Counselling and Psychotherapy Associations

In the UK, there are two governing bodies that oversee and monitor the profession of Counselling and Psychotherapy:

They control professional qualifications, ongoing training and maintain a code of ethics and standards that their members have to adhere to. They also provide a safety net for clients who have had a bad experience with their member counsellors or psychotherapists.

As a client, you are protected in the sense that you can report your therapist to them, should you feel that they have behaved in an inappropriate manner. Countries outside the UK may or may not have their own governing bodies. If they do, ensure that your counsellor belongs to one or more of them.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (UK Only)

The BACP web site ( includes a list of different theories and models used by counsellors. This will give you some idea of the way in which counsellors are trained and work in their practice.

The site also gives you a list of Counsellors and Psychotherapist members who advertise on their web site. Please also bear in mind that The BACP do have many other members who do not pay to advertise on their website.

The BACP was established in 1970 and is the largest and broadest body within the sector of Psychotherapy, in the UK. They have helped to unite the profession and maintained professional standards to a high level.

In addition to assisting clients, counsellors and psychotherapists, they also provide advice for the British National Health Service (NHS), counselling service for voluntary agencies.

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UK Only)

The UKCP website ( is designed for professional counsellors and organisations as well as supplying information on psychotherapy.

The UKCP holds a national register of over 7,000 individual members, along with over 75 training organisation members. They are committed to the protection of the public, improving support and training to counsellors, and run conferences for the professional development of their members and the industry.

Both organisations have a register of qualified members. Their members are required to have professional indemnity insurance. They have to carry out ongoing professional training and abide by their code of conduct and ethics.