In the UK counselling and psychotherapy are not a regulated profession. This means that there is no legal requirement to be accredited or registered with a particular organization, and unfortunately anyone can call themselves by these titles. Despite this, it is normal for therapists to become members of a professional body and work towards ‘accreditation’. Accreditation and/or registration is seen as a way of demonstrating appropriate training and upholding certain standards of practice. Membership and accreditation with one of these bodies provides some security for clients, as it shows that the therapist has appropriate training and experience, but it also provides somewhere for the client to go should they have any queries about the therapist’s practice.
There is a body that oversees the work of some of these organizations; it is called the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The PSA works with therapy bodies to ensure that standards of accreditation are upheld, and they achieve a PSA quality mark as a result. Not all therapy accredit- ing bodies have the PSA mark or are registered with the PSA, as it is an expensive process. You can check the list of therapy accrediting bodies that do work with the PSA and have the quality mark here: www.professionalstandards.org.uk/what-we-do/accredited-registers/ find-a-register/-in-category/categories/professions/counselling
Because many therapy bodies are not listed with the PSA, I have pro- vided a list of all of the main counselling and psychotherapy bodies in the UK. These represent a very wide range of the different therapies on offer. As there are so many different types of therapy, there are many different therapy bodies representing therapists who have trained in these different therapies. For example, there are professional associations for psychoana- lysts, for CBT therapists, for family therapists and so on. The list is long, but I have tried to include as many as possible. Many of them maintain a register of therapists that are accredited/registered with them, so you can find a therapist on their site.
If you find a therapist outside these sites, for example on private directories or via a Google search, it is important to check that they are a member of one of these organizations. If you do not see any informa- tion about who they are registered or accredited with, then you won’t be able to contact a specific organization if you have concerns about the therapist. This is where registration and accreditation are important in protecting you, and in providing external validation of the therapist’s credentials.
ACAT, Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapy – www.acat.me.uk/page/find+a+private+cat+therapist
A registered charity that provides information on the practice and train- ing of CAT and also has a list of CAT Therapists for the public to search.
ACC, Association of Christian Counsellors –
The professional body for Christian counsellors. ACC is a registered charity and is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
ACP, Association of Child Psychotherapists – childpsychotherapy.org.uk/resources-families/ find-child-psychotherapist
Accredited by the PSA. This is the professional accrediting body for NHS- trained child psychotherapists. The training involves master’s-level study combined with 4 years in-service clinical training.
ACTO, the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online – acto-org.uk/therapists/
Offers training and resources for online therapy.
ADMP, Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy – admp.org.uk/find-a-dance-movement-psychotherapist/
The professional organization for dance movement therapists in the UK. It is an organizational member of the Humanistic Integrative Psychotherapy College (ukcphipc.co.uk), a college of the UKCP.
AFT, Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice – www.aft.org.uk/consider/view/how-to-find-help.html
A registered charity aiming to promote high standards of family therapy and systemic practice.
AGIP, Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy – agip.org.uk/psychotherapy/therapist-search
A registered charity that is also a member of the UKCP. It aims to provide psychoanalytic therapy services and a training programme for therapists.
AJA, Association of Jungian Analysts – www.jungiananalysts.org.uk/find-an-analyst/
A registered charity based in London and aiming to promote analytical psychology from a contemporary and inclusive perspective.
APCCA, Association for Person Centred Creative Arts – www.apcca.org.uk/apcca-practitioners
A new association that has been set up to bring together creative arts practitioners, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and coaches who are interested in bringing the creative arts into their work.
APCP, Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Ireland –
A professional organization for counsellors and psychotherapists in Ireland that aims to promote high standards of practice and training.
APPI, Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Ireland – appi.ie/find-a-clinician/
A group for psychoanalysts working in the Freudian Lacanian tradition.
AREBT, Association for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy – www.arebt.one
The main association for REBT Therapists in the UK. It works with the BABCP to maintain a register of accredited CBT/REBT Therapists. To find a REBT Therapist: www.cbtregisteruk.com.
ASIIP, Adlerian Society UK Institute for Individual Psychology – asiip.org/adlerian-therapist/
A UK association setup to promote the training and practice of Adlerian Psychotherapy and Individual Psychology.
ATSAC, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity – atsac.org.uk/directory-counsellors/
ATSAC is a not-for-profit organization that provides information and treatment options for people who struggle with sex addiction or compul- sions related to this.
