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Criteria for: Psychotherapist | Counsellor | Therapist
Group Counsellor | Educator | Researcher | O.D. Consultant

Accreditation as a Psychotherapist entitles you to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Accreditation is valid for 5 years, after which its renewal must be applied for.

If you don't currently meet the accreditation criteria for Psychotherapist you may wish to consider accreditation as a Counsellor. Accreditation as a Counsellor also entitles you to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

Before applying for accreditation as either a Counsellor or Psychotherapist you first become an Associate member, via a quick and straightforward application process. Click here for how to become an Associate member.

If you don't currently meet the criteria for accreditation as either of these membership categories you may benefit from Associate membership, including website-listing, advertising of events on the website, workshop-discounts, ethical support and assistance when later applying for accreditation. Associate members can state that they are working towards accreditation.

The criteria are detailed below or you can click here to view as a Word document.

Criteria for UKAHPP Full Membership & Accreditation in the category of Psychotherapist

1. A psychotherapist is considered to be a professional capable of working with people with complex problems over a long period of time and capable of knowing when and where to refer cases that go beyond his or her own training, capabilities or facilities.

1.1 The application should reflect this ability and should satisfy the UKAHPP Membership Committee that the applicant has reached the levels of maturity, experience and knowledge which, in the judgement of the Committee, are necessary for accreditation as a psychotherapist.  UKAHPP places emphasis not only on formal training but also on the creative use of knowledge gained in training and practice, and qualities of creativity, openness, warmth and maturity. More specifically, applicants should be able to demonstrate a capacity and commitment to developing and maintaining the following personal qualities:

  • A lively and enquiring mind.
  • A capacity for critical self-reflection and self-directed learning.
  • An ability to listen and respond with compassion and respect.
  • Awareness of prejudice and the ability to respond openly to issues of race, gender, age, sexual preference, class, disability, ethnic, spiritual/religious and cultural difference, and diversity.
  • Awareness and sensitivity in relation to the political, socio-cultural and religious/spiritual contexts of people’s lives.
  • In depth self-reflection.
  • Self-awareness and commitment to self-development.

Applications should demonstrate these qualities, particularly in the written work and the case study. Written applications and other papers submitted should reflect a competence in the applicant which is of an equivalent standard to that usually acceptable for academic work at post-graduate level.

1.2 In the case of applications incorporating training with organisations which are not members of the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy Section (HIPS) of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) the applicant will be required to submit an Accreditation of Prior Learning Portfolio. The Portfolio will be supplemented by written work done during the training, must include an 8,000 word dissertation and documents outlining the selection criteria, training programme, and methods of assessment of the non-HIPS training organisation(s). UKAHPP also reserves the right to request any additional information, either from the applicant or from the training establishment(s) which it may deem necessary to establish the academic and clinical equivalence of the non-HIPS training. The applicant is advised to ensure that the Portfolio includes evidence which will support a contention that their training meets all the requirements of the standards outlined by the document, Training Standards of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy Section of the UKCP, May 2006, Revised May 2007, including appendices.  See UKCP/HIPS Standards.

The requirements for accreditation in the category of Psychotherapist are given below and it is recommended that the applicant ensure that all requirements are fulfilled and evidenced clearly on the application form, and supporting documents, before submission.
The training and experience of the applicant for accreditation will include:

2. The satisfactory completion of psychotherapy training of at least 4 years' duration, at a post-graduate level of competence, comprising a minimum of 900 tutor contact hours which include a sustained period of training on one psychotherapy course. Training hours will not include any prerequisites to entry requirements, individual therapy, personal study time or peer group work. The applicant will demonstrate that this training has included:
2.1 An in-depth knowledge of the thinking of the main humanistic theorists with a thorough understanding of the clinical applications and therapeutic models of at least two of these. This will include relevant models of the self along with formulations of developmental processes, psychopathology and therapeutic possibilities. The nature and purpose of the therapeutic relationship, including transference and countertransference, will have been explored both theoretically and experientially.
2.2 Knowledge of, and appreciation of the application of, existential approaches to psychotherapy
2.3 Knowledge of, and appreciation of the application of, psychoanalytic and object relations theories, their development and relationship with humanistic theory and practice.
2.4 Knowledge of, and an appreciation of the application of, theories of gendered and culturally influenced human development.
2.5 Knowledge of the cognitive behavioural theory of change, its application and methods of evaluation.
2.6 An understanding of the relationship between the different approaches outlined above, with the addition of the psychiatric model.
2.7 An appreciation of the boundary between the psychotherapeutic understanding of neurosis and that of mental illness; an ability to recognise severely disturbed clients and the limitations and appropriateness of psychotherapy should have been developed.
2.8 An appreciation of the main models of research methodology.
2.9 A substantial proportion of this knowledge being gained through experiential methods of learning.  As part of the training experience the applicant will be expected to have had some personal experience of the impact on his or her person of the potential for therapeutic effect of their chosen core theoretical model and this should be apparent in the application. 
2.10 During training, applicants are expected to have completed at least one substantial piece of written work (not a case study) of at least 8,000 words. This should demonstrate the candidate's capacity for reflecting in depth on their own work and the approach in which they are training. The piece will be of an equivalent standard to that usually acceptable for academic work at post-graduate level. If such a piece is not available, or is deemed inappropriate by the UKAHPP Membership Committee, the applicant may be asked to write such a piece in support of the application at a later date.
2.11 The applicant’s training and practice of psychotherapy should be broadly-ranging, incorporating more than one humanistic school of thought (e.g. Gestalt, Body Psychotherapy, Person Centred, Existential, Transpersonal, Psychosynthesis).  The applicant should be able to communicate the knowledge gained in training and supervised practice in verbal and written form. The application should show that training and supervised practice has led to the development of abilities for critical reflection on the client’s process, the therapeutic relationship, therapeutic approaches used and the therapist’s own psychological processes. This should be demonstrated in all parts of the application, the written work, the case study and the interview. 
2.12  See also later section on Mental Health Familiarisation Placement (para 10.1)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
3.  There is a general expectation that practitioners engage in regular CPD.
UKAHPP expects the applicant to be able to demonstrate, and provide evidence of, a continuing curiosity and commitment to personal and professional development in any period intervening between completion of training and the current application for accreditation.

4. Experience of a sustained period of personal psychotherapy congruent with the psychotherapy they have trained in and are practicing. This will have been a minimum of 40 hours per year for four years, and applicants will normally have been in psychotherapy throughout the duration of the training.
4.1 The psychotherapist with whom the applicant works will not be the same person as the applicant’s main trainer, nor their supervisor. It is expected that the applicant will have experience of an extended period of psychotherapy with the same psychotherapist, normally a minimum of 3 years with the same psychotherapist.
4.2 Personal psychotherapy would normally be undertaken with a UKCP registered psychotherapist, or equivalent, on a one-to-one basis. While group psychotherapy is not deemed appropriate at this stage, the Membership Committee will consider applications which include a mix of individual and group psychotherapy, in exceptional circumstances and where all other criteria are met.

5. Regular supervision of psychotherapy client casework, following completion of training, for not less than two years with the same supervisor. The supervisor will not be the same person as the applicant’s psychotherapist.
5.1 The total number of supervised client hours accumulated should be not less than 450, during which supervision has been on a one-to-one basis.
5.2 Supervised hours should be made up of client contracts that reflect the approach to be practiced and demonstrate that the applicant has the appropriate experience of and competence in the model of psychotherapy for which they are requesting accreditation.
5.3 The supervisor will be a more experienced practitioner who uses the same approach(es) in which the applicant has trained. Peer supervision is not deemed appropriate at this stage.   Supervision should normally have been on a one-to-one basis; however, the Membership Committee will consider applications which include a mix of individual and group supervision, in exceptional circumstances and where all other criteria are met.
5.4 The supervision will be at a ratio of a minimum of 1:6 on a one-to-one basis, and will normally have been face-to-face.
5.5 The applicant will provide, when requested by the UKAHPP Membership Committee, a supervisor’s report which will reflect the applicant’s competence and readiness for accreditation as psychotherapist.   The supervisor providing this report should normally have supervised the applicant for the casework used in the client case study forming part of the application.

6. The establishment of a psychotherapy practice congruent with the mode of therapy for which the applicant is requesting accreditation. There will be evidence of substantial experience and competence in the chosen mode of psychotherapy.
6.1 Evidence of supervised psychotherapy practice and competency for a minimum of two years during which a minimum caseload of six clients weekly (or equivalent) has been maintained, and for a minimum 6 clients caseload at the time of application and in the prior 6 months. Such clients will be contracted in such a way that reflects the psychotherapeutic approach for which the application is being made.
6.2 The applicant will demonstrate that their practice has included (previously or currently) both long-term and time-limited contracts.
If the applicant’s current practice is solely long-term or is mixed (both long-term and time-limited), the application should evidence at least two long-term contracts and the ability to manage closure.
If the applicant’s current practice is solely time-limited, the application should evidence at least 12 cases, with evidence of efficacy and appropriate use of model and its framework.
6.3 UKAHPP considers ‘long-term’ psychotherapy, in most instances, to mean psychotherapy with a focus on characterological transformation, of having no pre-determined fixed time limit and a minimum of six months’ duration on a weekly basis (and pro rata for other frequencies).
6.4 In the event of groupwork practice being used to evidence practice hours the formula of one group clinical practice hour as equal to one individual clinical contact hour will be applied for the purposes of accreditation.
6.5 These caseload requirements for accreditation refer to adult clients, and the case study must be of an adult client. UKAHPP does not offer accreditation in child psychotherapy. However, in addition to the adult practice which forms the basis of an application, an applicant may also have child clients which do not form part of the UKAHPP application for accreditation.

