The National College looks to recruit mature individuals who are suitably qualified and motivated. Some experience of the world, and its ways, may usefully preface almost any course of higher education and subsequent career or career change. Such maturity may help ensure greater objectivity in choices with, consequently, more fulfilling outcomes.
Perhaps this is particularly true in the case of psychotherapy. Remorselessly following a conventional route – school/ college, university, professional training – may produce a relatively youthful academic, trained at great expense, having little in common with, or even alienated from, the majority of the population. To see a return against such a therapist’s substantial investment in time and money, there may be a temptation to offer lengthy and expensive therapy to the wealthy. Our course structure reflects this concern. Trainees do not pay in advance for the whole course (which can cause financial distress and difficulties should they subsequently wish to withdraw), but are able to budget by paying for the course stage by stage.
Because most of us are, at best, of modest means (which circumstance may, itself, cause or aggravate psychological distress), we need access to a popular therapy. This therapy should be non-dogmatic, comparatively short in duration, but with a long history of successful application. Its practitioners should be “pups” – pragmatic, utilitarian psychotherapists trained to the high standards which typify graduates of the National College.
This eclectic cum integrative approach to training is prompted by practical and theoretical considerations indicative of the likely direction of psychotherapy in days to come. Whilst respecting all legitimate psychotherapeutic models, the National College believes that to adopt a single model presents problems. When central concepts of any particular model are challenged, even by “insiders”, a dilemma is faced by its adherents. They may choose to disregard the challenge, or adapt to the new thinking. Either route is open to criticism, and likely to lead to sterile in-fighting. A further possible weakness of the single model approach is that it requires clients to be existing believers in, or effective converts to, that model. For example, there would be little point in a client who does not believe in the concept of the “unconscious” consulting a psychotherapist whose entire practice is built upon that concept, and the converse would apply. In either instance, an approach to a National College graduate should result in a flexible response, where the client’s view is paramount, not the therapist’s. Given the constraints of time and money within the National Health Service, it is not surprising that the eclectic model is amongst those finding favour . “..It is informed by more than one theoretical framework … and constitutes a large proportion of the work undertaken in the NHS…” [NHS Executive (1996) NHS Psychotherapy Services in England, Summary of Strategic Policy, Department of Health]
These are some of the considerations which have prompted the National College’s approach to
training, whether the potential graduate hopes to work in the public or private sector, or some combination of the two.
As the pace of life quickens, and its attendant anxieties grow, people find themselves increasingly stressed and subject to stress-related illness. At the same time there is often a reluctance simply to take pills (and a welcome reluctance on the part of doctors to prescribe). Many are now seeking a safe alternative to tranquillisers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills through treatments such as Hypno-Psychotherapy, which can help relieve their symptoms harmlessly, and seek to establish their cause. The National College exists to provide the qualifications needed to practise as a bona fide member of the National Society of Hypnosis, Psychotherapy and Mindfulness (see here)
A point which should concern anybody within the hypnotherapy and psychotherapy professions is the issue of possible future legislation. At present, anybody may offer services to the British public as, for example, a “Consultant Hypno-psychotherapist”. Such people may not have undergone specific training and might not belong to an appropriate professional organisation. This state of affairs causes doubts in the minds of the public about the credibility of all practitioners, genuine or otherwise. It is, therefore, in our interests, as well as in the interests of the general public, to involve ourselves with any attempts to legislate in this area.
To this end, we are founder members of the former UK Standing Conference for Psychotherapy, now the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), and provided the initiative behind the creation of the UK Confederation of Hypnotherapy Organisations which gained Voluntary Self-Regulation for hypnotherapy in 2010 with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. Similarly we maintain contacts with other individuals and organisations who, like we, are concerned to ensure that our profession is directly involved and consulted in framing any legislation relating to, say, training and registration in the UK and abroad. Hence our connection with the European Association for Psychotherapy and the European Association for Hypno- Psychotherapy, for instance.
The National College is well placed to play its part in promoting students’ interests in the face of any impending legislation.
The current Government made a statement early in 2011 halting the moves made by the previous Government towards statutory regulation of psychotherapy and instead started a process of Assured Voluntary Regulation. UKCP have applied for this with the Professional Standards Authority and at the time of writing (July 2013) the application is in process.
Graduates may apply for membership of the National Society, a professional body with an agreed code of ethics, open to persons trained by the National College. Membership of the National Society facilitates professional insurance at preferential rates, provides a referral system arising from requests for details of therapists regularly received at our offices by ‘phone, post, fax and e-mail, and gives rise to opportunities to enjoy social and other facilities. In short, the National College produces practitioners of the high standards which the public is entitled to expect of our profession.
Before engaging in any programme of training you owe it to yourself to be selective in deciding to whom that training is to be entrusted. Even if you propose to study only for general interest, your time, money and effort should not be ill-spent. Where the intended outcome is to obtain professional status within a profession serving the general public in ever greater numbers, your entire future career may well depend upon this one decision. (Whilst it is hoped that our arguments will influence your decision in favour of the National College, our position, of course, is not disinterested. However, you need not rely solely upon our assessment of the National College’s qualities.
Most important of all, perhaps, are the views of the National College expressed by non-partisan, but specialist authorities. The fact of our courses enjoy the recognition of the UKCP, EAP, EAHP, CNHC and the Open University-specific credit rating, speak for themselves; they should confirm that you need not rely only on our assurance of the quality of the service we offer to prospective therapists and, through them, the public at large.
Regardless of your present occupation, the fact that you have requested a copy of our Prospectus indicates that you have an interest in our specialist field, and would possibly like to pursue a career built around it. Our training may satisfy a general interest or lead to your establishing a successful and lucrative practice.
Study facilities are flexible, most trainees pursuing a full-time occupation whilst studying with us on a part-time basis.
Please take the trouble to read this Prospectus thoroughly. Should you meet one or other of the entry requirements, complete the Enrolment/Application Forms and return them today.
Do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information on any aspect of our work.