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  2. Psychotherapist


Alternative titles for this job include Child psychotherapist, child and adolescent psychotherapist, family psychotherapist

Psychotherapists use talking therapies to help people deal with emotional, behavioural and mental health issues.

Average salary (a year)

£35,000 Starter


£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

in your own business managing your own hours

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a psychotherapist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course


To become a psychotherapist, you'll need to:

  • study for a degree such as psychology, nursing, medicine or social work
  • do an accredited postgraduate qualification
  • complete 450 hours of practice

Your postgraduate course should be recognised by one of the following:

Training can take between 3 and 4 years to complete.

To become a child psychotherapist, you will need to complete 4 years of training with the APC.

You'll also need experience of working with children or vulnerable adults.

Some courses may expect you to go into therapy yourself during your training. This is to help you deal with any issues that may affect you as a therapist, as well as to experience therapy from a client's point of view.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You could start by doing a Level 3 or 4 Diploma in Counselling before moving onto further training at degree and postgraduate level.

You'll be encouraged to take an introductory course to start, to make sure that this is a career for you.

Some colleges have a minimum age limit to start this type of course. They may also expect you to have had experience of working with vulnerable people.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information

More Information

Career tips

Training in psychotherapy is personally and emotionally challenging. It can also be costly and takes a lot of time and dedication. It's important to think about how it will impact your life before committing to a course.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in psychotherapy from Health Careers and the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a psychotherapist, you would:

  • build trusting relationships with individuals, couples or groups
  • encourage clients to talk about their thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • help clients find ways to cope with their issues and to make positive changes
  • create and update confidential client records and write reports
  • keep up to date with theory and research

Working environment

You could work in the community, in a therapy clinic, at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital or from home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could take on a training, teaching or mentoring role, or specialise in a particular therapeutic approach.

You might also become self-employed and set up a private practice, or move into academic research.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a psychotherapist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Solicitor - Level 6

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Preston

Counselling Skills

  • Start date: 13 September 2024
  • Location: BARNSLEY

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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