Therapeutic Relationships: The Human Connection

Join the conversation by taking part in our industry-wide survey

The Campaign

We’re very pleased to announce that CPCAB is campaigning alongside our friends at NCPS, to bring focus to the importance of human connection in the field of counselling.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness among the public, mental health service commissioners, and the government about the critical role of human connection in counselling training and therapy provision. It highlights the necessity of fostering meaningful therapeutic relationships in this field. Additionally, the campaign serves as a counterbalance to the growing trend of digital distance learning and digital mental health support in both the public and private sectors.

CPCAB and NCPS have spent time together to understand each other’s ethos, motivations, principles, and standards. Through these discussions, we discovered a mutual passion for high-quality counselling training and a shared perspective on how changes in the education landscape influence the professional field, specifically the impact of digitalisation on our work. We're excited to collaborate with our friends at NCPS, supporting their campaign for human connection in counselling and upholding professional standards, while we continue to advocate for the same in the training realm. Together, we aim to emphasise the importance of informed choice, connection, and transparency within the counselling and psychotherapy industry.

Why do we believe this is important...

In Counselling Training?

We believe that training to be a counsellor requires being in a live training environment with other human beings.

In recent years, asynchronous online training, commonly known as distance learning, has seen a substantial rise.

Asynchronous distance learning lacks direct interaction with tutors or peers, thereby missing out on the benefits of human connection, such as observation and feedback.

For many, this mode of study impedes further counselling training and prevents them from meeting the requirements of professional associations, which ensure the safety and ethical standards of counsellors and psychotherapists.

In Therapeutic Practice?

AI and digital tools are increasingly prominent in the mental health sector, with chatbots and apps being promoted as accessible alternatives to traditional therapy. This trend is reflected in the growing use of these innovations in public spaces and the rise of publicly funded therapy training that requires little-to-no human contact.


While digital tools have potential as supportive resources, research commissioned by the NCPS through YouGov reveals that a significant 80% of people in the UK are unlikely to choose an AI chatbot over a human being for a therapy session. The poll highlighted that the lack of human empathy from chatbots and a preference for personal connection were common reasons people avoid using chatbots for therapy sessions.

Find out more about NCPS focus here:

Video Info

We were thrilled to join NCPS at their June conference to launch the campaign and hear from many others about the importance of human connection.

Watch Kelly Budd, Chief Professional Standards Officer at CPCAB and Meg Moss, Head of Policy & Public Affairs and NCPS explain the campaign's main aims and the ways in which you can be involved.



NCPS-commissioned research via YouGov shows that:

of people in the UK are not likely to consider interacting with an AI chatbot over a human being for a therapy session. (Source: YouGov)

of people indicated a preference for human empathy in their reasons for not choosing a chatbot, with others citing a lack of trust in handling delicate or complex topics, and a view of AI ChatBots being inadequate for addressing mental health issues. (Source: YouGov)

The vast majority (79%) of people agree that counselling & psychotherapy services are essential for mental health support. (Source: YouGov)

Kelly Budd, Chief Professional Standards Officer of CPCAB, says:

“Human-centred training that includes human interaction will always be key for effective therapy. Creating competent, safe and compassionate practitioners is at the heart of what we do, and we are committed to providing future learners with the ability to make informed choices about the type of training that will meet their goals”.

– Kelly Budd

Get Involved

We’d love you to take part and have your voice heard, in our industry-wide survey.

CPCAB and NCPS are encouraging those involved in the counselling landscape to fill out this survey and tell us your thoughts on the subject of the human connection. Having your voice heard, allows us to better understand and advocate for those working or training within counselling and psychotherapy industry. Please complete by 31st July 2024. Read our Data Protection Policy.