Your guide to therapy courses and certification

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If your starting out your journey to becoming a therapist, it’s inevitable that you will planning to undertake some training. There are a plethora of therapy courses out there and knowing which ones you should take can be a daunting decision.

Depending on what type of therapy you will be practising it may be that you don’t need to have any qualifications to legal practice that activity. As most types of therapy are likely to have their own governing body or association, it is worth checking with your relevant body to see what standards they require you to meet.

Reiki practitioners, for example, don’t necessarily need any formal training to operate. However, attempting to market yourself as a reiki therapist may be a bit tricky if you do not have any educational collateral to your name.

Training courses can be found on a number of online databases. These can be searched by your local area and sometimes by your current skill level. HotCourses and UCAS are just a couple of resources that you can find a training module to suit you.

Joining an organisation

Generally, the need for specialist therapist qualifications become strengthen when you wish to become a member of a professional body. The UK Reiki Federation are no different in this case.

Should you wish to join as an ‘Associate’ or ‘Practitioner’ member, you are required to hold a minimum of a Reiki 1 and Reiki 2 certificate respectively.

Similarly to become a ‘Professional’ member of the National Association of Massage Therapists one must hold at a qualification to the level of ITEC Level 3 Massage at the bare minimum.

Perhaps one of the most intensive training processes in the therapy industry is bestowed upon would-be counsellors and psychotherapists. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) recommends a three step approach to any training.

Introduction

Firstly, they recommend taking an introductory course into the subject of counselling and what becoming a therapist is all about. Here you will get an idea about the level of commitment a career in therapy would require.

Certification in counselling

The BACP then suggests that the next step of counselling training is to seek out a local college, university or adult education centre to learn the required skills to succeed as a counsellor or psychotherapist. These courses will generally give you an understanding of the advice you will be giving, and the theories that surround them.

Core practitioner training

The third step in the transition to becoming a therapist in the eyes of the BACP and many other organisational bodies is to take an accredited course. This is likely to be at a Bachelors or Masters degree level and will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the advice and treatment you should be giving. It will flesh out your understanding and leave you in the best place to deliver your therapy treatment of choice.

Although this three step approach is specifically referenced by the BACP, it is a useful approach to take whether you are a psychotherapist, massage therapist or chakra stone healer.

By having specific therapist qualifications to your name, you improve your chances to succeed two-fold.

Firstly you increase your level of knowledge and skill level in your chosen profession. But secondly, you can also put your customers and clients into a better position where they trust you to deliver the service they require. By improving their trust and satisfaction, you also increase the chance of them referring you to their friends and associates.