126 – Is Counselling Accreditation Essential?
Describing Feelings – Authenticity in Counselling
In episode 126 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken Kelly and Rory Lees-Oakes discuss the use of feelings words. ‘Check-In with CPCAB’ then looks at the value of authenticity, both psychologically and physically. Last, the presenters debate whether or not professional-body counselling accreditation is essential for counsellors.
Describing Feelings (starts at 1.50 mins)
Many people in our society don’t have a wide ‘feelings vocabulary’.
Culturally, talking about feelings has not always been encouraged, and this has perhaps contributed to the paucity of words we have to describe our emotions. But it is possible to develop our range of vocabulary.
For example, while ‘angry’ is just one word, there are in fact many words that describe the different ‘shades’ of anger – for example, ‘irritated’, ‘annoyed’, ‘furious’ and ‘enraged’.
It can be useful for student counsellors to work actively on widening their range of feelings words, enabling them to communicate in a more fine-tuned way about different emotions and their intensity.
Person-centred counselling as a modality places a particular focus on emotions, and their value in enabling us to learn to live more fully.
Your reflective journal is a great place to practise and experiment with using a wider range of feelings words than you might usually.
Check-In with CPCAB: Authenticity in Counselling (starts at 12.10 mins)
Rory speaks to Ray van der Poel (Head of Business and Development) at CPCAB (Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body) about the value of authenticity.
Ray talks about research that links authenticity to physical wellbeing, as presented by Dr. Gabor Maté.
As humans, we struggle to balance our drives for attachment and for authenticity, beginning when we are babies and are dependent on attachment to a nurturing adult for our very survival.
Lack of authenticity is linked to chronic illness, with humans having four key risk factors in this respect:
- automatic concern for the needs of others
- rigid identification with roles and responsibilities
- suppression of negative emotions
- responsibility for others and desire never to disappoint them.
Ray provides examples of scenarios that illustrate each of these risk factors, concluding that in forming attachments, we must not neglect our real self. Interestingly, we have more serotonin in our gut than we do in our brain!
For those interested in learning more about the power of intuition, Ray recommends the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Penguin, 2006).
What’s your view on the importance of being authentic? Do come along to the Counselling Tutor Facebook page and share your views and experiences.
For more information about CPCAB, please see its website. CPCAB is the UK’s only awarding body run by counsellors for counsellors.
Is Counselling Accreditation Essential? (starts at 25.10 mins)
In the UK, there is no licensing system for counsellors. This means that ‘counsellor’ is not a protected title and that anyone can therefore (legally, if not ethically) set themselves up as a counsellor.
The various professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy have individual accreditation schemes that enable members to submit a portfolio describing their learning and work.
Those who are deemed from this submission to be working to an appropriate standard are awarded accredited-member status.
Ken and Rory debate counselling accreditation, which is often a prerequisite for employed counselling posts (though some too are satisfied by the person working towards accredited status).
Whether or not you choose to work towards accreditation once you are a qualified counsellor, Ken and Rory agree that it is important to become a registered member of your professional body, meaning you are on a psychological therapists’ register that is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
Whether or not you choose to pursue counselling accreditation in due course, it’s vital to ensure that you undertake continuing professional development (CPD).
Being on a professional register requires that you have adequate CPD, insurance and supervision.
Did you know that you can claim the time you spend listening to the Counselling Tutor Podcast as CPD?