Counselling and Psychotherapy

To date, counselling is not a legally regulated profession; there is no legally enforced regulation of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, so anyone is allowed to call themselves a counsellor or psychotherapist.

Therefore it is important for every potential client to make sure any counsellor you might work with is suitably qualified and supervised. Further, the titles of ‘Counsellor’ and ‘Psychotherapist’ are not protected, therefore there is no legal minimum qualification needed to practice under those titles. Most employers, however, require a minimum qualification of an appropriate validated Post Graduate Diploma, which can be delivered in a range of venues including Universities and specialist training providers. Validation can be provided via a national body including COSCA, BABCP and BACP

One way to ensure your counselling organisation or individual counsellor is suitable, trained and supervised is to enquire if they are members of a governing body such as COSCA, BACP or BABCP. There are a number of professional associations which define their own minimum qualifications and codes of behaviour and ethics for their members.

Always check if the organisation or individual is a member of a professional body such as COSCA or BACP or BABCP and as such, is adhering to an ethical code and framework

   1. COSCA: Scotland’s Professional Body for Counselling and Psychotherapy

COSCA's Core Values

COSCA believes that every client has a right to:

  • be able to make informed choices about counselling and psychotherapy services
  • have access to an assured quality service
  • have access to a suitable complaints procedure

COSCA believes that every counsellor, psychotherapist and user of counselling skills in Scotland should:

  • adhere to an established ethical framework for good practice in counselling, psychotherapy and counselling skills
  • be an individual/organisational member of an appropriate professional body
  • have appropriate training
  • have easy access to a full range of professional support

2. BACP: British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Liber8 is also an organisational member of BACP, this requires that we must agree to observe and abide by BACP’s:

  • Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
  • Ethical Guidelines for Researching Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Membership disclosure and declaration

Organisational membership demonstrates that we are committed to providing safe, ethical and professional counselling and psychotherapy services and training.Anyone providing services within Liber8 must also adhere to these terms and conditions.

3. BABCP:The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies

The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)is a multi-disciplinary interest group for people involved in the practice and theory of behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy. BABCP was founded in 1972 as an interest group for people involved in the practice and theory of behaviour therapy. As the important role of behavioural and cognitive approaches in a wide range of settings has been established and recognised, the Association has grown both numerically (from 195 members originally to more than 10,000) and in the scope of functions it undertakes.

Aims

  • Promote the development of the theory and practice of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies in all applicable settings in accordance with the Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics.
  • Provide a forum for discussion of matters relevant to Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies among members of all helping professions.
  • Disseminate information about, set standards for and provide training in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies among members of all helping professions.
  • Maintain standards for practitioners of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy by providing the opportunity for members who meet minimum criteria to become Accredited.
  • Represent the interests of behavioural and cognitive psychotherapists through liaison with public and professional bodies and other world-wide organisations with similar aims.
  • Publish and circulate an academic Journal, Newsletter and other publications aimed at disseminating research and information about the applications of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.
  • Facilitate the formation of Geographical and Interest Groups in order to provide a local and special interest service to members

COSCA: Scotland’s Professional Body for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Liber8 is a full organisational membership; this category is open to organisations that offer any of the following services within the field of

  • counselling and psychotherapy:
  • counselling/psychotherapy
  • client work supervision
  • training
  • education
  • setting of standards
  • awarding accreditation or other recognition

BACP: British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Liber8 is also an organisational member of BACP, this requires that we must agree to observe and abide by BACP’s:

  • Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
  • Ethical Guidelines for Researching Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Membership disclosure and declaration

Anyone providing services within Liber8 must also adhere to these terms and conditions.

Organisational membership demonstrates that we are committed to providing safe, ethical and professional counselling and psychotherapy services and training.

Liber8 is an organisational member of and officially recognised by COSCA, the main professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland. Liber8 have held COSCA’s Certificate of Recognition, for the last ten years; this is the nationally recognised scheme for Counselling in Scotland and forms part of COSCA’s quality assurance framework. This scheme aims to identify and raise awareness of good quality service provision and safe practice. The Recognition Scheme has been developed by COSCA through extensive consultation and research and forms part of COSCA’s wider quality assurance work.

By recognising and endorsing good practice within counselling, psychotherapy and counselling skills organisations in Scotland, the Recognition Scheme aims to identify and raise awareness of good quality service provision and offer a recognisable kite mark for achieving this.

Organisations are required to meet 2 types of criteria: Organisational and Practice-based. Liber8 must demonstrate evidence under each of the criteria below:

Organisational criteria focus on:

  • Management Structures/Accountability
  • Suitability of Premises
  • Health & Safety Requirements
  • Insurance
  • Financial Management
  • Publicity Material
  • Networking

Practice-based criteria focus on:

  • Recruitment
  • Training & Personal Development
  • Support & Supervision
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Referral of Clients
  • Record Keeping
  • Confidentiality
  • Complaints, Appeals, Grievances & Disciplinary Procedures
  • Outcomes & Research

To achieve this Recognition Scheme, requires regular monitoring of our systems and quality assurance procedures, and ensures that we and all our counsellors meet or exceed defined professional standards. This includes a commitment to working within the terms of the COSCA Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice. COSCA also oversee a Complaints Procedure which Liber8 clients can use should any difficulties arise whilst having counselling with us.