So you want to be a counsellor. Rebecca John explains how to get started
Finding the right training for your chosen career can be tricky, particularly if you want to get into counselling and psychotherapy.

Often a second career or chosen for career development, those who take up counselling usually have qualifications and experience in related fields.

Counselling and psychotherapy continue to attract new members. The British Association for Counselling, which has some 15,000 individual members and 1,000 organisations, monitors vacancies in counselling.

According to its information manager Isobel Palmer: "The number of posts is increasing, and many are part-time, but they by no means meet the demand from those who are professionally trained."

Although counselling is unregulated in Britain, the BAC runs a Course Accreditation scheme, which recognises training courses, some of which are allowed to designate themselves as accredited (BAC Acc). But besides courses, any counsellor training can count towards the 450 hours required.

The BAC, with several other national organisations, has also set up the UK Register of Counsellors, designed to raise standards across the profession.

For further information, advice and details about student membership of the British Association of Counsellors, send an SAE to: BAC, 1 Regent Place, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 2PJ (01788 550899). For more details about the UKRC, write to: UK Register of Counsellors, PO Box 1050, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 2HZ.