Montage of CPCAB logo and photographs of counselling studentsMontage of CPCAB logo and photographs of counselling studentsCPCAB, the only awarding body run by counsellors for counsellorsStudent Update

The four counsellors at the conference were all fed up - why did no-one ever listen to their problems? They agreed to take 10 minutes at lunch-time to listen to each other’s stories - after all, they were all professionals.

Counsellor 1: ‘I sometimes find it really hard to be patient with my clients. Sometimes I dream about pushing them all off a cliff ...’

Counsellor 2: ‘I’ve got a spending problem and it’s got me in debt. If I think I can get away with it, I overcharge my clients and although they never query it I feel so guilty ...’

Counsellor 3: ‘I drink too much and sometimes I sit behind my clients so they can’t smell my breath. I tell them it’s how Freud used to do it but someone is going to find out one day ...’

Counsellor 4: ‘I know it’s really unprofessional of me, but I just can’t keep a secret ...’

Client: ‘My wife and I are inseparable’.
Therapist: ‘And that’s a problem for you?’

Client: ‘Certainly is. Last time it took four policemen, a security guard and the pub landlord’s dog to separate us’.

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Welcome to all CPCAB students!

Welcome to the very first edition of ‘Student Update’, CPCAB’s newsletter especially for all of you who are studying CPCAB qualifications. Your tutors are sent their own version of Update at least four times every year - more if we have special events to report - and from now on we’ll be doing the same for you.

Student Update is a two-way enterprise - we’ll aim to keep you up to date with developments that might affect you and we hope you’ll keep in touch with us, to share your opinions of our qualifications or pass on useful information. Is there anything you particularly like about CPCAB qualifications? Anything you don’t like? (We can’t guarantee to please everyone but that won’t stop us trying ...) Any interesting stories? Do you, or a fellow student, face particular difficulties in coping with your studies?

We’d love to hear from you - send your letters, stories and photos to


CPCAB is the only specialist awarding body for counselling and psychotherapy. We’re run by counsellors and keep at the forefront of new developments, to keep you safe and informed out ‘in the field’ and advise you of future changes at the first opportunity. And our progression ladder will take you through from the 10-week ‘Introduction to Counselling Skills’ up to our ‘Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling’ and beyond. There’s even a Level 6 qualification for would-be counselling supervisors. We are also working with the Open University to provide a joint foundation degree. More details below ... read on!

Our qualifications are designed to meet the needs of society as a whole. Our newest qualification, for example, the Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Substance Misuse, was developed hand-in-hand with national drug charities and support agencies. More projects are in the pipeline so keep reading your ‘Student Update’ and stay up to date!

New developments

You may know that for some time in the UK the government has been considering putting regulations in place for the provision of counselling and psychotherapy. The initiative has the admirable aim of ensuring that British counselling is safe and of a guaranteed standard. That said, the implications for counsellors already practising or in the middle of their training could be far-reaching and there are many decisions to be made in the very near future.

CPCAB is in a strong position both to influence legislation and to keep our students as up-to-date as possible, because our very own Fiona Ballantine Dykes, Head of Qualifications, has been accepted as a member of the Health Professions Council’s Professional Liaison Group for Counselling and Psychotherapy. This rather unwieldy title covers a select group of professionals who are thrashing out the minutiae of regulation to provide the best possible security for counsellors and clients alike. For a list of members visit the HPC website.

We’ll continue to keep you informed as things progress, via your ‘Student Update’.

Foundation Degree in Counselling with the Open University

Have you long thought about doing a degree but been put off by the complexity of applying to a university? Well – take the plunge and start here!

CPCAB, in partnership with the Open University, has developed a Foundation Degree in Counselling. The degree combines CPCAB’s subject expertise and specialist knowledge of the field with the Open University’s expertise and experience in delivering flexible learning.

The Foundation Degree requires candidates to complete 240 credit points in total. This is made up of 150 credit points derived from CPCAB work-based diplomas delivered in Further Education Colleges or in private training centres and 90 credit points from Open University knowledge-based modules.

The CPCAB diplomas include:

The entry requirements for the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma are:

The Open University has launched a new Introduction to Counselling Course (D171) which is equivalent to CPCAB’s Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3). This will be accepted as entry for the Level 4 Diploma along with CPCAB’s Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills or equivalent.

The 90 credit points from the OU knowledge-based modules are gained from a range of interesting modules such as Child Development, Exploring Psychology, Diverse Perspectives on mental health and Death and Dying

The benefit of this route to a Foundation Degree is that it is flexible. The work based and the knowledge based components can be taken in any order to suit the convenience of the candidate. In other words candidates may do all or some OU modules before the CPCAB qualifications or the other way around.

For further information about the Foundation Degree in Counselling please visit or

CPCAB and questionnaire

Learning support questionnaire – win a free counselling DVD!

Our next edition of Student Update will give you the chance to win a copy of our new DVD ‘Listening and Counselling Skills - a How Not to Guide’. This gently humorous DVD warns you of some of the pitfalls counsellors should avoid and we hope it will make you smile at the same time. We’ll be including a short questionnaire with the e-newsletter and everyone who returns their completed questionnaire will be entered into the prize draw.

Knowing what you think about the level of help and support you receive from CPCAB is invaluable – it helps us to design and deliver an all-round better service to our tutors and students.  The questionnaire should only take you five minutes to complete - thanks for your help.


The CPCAB website contains a wealth of information about our qualifications and support and can give you a foretaste of higher level qualifications, to help you choose the course that suits you best. Like most websites, it changes regularly. Do let us know what you think about it - you can find it at

We also have a ‘sister’ website at ‘The Counselling Channel’, containing a range of video clips and news items that are constantly being updated. You can visit the channel on YouTube at There is the opportunity for you to upload your own videos too and we hope that this new site will grow into a unique and valued forum for trainee and established counsellors.