Counselling Courses in Glasgow:
The Definitive Guide

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Are you interested in pursuing or developing a career in counselling?

Discover the range of counselling courses Glasgow has to offer with our informative guide.

From beginner to experienced practitioner, we’ve got you covered with all the essential details you need to choose the right course for you.

Take the next step on your counselling journey today!

1. Counselling in Glasgow

2. Qualifications available

3. Glasgow course providers

4. Classroom vs Online

5. Why choose Connect?

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Enrolment for our Glasgow-based fast track course is now open!

Become a qualified counsellor in just two years with our part-time course, consisting of 92 live sessions spread across two years.

1. What does counselling in Glasgow look like?

Are you thinking about training as a counsellor in Glasgow? Allow us to provide you with insights into what counselling entails in this dynamic city!

Glasgow stands out as an exceptional location for both training and practising as a counsellor, thanks to its diverse and inclusive community, a solid network of support for mental health professionals, and a dedicated approach to enhancing mental health services in the region. With a wealth of opportunities to engage with various clients and organisations, Glasgow presents an ideal setting for anyone eager to contribute positively to individuals’ lives through counselling.

Let’s delve into some of the specific reasons why Glasgow is considered an ideal place for training and pursuing a career in counselling.

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There is a high demand for mental health services in Glasgow. Even though it is frequently celebrated as one of the top cities to reside in the UK, Glasgow faces its own set of challenges in enhancing mental health care. The city’s mental health indicators show more significant concerns than the national average, especially among its younger population. Known as the ‘Glasgow effect’ residents are almost twice as likely to have symptoms of moderate to high severity anxiety and depression (92% increased risk when compared to the rest of Scotland). This underscores a critical need for high-quality counsellors in the area. As a counsellor in Glasgow, you possess a unique opportunity to effect meaningful change within the community, addressing these pressing needs and contributing positively to the well-being of its residents.

There is a strong emphasis on mental health in Glasgow. Given the challenging mental health statistics in the city, improving mental health and well-being has become a paramount concern for the local authorities. Consequently, numerous impactful programmes and organisations have been initiated in Glasgow to address these issues.

For instance, Glasgow City Council launched a significant strategy plan to enhance mental health and well-being in local communities, educational settings, and workplaces. Additionally, the Glasgow Association for Mental Health Charity provides more than 2000 hours of community-based support every week to people in Glasgow, forming a coalition of local organisations and individuals committed to eliminating the stigma associated with mental health and discrimination within mental health services.

This focus not only opens up numerous employment opportunities for qualified counsellors but also establishes a robust support network and a rich pool of resources for professionals in the counselling sector in Glasgow.

Glasgow offers a vast array of counselling opportunities. Regardless of whether you’re drawn to assisting young people, couples, or individuals, numerous organisations and charities in Glasgow provide counselling services to a diverse clientele. For instance:

These examples represent just a snippet of the extensive mental health work being carried out by local mental health charities, NHS organisations, and private practices throughout Glasgow. Additionally, for those looking to embark on or further their counselling career, there are various educational institutions in Glasgow offering courses in counselling, setting you on the path to a fulfilling career in this field (more details to follow!).

2. What qualifications are available to me?

So, if Glasgow sounds like the city for you, what’s on offer to help you get started as a counsellor?

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Before diving in, let’s quickly clear up the difference between what you need to and should do to start working as a counsellor in Glasgow. 

As counselling is not yet a legally regulated profession in the UK, you could technically start working as a counsellor with no qualification at all! But, for the safety and well-being of your clients and yourself, it’s strongly advised that you do obtain a qualification to equip you with the necessary skills to handle challenging and sensitive situations. Moreover, employers and clients are increasingly looking for counsellors with a qualification accredited by a professional body. 

So, where does this leave you? 

Well, there are two major professional bodies for counselling in the UK, and accredited qualifications from both of these are on offer as counselling courses in Glasgow. Let’s take a look at these two bodies. 

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

The BACP is the largest professional body for counselling in the UK. It upholds high ethical standards and, therefore, gaining BACP membership is a great stamp to have to help you find employment and clients. 

