Train to be a Counsellor

Our counsellors help millions of people every year and receive regular supervision and support throughout their training and practice. 


How to become a counsellor with us.

To become a counsellor with us, you'll likely need to have already begun your counselling training. 

  • For our Diploma in Relationship Counselling, you will need a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies. It would be beneficial to have experience (paid or voluntary) working with an organisation such as the Samaritans or Childline, or in a similar supporting role.  
  • For our Post-Qualifying Certificate in Relational Counselling, it’s likely that you have completed (or are about to complete) a recognised Level 4 (or above) Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling or Psychotherapy. And as part of this completed a 100 hour supervised clinical placement.  

As a qualified counsellor or practitioner we offer training to deliver in specialised service areas

I have a degree, does this mean I am eligible for the Diploma?

Unfortunately, having a degree doesn't make you eligible for our Diploma in Relationship Counselling. Instead, you'll need the qualifications outlined above as they are practical and counselling focused rather than academic or theoretically focused. Counselling is a relational activity which depends on personal qualities, self-awareness and soft skills such as the ability to build a trusting relationship, work with difference and diversity and to convey emphatic understanding. These aspects are not included or assessed in most degree programmes (including psychology degrees) and have to be learned and developed in a very different learning context.

If you have studied a counselling degree, with the opportunity to practice developing your counselling skills, or you feel you have relevant qualifications, then do get in touch with us so we can discuss this further.

What is the criteria for a clinical placement?

For the practise element of the training you will need to secure a student placement at a Relate Centre. Your supervision will be provided by them. 

I am already a qualified counsellor in private practice, can I use my private practice as my placement?

No, this is not appropriate for a student relationship counsellor as there will be no assessment or referral process for appropriate casework. 

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning)

As well as training our own practitioners, we recruit people who are already qualified counsellors and have the required qualifications and experiences to work for one of our mainstream services. If you are already a qualified counsellor, you may already have sufficient qualifications and experience to work for us. Check out our APEL list to find out. 

What makes a good relationship counsellor?

People come to counselling from many different backgrounds. Counselling is often a second or third career, and life experience is highly valued.

To help you understand what being a counsellor is really like, hear from some of our counsellors about what made them decide to start a career in counselling and what it’s like to work with clients.