261 – Professional Conduct Procedures for Counsellors

261 - Professional Conduct Procedures for Counsellors

Assessment in Counselling - DIY versus Professionally Built Websites

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In Episode 261 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are back with this week’s three topics:

  • First in ‘Theory in Practice’, we look closer at assessment in counselling.
  • Then in ‘Practice Today’, we have Daragh Mac Loughlin from Web Healer speaking about the differences between a DIY website and a professionally built one.
  • And lastly in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory continues the series by speaking with Rachel King, Professional Conduct Officer, and Meg Moss, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the NCS (soon to be the NCPS), about professional conduct procedures for counsellors.

Assessment in Counselling [starts in 02:40 mins]

This segment of the Counselling Tutor Podcast is sponsored by


  • WebHealer are the go-to provider of websites for private practitioners in the UK.
  • Established over 20 years, WebHealer offers a non-technical and fully supported service to help therapists grow their private practice.
  • Just one customer from your website each year pays for their service.

Go to WebHealer.net and use coupon CT100 for £100 off their "Do it for me" service.

When it comes to your first meeting with your client, you’re going to need to get a sense of what they’re here for, and where they are. One of the ways to do this is through assessment.

The key points on assessment in this section include:

  • For assessment, you can use forms such as CORE-10 and PHQ-9.
  • These questionnaires aren’t just for showing that a client has progressed, but when used correctly, they can help you to identity exactly what your clients issue might be.
  • These forms need to be interpreted, not set aside.
  • Examples of the info you can gather from holistic assessment includes:
    • Presenting issues.
    • Personal history of a client.
    • Any personal relationships you need to know about – what support they have outside of counselling.
    • Health and lifestyle.
    • Any issues or challenges they may be facing.
    • Any medical or psychiatric history that may effect counselling.
    • Ethnicity, sexuality, and/or disabilities.
    • Previous experience of therapy.
    • The clients’ goals.
    • The clients risk profile.
  • Remember that assessment isn’t diagnosis
  • Do your competence levels match what the client’s expectations are?
  • You can use assessment to help build rapport – showing unconditional positive regard, engaging in dialogue rather than being cold and clinical.
  • Allows client and counsellor to track progress.
  • Gives insight into life of client, anything that influences who they are.
  • Keep in mind that the answers the client is giving you may not be honest ones – trust has not yet been built.
Theory to Practice is sponsored by

Counselling Skills Academy

Learn counselling techniques by seeing counselling skills used in real sessions by qualified therapists.
Real sessions – real-life presentations – real skills.

DIY versus Professionally Built Websites [starts at 20:02 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Today’, we have Daragh Mac Loughlin from Web Healer discussing website building.

The main points of this discussion:

  • A good designer can translate you and your practice into a website that is appealing, easy to digest, and easy to navigate.
  • It is a visual representation of your practice.
  • A website should be working with you to make your practice that bit easier, rather than being something extra you have to think and possibly worry about.
  • You want your website working to the best of its ability to help your potential clients get to know you and your practice, and to get in touch.
  • You can customise tools to fit you.
  • SEO (search engine optimization) is an essential part of getting your website seen, you want people who know how to get your website as high as possible on Google searches.
  • Consider how long it would take you to built your own website and weigh up whether it is worth your hourly rate, when a professional may be able to do it in a shorter time.
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Counsellor CPD Library - computers and mobile phone showing what is inside the CPD library for counsellors

Professional Conduct Procedures for Counsellors [starts at 40:30 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks again with the NCS (soon to be NCPS). This week he discusses professional conduct procedures for counsellors such as the complaints process with Rachel King and Meg Moss.

Some key points of this discussion on how to be best prepared for, or hopefully avoid the event of a complaint include:

  • Having a complaints process is essential for public protection and helps to make counselling a more trustworthy profession.
  • If you're working in a specialist area – make sure you’ve done the correct and necessary specialist training for this.
  • Have a supervisor and use them if there is anything you are unsure about – ensure that your supervisor is competent in your area, they should be seeing even further than you and be able to give you things to think about and consider, e.g. they should have more experience etc.
  • Part of upholding a professional conduct as a counsellor is ensuring you're working within your own competencies.
  • Make sure you have insurance – you can go to them with any legal related questions you might have.
  • Consensual Disposal – this is a process that removes any unnecessary lengthening of the complaints process and minimizes stress for both the client who made the complaint, and the counsellor it has been made against.

The National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society is proud to sponsor Practice Matters.

NCPS (formerly NCS) are really excited to have launched their Children and Young People Therapist Register for counsellors working with the younger age group.

To find out more, visit nationalcounsellingsociety.org or simply click the button below.

Free Handout Download

Assessing Clients

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