Counselling Exeter

How To Choose A


Psychotherapy and Counselling Exeter

How To Find a Psychotherapist.

In the UK the professions of counselling and psychotherapy are unregulated by law. There are of course professional bodies that regulate the training and accreditation of each. However, there is nothing to prevent anyone putting a sign above the door saying ‘psychotherapist’. So, how do you ensure you find a competent and regulated psychotherapist to work with?

Typically, counselling training in the UK is at diploma or degree level. Psychotherapy training is always at postgraduate, masters level.  The main regulatory body for psychotherapists in the U.K. is the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

UKCP – What Is Psychotherapy?

The UKCP’s web site states:

There’s no single explanation for how psychotherapy works because each therapeutic relationship is unique and tailored to individual needs. But, at the heart of life-changing and life-saving psychotherapy is a strong therapeutic relationship”.

Given that the profession of psychotherapy is not regulated by law, the safest way to find a trained psychotherapist is to search via the UKCP web site.  To become a full clinical member of the UKCP practitioners must have met the rigorous training standards of the UKCP. I know from experience, it takes most psychotherapists between six and ten years to qualify.


Confidence In Choice

Here at Psychotherapy & Counselling (PAC) Exeter we believe we are Exeter’s only professional community of UKCP registered psychotherapists and psychotherapists in advanced clinical training.  We have an integrative psychotherapist, Gestalt psychotherapist and Certified Transactional Analyst psychotherapist.

The UKCP Find A Therapist page is a helpful search tool to find a UKCP registered psychotherapist. The UKCP is THE primary and main regulatory body for psychotherapists in the UK.  The links below are to the main professional bodies for counsellors and psychotherapists. You will find helpful information on how to choose the right practitioner for you. You may want to consider whether you:

  • would like to see a therapist who specialises in a particular problem or issue.
  • are interested in a specific type of therapy.
  • would prefer to see a man or a woman.

Here at PAC Exeter all of our practitioners belong to a professional body, abide by an ethical code of practice and are professionally insured to practice.

UK Council for Psychotherapy

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy



Why choose a Transactional Analysis Psychotherapist?

In contrast to some practitioners who are able to use the title of ‘psychotherapist’ after only two years of training, a Certified Transactional Analyst Psychotherapist’s qualification process is extremely rigorous, as it has to meet two sets of criteria. In addition to those of the ‘Gold’ standard of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), which requires qualification to Masters Level, the Certified Transactional Analyst Psychotherapist has to meet the rigorous criteria of the European Association of Transactional Analysis (EATA). Under these two bodies as a minimum requirement a Certified Transactional Analysis Psychotherapist must:

  • Have completed no less than four years of post-graduate psychotherapy training of at least 900 hours (including supervision).
  • Have no less than 750 hours of previous experience as a practitioner, at least 50 of which must be with couples or groups.
  • Have been supervised by a senior practitioner all through the process at a rate of one hour of supervision for every six hours of work with clients.
  • Understand mental ill health through undertaking a placement with psychiatric specialists.
  • Abide by professional ethics required by both UKCP and EATA.
  • Have engaged in their own personal therapy for no less than the duration of their training.
  • Submit evidence each year to demonstrate they are continuing their professional development before and after qualification.
  • Submit and pass a written Dissertation/Case Study of no less 24,000 words.
  • Understand child & adult psychological development.
  • Have passed an oral examination with a panel of four Certified Transactional Analysts.