As with all professions there is an expectation that those who continue to practice as counsellors engage in what is termed ‘continuing professional development’, CPD for short.
Most reputable counselling courses in the UK last three years and in that time you will probably engage in 600 guided learning hours at an academic institution or training provider with a 100 hours of placement face to face therapeutic work with clients of which you will receive supervision.
While all this sounds comprehensive and satisfies the BACP’s membership criteria, it breaks down to the equivalent of attending a 20 week, 7 hour a day training course.
Of course the ‘math’ does not tell the full story of training , there are assignments , group supervision, finding a placement ,self study and personal reflection, however the question still remains ‘how much do you really understand the modality of therapy you studied, when on a bright morning in August your qualification drops through the letter box after three years of training?’
There is a well repeated phrase in the world therapy to describe professional development -Apprentice, Journeyman, Master Craft; this rather masculine terminology describes a learning journey without end.
My advice is to think carefully when choosing CPD and think very carefully, if you decide to train in a differing therapeutic approach, ask yourself have you lost faith in or how much do you really understand about the model you were trained in?
Having a large therapeutic tool bag may sound like a good idea, however really understanding your craft is a completely different kettle of fish. which takes time, practice and most of all commitment.
What are your thoughts on choosing CPD opportunities and training in differing models as soon as you have qualified?
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