three main umbrella bodies:
1. The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
2. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
3. The British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC - formerly the British Confederation of Psychotherapists)
A psychotherapist may be a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, occupational therapist, licensed clinical social worker, counsellor, psychiatric nurse, psychoanalyst, or psychiatrist. Psychotherapy consists of a series of techniques for treating mental health, emotional and some psychiatric disorders.
Some people refer to psychotherapy as "talking treatment" because it is generally based on talking to the therapist or group of people with similar problems. Psychotherapy in Europe is increasingly seen as an independent profession, rather than restricted to psychologists and psychiatrists as is stipulated in some countries.
Psychotherapy training requires a good class of honours degree in a relevant subject and/or be a qualified (and usually experienced) healthcare practitioner, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health nurse or social worker.
Training to become a psychotherapist takes a minimum of four years on a part-time basis but can take up to six years and includes theory, supervised clinical work and clinical seminars. There are no retraining grants available to train as a psychotherapist, and training can be expensive; although it may be possible to secure a bursary from a training organisation.
Psychotherapists work therapeutically with clients with a variety of problems, difficulties and life issues that range from the effects of childhood sexual abuse, relationship breakdown, and domestic violence to major trauma.
The London Centre for Psychotherapy offers a one-year introductory course as an educational experience for those in any field who are interested in psychoanalysis and the process of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Salary of Psychotherapist
Trainee psychotherapists in the NHS may earn around £21,388 to £27,901 a year. Qualified psychotherapists can earn up to £36,000 a year. Senior managers and staff can earn anything from £47,000 - £77,000 a year.
In the private sector, psychotherapists may earn up to £150,000 a year and charge between £50 and £100 for a 50-minute session. Lower rates may be offered to clients on low incomes.