The types of therapy available are diverse. At Iron Mill College, we train our counsellors to work in an integrative way, as we believe that no one model holds the answers for every client. By combining elements from several different models, counsellors can tailor their techniques to suit individual clients. The It’s Good to Talk website is a good source of information for the various types of therapy available.
Integrative Counselling allows the counsellor to creatively tailor his or her approach to the unique requirements of each individual client, in a collaborative, relational and responsive way, by having a range of approaches and interventions available. This is very different from a ‘purist’ approach, for example, in which the therapist might view the client and the work through one particular theoretical lens, and operate exclusively within that one approach. We suggest that every approach has something useful to offer but no one approach holds all the answers.
Examples of the theoretical approaches we might include in integrative work are Person-centred work, Relational Depth, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Jungian and Freudian concepts, Attachment Theory, Psychosynthesis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, Neuroscience, and Existential approaches.
Integrative counselling is not an ‘anything goes’ approach however – students will develop and critically evaluate their own philosophical position (you will learn about psychodynamic, humanistic and cognitive-behavioural positions) and will select ways of working from a range of different approaches which are harmonious with your underlying philosophy. That way, you can work in ways that fundamentally make sense to you, while maximising the possibilities you can offer your clients within the therapeutic relationship.
TA stands for Transactional Analysis.
A central premise of relational TA is that problems originate in relationships and are therefore healed in the context of relationships. We therefore prioritise thinking about, and the purposeful use of, the therapeutic relationship with clients, taking careful notice of what is going on between the client and psychotherapist – both conscious and unconscious. This requires the psychotherapist to have a good understanding of themselves. There is therefore an emphasis on personal development and knowledge for the psychotherapist.
Our TA courses are accredited by the UK Association for Transactional Analysis (UKATA) and their website is a good source of information regarding Transactional Analysis.
The answer to this question is complex and will differ depending on who you ask, however, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) give the following guidance:
“BACP, as an Association, has not distinguished between counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over the short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing.
“Counselling and psychotherapy are services sought by clients to help them resolve emotional, psychological and relationship issues within a context of confidentiality and clear ethical boundaries using evidence-based interventions to foster long-term recovery, increased resilience and wellbeing.
BACP sees no evidence of any difference between the functions of counselling and psychotherapy.”
UKCP says: “Psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling are talking therapies. Our members provide safe, expert talking therapy which helps people with emotional, social or mental health problems.
“Sessions with a trained psychotherapist offer an environment in which you can express your feelings and gain a deeper insight into your difficulties. Psychotherapy sessions are confidential, so you can talk about things you might not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else. The aim is to help you find better ways to cope, or to bring about changes in the way you think and behave that will improve your mental and emotional well-being.
“The term ‘psychotherapy’ covers a range of approaches and methods. These range from one-to-one talking sessions to therapies that use techniques such as role-play or dance to help explore people’s emotions. Some therapists work with couples, families or groups whose members share similar problems. Psychotherapy can be provided for adolescents and children as well as adults.”
This will vary widely depending on a number of factors, including:
Our advanced courses take a minimum of 2 years, with some taking up to 4 years, but you also have to factor in the time to undertake the entry level courses required for each, if you have not yet completed that training. If you would like to work with children and young people it is important that you continue on into post qualifying training in order to work and qualify with this client group.
We currently offer 3 advanced courses that enable you to work towards becoming a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist:
Foundation Degree (FdA) in Integrative Counselling (validated by the University of Worcester)
Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP)
TA Psychotherapy Advanced Course (Transaction Analysis) (accredited by the UK Association for Transactional Analysis UKATA)
The field of counselling and psychotherapy is very broad. Some graduates go on to work part-time in private practice, some work full-time in schools, addiction centres or charities, and some pursue their own area of interest by providing a new service in their community. Most graduates go on to work at least part-time in counselling or psychotherapy, but some simply continue with their original career (e.g. teachers, civil servants, etc.) whilst utilising their new skills.
The right avenue will be different for everyone, depending on your individual needs and aims. Think about where you would like to work at the end of your training, for instance, in the NHS, educational institutions, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP), Local Authority employee services programmes, charitable agencies, private practice, etc. What are their individual requirements for staff? Also, think about how much time you can devote to your training.
It’s worth reading as much information as you can on our website and then contacting us to discuss things further, we are always happy to help. You can contact us at 01392 219200 / firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries. Our regular Open Days and Open Evenings are also a great way to find out more and talk to our tutors about your potential options and pathways.