How to become a counsellor

With people talking openly about mental health on the rise, asking for help has become less taboo and counsellors are becoming more in demand.

A career in counselling is the perfect path to take if you are looking for a job with more flexibility. Often, counsellors are self employed and can work for themselves. As the profession has become one of the most popular in the UK, it's important to set yourself out from the rest.

So how do you become a counsellor?

Counsellors play an important part in our society. They are there to listen and provide a safe space for those who are facing emotional difficulties. They have a huge impact on those who they are helping Counsellors provide a form of talking therapy which is ideal for someone to speak to outside their situation. Although most people believe that they can offer life advice, they are really there to prompt people to explore their feelings.

It’s a rewarding career to have or embark on and it’s a chance to really make a difference in someone’s life.

Where do I start?

Counselling doesn't have a huge amount of regulation within the industry, meaning there aren't as many restrictions and obstacles you will face in your steps to becoming a counsellor. Passion for the subject, determination and a willingness to learn will get you far in the industry. Studying a counselling course can also be a step in the right direction.

There are many different routes counsellors can take and most counsellors specialise in a certain area. If you are choosing which counselling route to go down, it's always best to specialise so you become skilled in one certain area, but if you are completely new to the subject, it's best to get to grips with the basics first.

A course such as Introduction to Counselling Level 2 or Counselling Level 3 may be a good starting point. With these courses, you can really strip the subject back and learn about the key aspects of counselling. This will give you fantastic knowledge and set you apart from others.

Work Experience

Once you've studied a course (or a number of courses) you should get some work experience under your belt! As the counselling industry is so competitive, it's important you take all the steps to set you apart from the rest.

Volunteering or job shadowing in the counselling industry will ensure you not only have the knowledge, but the best skills in practice as well. The more experience you get, the better your chances of getting that job!


Find a specialist route to go down. Whether that's addiction counselling, grief counselling or child counselling. This is will mean you are more experienced in one area which will set you apart from the rest.

It will also allow you to work in a wider variety of settings and open up a range of job opportunities!

Start your career - work for yourself!

Getting qualified as a counsellor is now easier than ever before. With home learning courses like the courses we at Open Study College offer, you can study for your course around other commitments. All our courses are approved by the ACCPH (accredited counsellors, coaches, psychotherapist and hypnotherapists) so we can guarantee high quality courses.

The majority of counsellors are self employed, which means you are able to set up your own business or practice as a counsellor! Work on your own terms with this flexible career.

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Open Study College

Open Study College (OSC) have been leading the way in distance learning since 2007. Our team comprises of expert tutors, knowledgeable student advisers and a friendly student support team. Between us we have decades upon decades of experience in education and remote learning. Our blog is designed to help and guide you along the right path for you, by providing information, helpful tips and inspirational student success stories.

How to become a counsellor