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

‘My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance........ we'll see about that!’

Client: ‘I have an obsession with hazel, beech and hawthorn bushes.’

Therapist: ‘it’s nothing to worry about. It just means you’re a hedgerowsexual.’

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We hope the new year finds you in good health and spirits and ready to face the challenges ahead of us. The festive season already feels a long way behind us and we are in the darkest time of the year but there are hopeful signs all around; the cyclamen and snowdrops are growing again in the CPCAB garden and we are almost heading for home in daylight at the end of the day! We send you all best wishes and thanks, as always, for your continued support.


The situation regarding funding continues to be unclear and in flux but the bottom line is that there will be less funding for fewer people and the main emphasis is on apprenticeships and individual entitlement. Many of those currently in receipt of benefits will no longer be entitled to fee remission from 2011/12. This means that even where a qualification is listed as fundable on the LAD very few individuals will be entitled to that funding. Guidance may be accessed on the Skills Funding Agency website.

What does this means for CPCAB qualifications?
The good news is:

  • Funding for ICSK-L2, CSK-L2 and CST-L3 has been extended for new starts until 31 March 2011 (see Funding for the higher levels remains as it was. Although CPCAB will continue to lobby for fundable status for our qualifications in the months ahead, in reality very few individuals will be entitled to funding even if the qualifications continue to be on the fundable list.
  • FE colleges will have the freedom to decide the mix and balance of provision needed in their own communities and can use the single Adult Skills Budget1 however they choose from 2011/12. We hope this means that centres will continue to choose CPCAB qualifications.
  • From 2013 adult learners will be entitled to loans for studying qualifications of Level 3 and above... along the lines of the current HE model. This will make Level 3 Counselling Studies and the Level 4 and Level 5 diplomas more accessible.
  • Re 14-19 funding: the following qualifications have been approved by JACQA and are eligible for funding for learners aged between 14 – 19 years.
  • L2 Award in Effective Listening Skills (ELSK-L2)
  • L2 Award in Listening Support Skills (LSK-L2)
  • L2 Award in Introduction to Counselling Skills (ICSK-L2) and
  • L2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK-L2)

It is likely, however, that this will also change; the Skills Funding Agency will issue further guidance on funding for 14-19 provision after the Wolf report has been published.

So why choose CPCAB?
As very few learners will be entitled to funding under the new arrangements we believe that centres should choose to stay with CPCAB qualifications because:

  • CPCAB is at the cutting edge of developments in the counselling sector and has good links with all the professional bodies.
  • Our qualifications are based on a coherent and unique model which is research-informed and supports evidence -based practice.
  • We are the only awarding body offering personalised support from practitioners and trainers in the field.
  • Our qualifications fit with the expected HPC (Health Professions Council) structure and Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) for counsellors.
  • We offer a unique and coherent progression route which includes pathways into HE eg. via the Open University Foundation Degree.
  • We care passionately about counselling and are spear-heading a vision for counselling which challenges the medicalisation of human distress.

We will continue to keep you posted of any developments.

1 This is a merger of the current Adult Learner Responsive, Train to Gain and Apprenticeships funding stream. A centre must be on the ACTOR (Approved College and Training Organisation Register) to be considered for funding and their budget must be above the minimum contract level of £500,000 to get an Adult Skills Budget allocation.

Candidate Guides: Open access for 2011-12

We are pleased to announce that for the 2011-12 teaching year and onwards all of our Candidate Guides (for all qualifications) will be freely available for download from our website. There will therefore be no more need for CDs containing these Candidate Guides.

We will be switching to this website means of distribution for several reasons, including:

  • The fact that an increasing number of portable computing devices (e.g. some notebooks and tablets) don’t have CD drives nowadays.
  • We can quickly update the website copy of the guides, thus ensuring that candidates and centres always have easy access to the most up-to-date version.
  • The guides will be accessible from wherever candidates have internet access, e.g. at most colleges, or at home, or in WiFi hotspots etc.
  • A survey of candidates and tutors has indicated that this change would be welcomed.

Please note that CPCAB will continue to issue Tutor CDs, partly because these CDs also contain confidential information (e.g. mock External Assessment papers).

CPD days - Understanding Substance Misuse

Feedback from other workshops ...
“A fantastic experience”
“Interesting, informative, fun and loads of new learning – great stuff”
“An excellent informative weekend”

You don’t have to be a counsellor to deliver this qualification – by attending this workshop you will have the underpinning knowledge to deliver ‘Understanding Substance Misuse’. Diploma students may also find this training helpful to them as part of their practice.

Two new CPD workshops are available in early 2011 ... each will cost just £140.00 for a two day workshop, from 9.30am to 5pm each day.  Lunch will be provided together with tea and coffee (although you should note that your accommodation is not included in the fee.

The first workshop will be held in Somerset at CPCAB's head office on Saturday and Sunday, 19th & 20th March. The second will be in London, (venue to be confirmed) on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April 2011.

To book your place or for further information, please give Clare a call on 01458 852 052 or email We look forward to hearing from you.