Ayanay – www.ayanay.co.uk/directory.html
Ayanay Psychological Membership Ltd is a company that has been setup to provide accreditation to counsellors, therapists and life coaches.
BAAT, British Association of Art Therapists – www.baat.org/About-BAAT/Find-an-Art-Therapist
The BAAT is the professional organization that represents Art therapists in the UK. Their members are HCPC Registered Art therapists.
BABCP, British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies – babcp.com
The lead organization for CBT in the UK and Ireland that also provides accreditation for CBT therapists. BABCP is a registered charity. To find/ check a CBT therapist: www.cbtregisteruk.com.
BACP, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists
BACP is a registered charity and a professional association for counsel- ling and psychotherapy in the UK. BACP is an accredited member of the Professional Standards Authority.
BADTH, British Association of Dramatherapists – badth.org.uk/therapist-search
BADTH is a not-for-profit professional organization for dramatherapists in the UK.
BAPT, British Association of Play Therapists – www.bapt.info/find-therapist
A member of the Professional Standards Authority accredited Register, the BAPT is a registered charity and a professional organization for play therapists in the UK.
BICA, British Infertility Counselling Association – www.bica.net/find-a-counsellor
A registered charity recognized by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the British Fertility Society in the UK.
BISS, British and Irish Sandplay Society – www.sandplay.org.uk/members-map
A professional association for Jungian sandplay therapists.
BPA, British Psychodrama Association – www.psychodrama.org.uk/find_a_psychotherapist.php
The BPA is accredited by the UKCP and promotes the practice of psycho- drama and sociodrama in the UK and Ireland.
BPC, British Psychoanalytic Council – www.bpc.org.uk/information-support/find-a-therapist-or-clinic/
The BPC is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority and main- tains an accredited public register of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapists. BPC incorporates several member institutions. These are:
AMPP, Association of Medical Psychodynamic Psychotherapists Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – www.annafreud.org
AJA, Association of Jungian Analysts – www.jungiananalysts.org.uk APC, Association of Psychodynamic Counsellors
APPCOS, Association for Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organizational Settings – psychodynamicthinking.info
FPC, Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling – www.thefpc.org.uk FPS, Forensic Psychotherapy Society
IoP, Institute of Psychoanalysis (British Psychoanalysis Society) – psychoanalysis.org.uk
NB: there is another website that uses the name ‘British Psychoanalytic Council’. It has the website address www.psychoanalytic-council.org. The BPC have confirmed that this site is not connected to them.
BPS, British Psychological Society – www.bps.org.uk/public/find-psychologist
A registered charity which operates as the representative body for psycholo- gists and the profession of psychology in the UK. It operates by Royal Charter and maintains a register of chartered psychologists.
CFAR, Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research – cfar.org.uk/centre-analysts
Registered with the UKCP, the CFAR accredits psychoanalysts in the UK.
COSCA -Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland – finder.cosca.org.uk/searchregistrant.aspx
A charity registered in Scotland, the Confederation of Scottish Counselling Agencies is the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland.
COSRT -College of Sexual & Relationship Therapists – www.cosrt.org.uk/factsheets/therapists-nearest-me-search-results/
COSRT is a registered charity and the UK’s professional body for sexual and relationship therapists.
CP-UK, College of Psychoanalysts UK – psychoanalysis-cpuk.org/member-directory/
Represents psychoanalytic practitioners in the UK.
CPJA, Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis – www.cpja.org.uk/about-the-cpja/
The CPJA is a college of the UKCP and represents psychodynamic, psy- choanalytic and Jungian psychotherapists in the UK.
EMDR UK and Ireland -emdrassociation.org.uk/find-a-therapist
The professional association for EMDR therapists in the UK and Ireland.
FDAP, Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners – www.smmgp-fdap.org.uk/fdap-practitioner-directory
A charity that operates as the professional body for workers in the sub- stance abuse field.
FETC, Foundation for Emotional Therapeutic Counselling – www.emotionaltherapeuticcounselling.org.uk/about
A registered charity operating as a training organization for ETC.
Gestalt Centre – gestaltcentre.org.uk/find-a-counsellor-or-therapist
The Gestalt Centre is a registered charity and training organization for gestalt therapists who are accredited with either UKCP or BACP.
