NHS Careers > Explore by career > Psychological therapies > Careers in psychological therapies > Psychotherapist > Entry requirements and training

Entry requirements and training

Applicants for psychotherapy training, will usually need to have a good class of honours degree in a relevant subject and/or be a qualified (and usually experienced) healthcare practitioner, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health nurse or social worker. Where experience is required, it should be relevant to the field of psychotherapy in which the individual wishes to train.

In broad terms, training to become a psychotherapist takes a minimum of four years on a part-time basis. A range of training is available in the UK and is provided by a number of organisations, which are usually accredited by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), the Association of Child Psychotherapists or the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Clinical training consists of intensive treatment of individual patients of different ages, carried out under supervision. Clinical discussions combining theory and practice are held throughout the period of training.

The application process for psychotherapy training is administered directly by individual organisations running courses. For more information and details of organisations offering training, visit our psychological therapies links page for full contact details of the relevant professional organisations.

Financial support

The NHS offers a limited number of child psychotherapy training posts. These posts are offered by a small number of NHS trusts, or as a partnership between an NHS trust and one of the training providers.

These posts provide varying levels of financial support for trainees, in exchange for clinical practice, usually undertaken at an NHS site. All trainees are eligible to apply from the first clinical year. Trainee posts offer a salary, the level of which will usually depend on previous experience.

Further information on NHS training posts and grants, is available directly from NHS trusts or from the individual training organisations.

How to apply

Employers advertising job vacancies for child psychotherapists using the NHS Jobs website, will indicate through the job description/person specification, exactly which psychotherapy qualifications/experience they will consider when selecting applicants. With such a breadth of psychotherapy training available, it is advisable to contact potential NHS organisations and/or visit the NHS Jobs website in advance of embarking on a training course.