The Health Professions Council - regulation of counselling

The government published a new Health Bill last week which includes changes in the regulatory framework for health professions.  This could have an impact on the proposed HPC and regulation of counselling and psychotherapy ... but in the meantime the work of the PLG is going ahead. For the latest report visit the CPCAB website.

Research on working with the Therapy Personalisation Form (TPF)

A message follows from Maria Bowens, who is currently working with Professor Mick Cooper of the University of Strathclyde.

‘Hi, my name is Maria Bowens.

Over the past few years, as part of my doctorate in counselling psychology, I have been working with Professor Mick Cooper to explore ways of helping therapists tailor their work more effectively to meet the needs and wants of their clients.

We have been working on developing a client feedback form known as the Therapy Personalisation Form (TPF). The idea is to gain specific feedback from clients about their preferences regarding various aspects of the therapy by indicating across a number of dimensions how they would like the work to be orientated. Their feedback can then provide the basis for a dialogue that may serve as one way to support and improve collaboration between therapist and client. Some therapists have used it with their clients and have reported that it did reveal information regarding their client preferences that they may have otherwise not known.

Although the early signs are promising, further research must be done to develop the TPF; we also need to find out whether therapists and clients find it to be a beneficial therapeutic tool. My doctoral research project is about piloting the form more widely and finding out what therapists and clients think about it. There is also a version (TPF-A) which has been adapted for use at the assessment stage of therapy. The forms are freely available to download for work with clients from

They are also presented in Cooper and McLeod’s new book ‘Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy’ (2011). I would be very grateful for the opportunity to connect with people who are willing to try it out or who already have used it with their clients. I am hoping to interview a number of therapists or therapists in training to discuss their experiences of using the TPF.

If you are interested, please email me on or before Friday 10th February 2011. I look forward to hearing from you and am very happy to answer any questions or to provide further information, either about this research or the development of the TPF in general. Thank you’.

An information sheet for therapists interested in using the TPF is available here.

Taking the First Step … how CPCAB began

We are pleased to announce the availability of “Taking the First Step … how CPCAB began”, our latest 15 minute film on counselling subjects.

Shot on location on the Greek islands of Ios, Santorini and Folegandros, the film features Dr Anthony Crouch recounting events that shaped his life – including one experience in particular – that led him to become a counselling trainer and later form an awarding body (CPCAB) dedicated to counselling and psychotherapy.

You can watch the film directly below. Or if you prefer, you can order a much higher-resolution DVD (for just £3.95 including P&P) from our online shop.

The following is some feedback we've received about the film so far:

"I just wanted to give you some feedback on watching the video. I thought it was wonderful and I have sent it on to my trainees, my tutors and a couple of clients who are going through much of what Anthony was talking about.
A very moving story. Thank you Anthony."

"Just wanted to say what a wonderful, inspirational video that was. I'm priviledged to be part of the CPCAB and making a difference to people's lives"

"Thank you for the link to 'taking the first step' I really enjoyed it, so lovely and refreshing to hear a grounded and unpretentious view on therapy and training.

One thing that excited me was hearing Dr Crouch describe the therapeutic value of the time he spent in nature. This is an area of therapy which fascinates me and aspects of which I include in my own practice."


Research project - can anyone help?

CPCAB recently received the following request from Panagiotis Parpottas, who is currently working towards his Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Surrey. If you are interested in working with Mr Parpottas, please contact him direct by emailing

Are you working in and on the therapeutic relationship? Do you believe that issues like the therapists use of self and clients internal working models are important components of the therapeutic relationship? If so you may be interested on how therapists’ and clients’ attachment dimensions influence the process and outcome of therapy.

My name is Panagiotis Parpottas and I am a trainee Counselling Psychology from University of Surrey in my final year and I hope that you might be interested in taking part in my Doctoral research: “Exploring the therapeutic care-giving/attachment relationship: How the interaction effects of therapists’ and clients’ global attachment dimensions, the client’s specific attachment to therapist and the therapist’s specific care-giving to client influence the working alliance and outcome of therapy’.

I am looking to recruit trainees and qualified therapists who are about to commence therapy with their clients and finish preferably by the end of April 2011 (or November 2011). Therapists working in the NHS and therapists working only with children, families and groups are not eligible in participating in this study. All therapists will complete three questionnaires and they will also recruit two of their clients and administer to them four questionnaires in different stages of therapy (in the first session, in a mid therapy session and in the final session). I will provide you with the appropriate information on how to recruit your clients but also how to explain to them the process of this study.

Your clients’ participation is strictly anonymous and the whole process of completing the questionnaires is simple and takes approximately 5-10 minutes in each stage. Your participation is also anonymous and in exchange of taking part, if you wish, I will give you feedback on scores on your care-giving and attachment processes and I ensure confidentiality.

This project has been given a favourable ethical opinion by the University of Surrey Ethics Committee and is supervised by Dr Riccardo Draghi-Lorenz, Director of Psych.D in Psychotherapeutic & Counselling Psychology, University of Surrey:

If you are interested in participating, please contact me directly for further information. My email is: and