GPTI, Gestalt Psychotherapy and Training Institute – gpti.org.uk/find-a-therapist
The GPTI is a member organization of the UKCP. It provides training and accreditation for gestalt psychotherapists.
GOP, Guild of Psychotherapists – guildofpsychotherapists.org.uk
A registered charity and professional body for psychoanalytic psycho- therapists accredited by UKCP.
HCPC, Health and Care Professions Council — www.hcpc-uk.org/check-the-register
The HCPC is the main regulator for the health profession. It also regulates psychologists, occupational therapists and art therapists.
HGI, Human Givens Institute – www.hgi.org.uk/find-therapist
Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, the HGI is a member- ship body and a professional body for Human Givens therapists.
IACP, Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – iacp.ie
A registered charity representing counselling and psychotherapy in Ireland.
IATE, Institute for the Arts in Therapy and Education – www.artspsychotherapy.org
Training institute for arts psychotherapists and child psychotherapists.
ICP, Irish Council for Psychotherapy – www.psychotherapycouncil.ie/find
The ICP is the national umbrella organization for psychotherapy in Ireland.
IGA, Institute of Group Analysis – www.groupanalysis.org/PsychotherapyReferralService/ PsychotherapyReferralService.aspx
A registered charity whose mission is to promote the theory and practice of group analysis in the UK.
IGAP, Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists – www.igap.co.uk/find.html
The IGAP is a registered charity that trains Jungian analysts and maintains a register of therapists who provide low-cost therapy. Its members are UKCP registered.
IOP, Institute of Psychosynthesis – www.psychosynthesis.org/ practitioners/
A member of the UKCP and the professional body for psychosynthesis practitioners.
Metanoia Institute – www.metanoiatherapists.co.uk
The Metanoia Institute trains counselling psychologists. psychothera- pists and counsellors and provides a directory of therapists who have graduated from their programmes, which are accredited by the BPS, BACP and UKCP.
NCHP, National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy – nchp. ac.uk/
A member of UKCP, the NCHP trains and accredits hypnotherapists, hypno-psychotherapists and hypno-psychotherapeutic counsellors.
NCP, National Council of Psychotherapists – www.thencp.org
A professional organization for coaches, counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists working in any therapy modality.
NCS, National Counselling Society – nationalcounsellingsociety.org
A member of the Professional Standards Authority accredited register. NCS is a not-for-profit professional accrediting body for counselling.
PTUK, Play Therapy UK – www.playtherapy.org.uk
A member of the Professional Standards Authority accredited register. PTUK is a professional association for play and creative arts therapists in the UK.
SAP, Society for Analytical Psychology – www.thesap.org.uk/ find-a-pyschotherapist/#!directory/map
A professional body for Jungian analysts and psychotherapists and a registered charity.
SEA, Society for Existential Analysis – existentialanalysis.org.uk
A member of UKCP. The SEA is a registered charity and was founded by Emmy van Deurzen in 1988. It welcomes anyone interested in existential analysis, as well as providing a training and research forum for therapists.
TPCA, The Person-Centred Association – www.the-pca.org.uk/ directory/therapists/find-a-practitioner.html
Previously known as BAPCA until 2018, the PCA is an organization devoted to the maintenance and development of the person-centred approach in counselling.
UKAHPP, UK Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners – ahpp.org.uk/find-a-therapist/
Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, and a member of the UKCP, the UKAHPP is the main accrediting body for practitioners who use humanistic psychology in their work.
UKSFA, UK Association for Solution Focused Practice – ukasfp.org
UK Membership organization for solution-focused practitioners.
UKATA, UK Association for Transactional Analysis – www.uktransactionalanalysis.co.uk
Formerly the Institute of Transactional Analysis, UKATA represents all forms of TA theory and practice in the UK.
UKCP, UK Council for Psychotherapy – www.psychotherapy.org.uk/ find-a-therapist/
The UKCP is a registered charity and accredited member of the Professional Standards Authority. Its role is to regulate the accreditation of psychothera- pists and psychotherapeutic counsellors in the UK. Individual therapists that train with one of UKCP’s colleges can apply for accreditation through that college.
UPCA, Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association
UPCA is a member of the UKCP. Its aims are to promote safe and ethi- cal counselling and psychotherapy practices in universities. It accredits its members in accordance with UKCP rules and maintains a register of accredited therapists.