To become a BACP member, you need to meet certain criteria, which include completing an approved core practitioner course. One example of a pathway to BACP membership is to take a series of CPCAB-accredited courses. We’ll use this as an example to demonstrate the amount of training that is required to gain BACP membership.

To gain membership to BACP via CPCAB, you need to have at least completed:

CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills – 170 hours total qualification time
CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies – 196 hours total qualification time
CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling – 1,204 hours total qualification time

There are several different providers that offer BACP-accredited counselling courses in Glasgow. Hang tight; we’ll look more at the specific providers for Glasgow counselling courses in the next section.

The National Counselling Society (NCS)

The other major professional counselling body in the UK is the National Counselling Society (NCS). Like the BACP, you also have to meet certain criteria to gain NCS membership. 

There are also several different providers that offer NCS-accredited counselling courses in Glasgow, but only one offers the Level 4 course required to gain NCS membership. We’ll come to these in a moment. 

At Astranti Connect, we believe the route to becoming a BACP member is the preferable option of the two – you can read about why this is in our definitive guide to counselling qualifications.

Other options

If you’re just looking to pick up some counselling skills for your own personal development or to help with another professional role, like as a teacher or manager, and don’t intend to practise as a professional counsellor, there are a few additional options for counselling courses in Glasgow. 

A number of individuals and organisations offer short counselling courses, some of which allow you to gain a qualification that could contribute towards BACP or NCS accreditation if you choose to study further in the future. Others won’t be accredited, however, and so it’s important that you keep in mind there is no guarantee of their quality.

3. Glasgow counselling course providers

Glasgow presents a variety of counselling course providers, each catering to different interests, goals, and career ambitions in the counselling sector.

Let’s explore the primary options available.

Universities and colleges

A number of universities and colleges in Glasgow offer counselling courses. These institutions boast a broad selection of courses and, consequently, large student communities and campuses. If a vibrant student life and participation in diverse extracurricular activities are important to you, these might be your best bet.

The University of Glasgow provides a range of short counselling courses and a postgraduate option in Psychotherapy. Glasgow Caledonian University offers a DPsych Counselling Psychology course. 

The University of Strathclyde Glasgow offers a certificate in Counselling Skills course associated with Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA), perfect for those looking to start their counselling journey. Glasgow Clyde College provides a range of introductory courses in counselling.

Specialist providers

Glasgow is also home to a selection of specialist counselling course providers. These institutions focus exclusively on counselling and mental health, often resulting in smaller class sizes and more personalised attention from faculty members. This can lead to a more immersive and supportive learning environment. Instructors often are practicing counsellors with strong connections to the local counselling community, which can be advantageous for students seeking placements and employment.

Some of the specialist counselling course providers in Glasgow include:

The Garnethill Centre – Provides a range of counselling courses from certificate to diploma level.

GCA – Has a diploma in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy that undertakes a clinical placement within Glasgow council on alcohol, with free Clinical supervision included.

The Spark – Provides part-time certificate and diploma-level counselling courses.  

Glasgow Cognitive Therapy Centre – Offers certificates, diplomas level and post-qualification counselling courses.

Astranti Connect—Last but not least, we provide CPCAB and BACP-approved counselling courses from Level 2 to Level 6 (Certificate, diploma and post-qualification).

These are some of the key institutions in Glasgow offering counselling courses, each providing unique opportunities for those interested in starting or advancing their careers in counselling.

4. Classroom vs Online: what should you choose?

This is a good question – and, like with choosing the right qualification and training provider, the answer very much depends on what your aspirations in counselling are!
This is because if you want to be able to join a professional counselling body, both the BACP and NCS require a significant number of your training hours to be in person.

Bristol counsellor training

Let’s return to the example we discussed earlier of the CPCAB pathway to BACP membership. Here, the CPCAB Level 2 and Level 3 courses can be taken online but for the CPCAB Level 4 course, 75% has to be taught in person.

