Legality in the UK – the legal status of the designations ‘psychotherapist’, ‘counsellor’ and ‘therapist’
At this time there is no legal status for a psychotherapist in the UK:“In some countries, most notably the United States, individual practitioners are required by law to be licensed in order to practise counselling or psychotherapy. Holding a license means that a practitioner has completed a level of training specified by the licensing board. In the US it is illegal to offer services unless licensed… a counsellor offering services in the US without a license is breaking the law. “Other countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, do not regulate the profession by means of licensing; in the UK, there is no such thing as a ‘licensed practitioner’.” Counselling Resource
What this means is that to call yourself a therapist, counsellor or even psychotherapist in the UK is not illegal regardless of the training and experience you may or may not have. As much as the governing bodies of the UKCP and BACP might like to give the impression that you can’t practice as a psychotherapist in the UK without a full training and UKCP or BACP accreditation, this is not the case. It is perfectly legal for anyone to set themselves up as a counsellor or psychotherapist, and while I wouldn’t advocate doing so, nevertheless this is the case.
Further thoughts on this in light of the forthcoming training in trauma constellations in London
Those wishing to study the work of Franz Ruppert by joining the training in London may have questions about any ancillary training they may require. My thoughts on this are as follows:
As much as a psychotherapeutic background is unquestionably useful, it also can cause difficulties for the trauma constellations student, because the perception we gain studying Franz Ruppert’s work is quite different from the perception and practice generally and historically taken on in psychotherapy. There are some very big differences, and the established psychotherapist will have to do some serious adjusting of their ideas, leaving some old favourites behind and taking on new, somewhat radical and initially conflicting ideas. However the psychotherapy or counsellor student may find themselves unsettled for a short space of time, but eventually can make these shifts fairly easily.
At the same time most psychotherapists and counsellors coming into personal contact with Ruppert’s work are pretty quickly impacted by the fact that the work often takes them to a place and understanding of themselves that they have not been able to gain through conventional psychotherapy or counselling.
Some people who do not have a psychotherapy background ask me if they should do a psychotherapy or counselling training in order to practice.
The first thing I would say is to repeat what I have written above: it is perfectly legal to work as a trauma constellations therapist without a psychotherapy or counselling background.
The second thing I would say is that in my view the worst possible thing to do would be to attempt to train as a psychotherapist and a trauma constellations therapist at the same time. You would have to split yourself between two very conflictual world views and I doubt that the learning would be easy. It would more likely confuse you.
On the other hand if you do the trauma constellations training and later on decide that you need some basic counselling skills or psychiatric knowledge (understanding diagnoses, and how to cross the divide to be able to talk to other psychotherapeutic professionals) that is a quite different project. You would be coming to it having a solid grounding in a theory and practice of trauma from which to discriminate as to what is likely to be useful to you and what is not.
So I guess what I am saying in brief is this: a psychotherapy background is not necessary in order to train in the work of Franz Ruppert, nor is it a legal requirement, and you would still be able to practice quite legally without it, but you might at some point wish to have further input to improve your knowledge and practice.
Please, if you have any other questions on these topics do email me… and you can add your thoughts to this article by submitting a comment below. All comments are held for moderation so don’t expect your comment to appear immediately.
The training website is www.healthy-autonomy.co.uk.