7. A psychotherapy case study (approx. 3,000 – 5,000 words) of a recent case representative of your practice is required, when requested by the UKAHPP Membership Committee. The case study should follow the guidelines provided with the application forms and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, qualities and capacity for critical reflection gained in training and supervised practice, as noted in section 1 of this document.

8. To have professional liability and malpractice insurance, and be in good ethical standing with any “equivalent” previous or current accrediting/training organisation.

9. There is an additional, general requirement applicable to all applications in any class or category of membership, that in the judgment of the Membership Committee there is a good fit between the applicant (as evidenced from the application material, including case study and interview) and the humanistic ethos of UKAHPP, such that UKAHPP is agreed by the Membership Committee to be an appropriate membership organization, or professional "home", for the applicant.

10. Mental Health Familiarisation Placement (MHFP).
The applicant will have completed an MHFP the detailed requirements of which are given below.  If the applicant meets all other requirements but has not undertaken an MHFP, accreditation may be granted on condition that the applicant completes an MHFP within the following year and informs the Committee of this.
10.1 The taught element of the applicant’s training will support the MHFP inasmuch as it will have included the following elements:

  • Current approaches to the management and treatment of mental illness.
  • An understanding of the use and effects of pharmacological treatment.
  • The basics of the legislative and organisational framework of the various agencies involved.
  • An understanding of the differences between responses to trauma and other severe emotional states and major mental illness as defined by the medical model of mental illness.

10.2 The MHFP will be within a setting which enables the applicant to have experience of, and begin to recognise, major mental illness. This will require the applicant to spend time in such a setting in the role of observer or companion. Whilst the applicant should not be providing psychotherapeutic help they may become involved in providing simple skilled help, such as relaxation or basic counselling, if deemed appropriate by the placement manager.
Therefore, the MHFP will be in a professionally structured setting which allows applicants to spend time with those deemed to be suffering from major mental illness. Additionally, the setting must provide opportunities for discussion with staff involved in diagnosis and treatment. This might be achieved in a variety of settings, for example: psychiatric inpatient or day-patient services, community based charities concerned with rehabilitation and support, such as MIND, or other organisations offering help where the client group involves a large proportion deemed to have mental health problems, such as homelessness charities. In the case of the latter example, there must be an identified, trained, mental health worker (e.g. Registered Mental Nurse, Psychiatric Occupational Therapist or Psychologist) who will act as mentor and supervisor and there will need to be specific evidence that mental health issues form the core of the applicant's experience during the MHFP.
10.3 The MHFP, together with the taught element will be in such a setting and so structured as to ensure the following learning outcomes can be achieved:

  • Develop a basic understanding of psychiatry and the mental health system, the rights of patients and the psycho-social issues involved.
  • Understand the main principles of the Mental Health Act and the procedures for the compulsory admission and detention of patients.
  • Enhance their ability to liaise with other mental health practitioners.
  • Become familiar with psychiatric assessment and planning of a range of forms of intervention and evaluation procedures.
  • Understand the range of mental illness that can lead to the involvement of the mental health system.
  • Familiarise themselves with the different types of intervention used, including medication and electro-convulsive therapy, and their main side effects.
  • Spend time with people who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness.
  • Be able to empathise with patients who have been involved with the mental health system.

10.4 The duration of the MHFP will be sufficient to achieve these objectives and the UKAHPP considers this to mean a minimum placement of 48 hours, the equivalent of 1 day per week for a placement of 6 weeks.  Applicants should have produced a reflective account/diary of their experience of the MHFP, which should be submitted when requested by the UKAHPP Membership Committee.

Equal Opportunities Route
Applicants must present a case for their acceptance in whatever form they find appropriate. This route is for people with disabilities for whom other routes to accreditation would be inappropriate. With this exception, all applications must be made using the application forms and in typescript.

The above requirements incorporate criteria adopted by the Humanistic and Integrative Section of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, of which UKAHPP is and accrediting member organisation.  See UKCP/HIPS Standards.

Associate members can obtain the application forms by contacting admin.ahpp@btinternet.com or telephoning 08457 660326.

(tel. 08457 660326)

                                                                        October 2008



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