professional bodies and associations in therapy

Professional Bodies and Associations in Therapy

Like many industries, therapy has its own professional bodies which provide advice and support to professionals and service users, regulate the industry, and work with other organisations to ensure that therapeutic services are working well for their clients.

Some bodies focus on a specific type of therapy modality (technique) or area of practice (for example gestalt therapy, or child therapy) while others have a wider remit, covering any types of therapy and counselling.

In the UK, the most well-known professional bodies are the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT).

These professional bodies offer therapy accreditation to industry professionals, usually based on their professional qualifications and a certain amount of experience in the field. They often provide a range of membership categories and require members to undertake regular ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD).

This is a way of ensuring that accredited therapy professionals continue to update their existing skills as well as gain new ones and keep informed about new developments and best practices in the industry.

At HQ Therapy, all of our qualified counsellors and therapists will be members of at least one professional body or association, and they will include that information in their online profiles. For more information and any questions take a look at our FAQ section (below).

This may never be relevant for you, but it can be useful to know if a therapist is accredited in the specific type of therapy you’re interested in, or who to go to if you have a concern about a therapist’s practice. The professional bodies are there to support both professionals and clients.

List of professional bodies in the UK

Below are links to some of the more common professional bodies and associations in therapy that will help you gain more insight into how they operate:

  • Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP)
  • Association of Cognitive Analytical Therapy (ACAT)
  • Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy (ADMP)
  • British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT)
  • Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)
  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
  • British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT)
  • British Psychodrama Association (BPA)
  • British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Humanistic Integrative Counselling Training Schools (CCPD)
  • Centre of Counselling and Psychotherapy Education (CCPE)
  • Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)
  • College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT)
  • Continuing Professional Development Certification Service (CPD)
  • Craniosacral Therapy Association (CSTA)
  • European Association of Gestalt Therapy (EAGT)
  • Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals (FDAP)
  • Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • International Coaching Federation (ICF)
  • National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH)
  • National Counselling Society (NCS)
  • Play Therapy UK (PTUK)
  • Society for Existential Analysis (SEA)
  • UK Association for Gestalt Practitioners (UKAGP)
  • United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners (UKAHPP)
  • UK Association of Transactional Analysis (UKATA)
  • UK Reiki Federation (UKRF)
  • Universities Psychotherapy & Counselling Association (UPCA)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Therapy & Counselling For Me?

Many people, new to this type of help, believe that they need to be suffering from “mental illness” or serious “psychological problems”, or be in crisis in order for therapy and counselling to be appropriate for them. This is a common misconception; anyone can benefit from therapy when it comes to helping you deal with your personal feelings and problems, make positive changes in your life, and understand yourself better.

So what is therapy and counselling? If you’re new to this world then the first steps can sometimes be the most difficult. Therapy can be a very effective treatment for a whole range of personal problems covering areas from physical and emotional problems, different types of behavioural disorders, through to human sexuality issues and a host of wellbeing and complementary therapy techniques.

Any problem you have that is causing you concern, anxiety or distress is a valid and appropriate reason to reach out and find a therapist and talk to them about it. Far from something to be ashamed of, acknowledging your vulnerability and asking for help is a sign of maturity and strength.

If you feel that you have a desire and are committed to making changes in your life in order to overcome your current problems and achieve more long-term satisfaction, psychological wellbeing and personal fulfilment, then you are ready to seek therapy. We are here to help you work through a wide range of therapy issues that might be troubling you.

Will Information About Me Be Safe & Secure?

It is quite normal to be hesitant when it comes to sharing private and intimate information about yourself with a stranger. You may fear that you will receive judgment from your therapist, or that your therapist will share your details with others.

HQ Therapy Rooms takes your privacy and confidentiality very seriously. Our therapists are required to keep everything said in therapy sessions between you, just like your doctor is required to keep your records private.

For therapy to be effective, there must be unconditional trust built between you and your therapist, and this relies on a shared understanding of confidentiality. It applies to the outside world as well: it is standard practice for therapists not to acknowledge their clients if they run into them outside of the therapy rooms in order to help protect their client’s confidentiality. Read our full privacy policy for more information.

Can I Contact You For Advice About Getting Therapy?

Talking about your thoughts and feelings with a supportive therapist can often make you feel better and help you face your problems. It feels good to be listened to and to know that someone cares about you and wants to help. It is important that you find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and can build a trusting relationship to help you make positive changes in your life.

But how do you know what type of therapy is right for you? Taking the first steps in finding the right therapist can be the biggest hurdle for newcomers, so we have made it easy. Simply fill out the form below in confidence, and one of our fully qualified referral therapists can work with you to make sure you connect with the right practitioner and receive the correct therapy and counselling services you require.

Our practitioners deal with a wide range of therapy issues using different types of therapy modalities tailored for the types of clients we work with. We also cater for people who are beset with financial difficulties, offering them services ranging from low-cost therapy and reduced rate therapy, to working with seasoned, qualified and accredited talking therapists.