Is Counselling and Psychotherapy a right career for you? In the last number of years there has been increasing recognition of the important role Counseling and Psychotherapy plays in the mental health arena. This has resulted in an increasing demand for well trained professionals. Standardised regulation for Counselling and Psychotherapy is now coming on stream and thankfully this profession will be well regulated going into the future. This will mean that the academic requirements to become a Counsellor or Psychotherapist will be set at a minimum degree level. This presents a challenge for the Course Designers and Accrediting Bodies as they are asked to find a fit between the academic components of theory and practice with the personal developments needs of the student. Personal development is difficult to evaluate and set time limits on, however it does need to be assessed and this is usually done on the course by the experiential groupwork facilitator and also in clinical supervision. The core training aspects of a recognized degree should be: Self exploration, Supervised Therapeutic work with clients, the development of Counselling Skills, Counselling theory, Research reports, Case Studies and Process Reports. The best courses also have written and oral exams. It is important to note that the training can be stressful as past or present issues will be thrown up and it can be daunting to have to deal with these while also dealing with the normal stresses of everyday life. This is where the support of the trainees personal therapist is important as he/she will provide a safe space to step back and look at these issues objectively. This relationship also gives the trainee an understanding of what it is like to be in the clients chair and to experience the vulnerability that the client feels. Sitting face to face with someone who is going through a life crisis is a huge challenge and responsibility. An experienced supervisor is a key asset for the trainee and should be visited for at least one session for every 5 client hours. There are many different theoretical orientations within the Counselling and Psychotherapy field, indeed it is hard to get agreement within the profession about what the difference is between a counselor and a psychotherapist. Counselling is primarily about dealing with what is conscious, ie working with the clients presenting issues. This could be a relationship issue, an addiction problem, or work related issue such as bullying. In other words the issue is known to the client and is affecting them in the here and now. Psychotherapy is concerned with what is unconscious and usually involves more long term treatment. The client might present confused about repeating destructive patterns in their life which might not be evident on a conscious level, this might involve the client having to revisit past issues of trauma which can be very distressing. This type of therapy requires a very experience therapist trained to Masters Degree Level. As can be seen from the above counselling training is a very serious endeavor, however it can also be a very enriching and fun experience as you get to know other class members on a very deep and intimate level, new skills are acquired which build the trainees self esteem and confidence.