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Counselling and Psychotherapy

Subject Benchmark Statement

Subject Benchmark Statements describe the nature of study and the academic standards expected of graduates in specific subject areas. They show what graduates might reasonably be expected to know, do and understand at the end of their studies.


Below you will find the full Subject Benchmark Statement for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Alongside it, we have also published a summary designed to provide a short and accessible overview of the main Statement for students, employers and academics. 


Subject Benchmark Statement: Counselling and Psychotherapy (including Master's)

Publication date: 30 Mar 2022

Subject Benchmark Statement: Counselling and Psychotherapy - The Basics

Publication date: 30 Mar 2022

About this subject


Counsellors and psychotherapists work towards the alleviation of any form of psychological distress and support clients in developing self-awareness, personal insight, skills and confidence to manage their lives in a way that is more effective for them.


Programmes of study in Counselling and Psychotherapy therefore prepare students to be knowledgeable, self-reflective and reflexive practitioners, with a commitment to career-long professional development and to the maintenance of professional standards. Students strive to develop their self-awareness, skills, knowledge and competencies to work safely, ethically and effectively with clients, while also maintaining their own well-being.

Dr Peter Pearce - Chair of the Advisory Group
Faculty Head: Faculty of Applied Social & Organisational Sciences, The Metanoia Institute

This new guidance is an important opportunity to update the standards expected of any Counselling and Psychotherapy graduate, in terms of what they might know, do and understand at the end of their studies and in preparation for professional practice. It reflects the work over the last year of an advisory group drawn from staff and students in the four nations, as well as professional associations and a wide range of providers within the UK higher education sector.


The revised Counselling and Psychotherapy Statement has received enthusiastic support from graduates, employers and accrediting bodies across the subject community and we hope it will further the continuing development of high quality and innovative Counselling and Psychotherapy courses.

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