As waiting lists for free or low cost counselling grow and the general public becomes more aware of the benefits of counselling, private practitioners are more in demand. Many qualified counsellors develop ‘portfolio careers’ and this private work can combine neatly with part-time or voluntary work.
The BACP has recently published a workforce survey into employment as counsellors – click here.
Many of our graduates go on to set up their own counselling practice, with a few of them pulling knowledge, skills and resources together to form partnerships. Counsellors can work in a variety of settings, such as further and higher education, organisations for people with disabilities, in the workplace, youth work, alcohol, drugs and AIDS agencies, GP Practices and other general counselling services. People trained in listening and counselling skills are also employed by many telephone helplines.
In addition, many churches are beginning to realise the benefit of having a counsellor on staff, or of co-operating with other churches to establish a Counselling Service in their locality.
The counselling profession is in the midst of a major shift in terms of regulation and professional recognition. Details of this process (which is called SCoPEd) can be found on the BACP website here.