So, to gain BACP or NCS membership, a blend of online and classroom training will be required – or just classroom, if that’s what you prefer! This is something to watch out for, as some course providers will provide online-only Level 4 courses, BUT these will not allow you to apply for BACP or NCS membership.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, for BACP and NCS membership, any online courses that you take also need to be live, such as over Zoom, allowing you to interact and practise with your tutor and other students. This is because the professional bodies believe that students will not be able to pick up the necessary practical skills for counselling via self-directed learning.

So, what are the pros and cons of an online-only or blended online-and-classroom counselling course?

Advantages of online counselling training: 

  • Greater flexibility
  • Not just limited to local courses
  • Reduced costs

Disadvantages of online counselling training: 

  • Technical difficulties
  • Distractions
  • Some social interaction may be lost
  • You need to be careful choosing the right online course

Overall, there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing between online-only, classroom or both online and classroom counselling courses. It very much depends on your personal preferences and circumstances, and you should choose the format that best fits your needs and goals. 

If you’d like more information on this subject, you can check out our definitive guide to online counselling courses.

5. Why join a Connect course?

So, why do we think you should study with us? 

We have experienced tutors

Connect tutors are all qualified counsellors with experience in teaching. Many are also practising counsellors and, when they aren’t teaching our classes, they continue to work with their own clients. Our tutors have a wealth of relevant, real-life experience and strong ties with the local counselling community.

We specialise in counselling

We have over 15 years of experience in counselling training and, unlike universities and colleges which offer a broad range of courses, our expertise and knowledge are focused on a small number of subject areas.

We are a national provider with centres across the country

If you’re not set on completing your counselling courses in Bristol, but you’d like to take part in one of our classroom counselling courses, we also have counselling hubs in Devon, Wiltshire, Norwich, Sheffield and Manchester. This also means you don’t have to be tied to one area throughout the course of your studies! We also have online options for Levels 2 and 3 and our post-qualification courses, offering additional flexibility. You can check out our full range of courses here.

We have a high Trustpilot rating

We are renowned as a high-quality training provider, as you can see from our excellent Trustpilot rating and reviews!

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bristol counselling training
We have limited class sizes

Both our online and in-person courses have a maximum size of 16-18 people. This offers a great balance between plenty of tutor interaction and support and working and practising with a diverse range of people.

You will get access to our online community

We have an active online community, allowing you to learn from other students and support each other in your studies.

Our students must pass pre-course assessments

This helps to ensure our courses run as smoothly as possible, and you can rest assured that you and your fellow students are well-suited to the course.

We provide courses for Levels 2 to 6

This means once you pass one course, you can move on to another! Completing our Levels 2, 3 and 4 courses sets you up to apply for BACP membership to become a qualified, professional counsellor.

Our CPD Seminar Subscription comes free with our CPCAB courses

Twice a month our own tutors or expert guest speakers host live online seminars, each focusing on a new interesting topic in the world of counselling. From ‘Exploring Sexual Diversity’ to ‘What Star Wars Can Teach Us About Right and Wrong’, there’s something for everyone.

When you join a Connect course, you’ll have access to our live seminars and full bank of recorded sessions for the duration of your course.

Our Connect courses 

Whether you’ve decided a classroom or online course is best for you, we have lots of course options available to suit your needs!

We offer the following in-person courses at our Glasgow hub: 

Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills 

Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies

Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

Each of these courses is approved by the CPCAB, and completing the Level 4 Diploma provides a pathway to BACP membership. It also forms part of the CPCAB Open University Foundation Degree if you’d like to come away with a degree at the end of your studies. 

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If you’re after a bit more flexibility, we also offer live daytime and evening online courses for Levels 2 and 3 (remember, these can be completed online as long as they’re live, but the majority of Level 4 must be completed in a classroom setting to qualify for BACP membership!). 

Once qualified, we also offer a Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision – because why stop there? 

And, as we mentioned above, if you’re not sure you want to complete your counselling courses in Glasgow, we also have counselling hubs in Edinburgh, London, Bristol, Devon, Sheffield and Manchester.  You can check out our full range of courses here.

Want to talk to someone about your next course options?

If you have any questions about Astranti Connect’s counselling courses in Glasgow, you can have a free 1-2-1 call with one of our Connect student advisors!

Head to your relevant course page below to book yours:

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