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People frequently ask "What is the difference between a counsellor and a psychotherapist?"

A legal definition of these titles does not exist in the UK at the moment; and consequently, there is a considerable difference in how organisations and individuals define these titles. In order to offer you some clarity our definitions follow:

Psychotherapist - Qualified to degree level (First Class or Upper second class grade) in a relevant subject, plus has post graduate counselling qualifications to at least level 7.

Counsellor - Has counselling qualifications from level 4-6, plus may or may not have a degree or other qualifications in relevant or other subjects.

Trainee Counsellor - Has counselling qualifications from level 1-3 or is working towards a higher counselling qualification but does not yet hold a recognised counselling qualification.

There are lots of counselling courses available in the community from all sorts of training
establishments, many of which offer short courses or distance learning, even branding them as
'advanced diplomas'. The majority of these are level 1-3 courses.


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