I've been looking into this, the OU do the courses required if your in England, I live in England but will be returning back to Scotland so am waiting to confirm from the Scottish body if the OU qual will count and if not what distance learning I can do. Part of the course is placement based and I won't be able to do that for another 2yrs.
I did a level 2 helping skills which is a taster over 10 weeks, evening classes at the local,college
Then did a more in depth level 3 at another college in the evening, over 30 weeks This is the one you need before you are allowed to do the level 4
I then did the higher diploma level 4 in counselling skills which covered psychodynamic psychosynthesis CBT and person centred skills Very in depth very well respected course, especially the tutors who taught us
Also had to do 100 hrs face to face client work in a placement plus supervision Plus 50hrs personal counselling both were mandatory. This took two years every tues. Plus two workshop weekends away.
The level 4 qualified me, the course in parts was quite punishing, there's no where to hide at times, from yourself or others
It's very expensive, probably over 10k I've completed a lot of other courses since then, such as disassociation and trauma, connection between IBS fibro and past trauma I could go on
Just over 3 possibly more like 4 mainly due to time between when courses are run etc
I think the higher level diploma is a post grad, the exams were through the ASA You have to pass an interview to get on the course, its split in to units and you write essays a weekly diary, a process group every week, plus presentations group work, and one on one sessions with the tutors.
It's pretty hardcore, and the process groups I found really hard for the first year I Think the course now costs about 5,500 and two people were asked to leave Half way through, because they weren't deemed suitable to be a counsellor.
I am fully qualified to practice as a psychotherapist, I apologise for any Vagueness I'm seriously menopausal and my memory is currently crap, without digging up the certificates I can't remember the full title of my qualification.
I deal with the more hardcore trauma type cases especially teenagers, I'm not practicing at the moment until I get my knee replacement, and my arthritis paim levels under control. But I still take courses to keep up my CPD
It's a brilliant job, the upside some of my more younger clients are now at uni or travelling the world, the downside I find it hard to chit chat and have shallow on the surface conversations, I constantly read people, so that hampers me socially