UK PBSP Training : Entry & training requirements & qualifications FAQs
The Pesso Boyden training is a post graduate course designed for people who already have a recognised qualification as a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist. Many applying to join the PBSP training will already have a counselling qualification. Some will also have achieved Accreditation by UKCP, BACP or a similar organisation.
However, in the UK we allow people who have not got these qualifications to attend the PBSP training, provided they pass the pre-course interview.
Here are some frequently asked questions in relation to this:
“Do I have to have a counselling qualification to enter the Foundation Year of the Pesso Boyden Training?”
No. A small number of non therapeutically trained will be welcomed onto the Foundation Training. For those who are not intending to practice the Pesso Boyden method as a therapist, but will just use it for their own personal development, a counselling qualification is not necessary in the Foundation Year. As one graduating student put it “Even if I never used the Pesso-Boyden method again, I feel that the training has given me so much perspective and clarity on my own patterns and the capacity to make different choices in life that it has fed both my life and my soul.”
“Do I have to have a counselling qualification to continue past the UK Foundation Training to Full Pesso Boyden Training?”
Ideally yes. Exceptions may be made for those who have already enrolled in a programme to achieve a counselling or psychotherapeutic qualification. Anyone who does not have an appropriate level counselling or psychotherapeutic qualification will not be able to practise as a Pesso Boyden psychotherapist at the end of the training, because you were not a psychotherapist before the training. This means that you will not be able to lead structures or run a PBSP structure group.
“What do you mean by the Full Pesso Boyden Training?”
The Pesso Boyden training consists of a one year ‘Foundation Training’ followed by a further two year ‘Full Training’. Participants can choose to attend just the Foundation Training of one year, or to complete the Full Training, which comprises Foundation and Full Training, taking three years in total.
“Having attended the Foundation Year, will I automatically be eligible to join the Full Training.”
The transition from the Foundation Year into the Full Training will be subject to discussion and agreement with the trainers.
“Do I have to have a counselling qualification to become a Pesso Boyden psychotherapist and lead structures?”
Yes. To become a Pesso Boyden psychotherapist, and lead one-to-one structures or run a structure group, you need to have completed a recognised counselling qualification and completed the Full PBSP Training of three years.
“What is the minimum level of training as a counsellor?”
The minimum training required is a Level 4 counselling qualification. This could be at a Diploma, Degree or Postgraduate level. It should include many hours of theory, and at least 100 hours in a supervised placement. It should be a course that enables you to apply for BACP/UKCP membership (or similar). This level of counselling qualification implies a baseline of therapeutic training and practice, which will have equipped you with some of the necessary psychological knowledge to be able to keep clients safe while practising this profound method, given the depth to which structures can take people.
“Do I have to have a UKCP/BACP Accreditation to become a Pesso Boyden Psychotherapist?”
No. To become a Pesso Boyden psychotherapist we do require you to have a counselling qualification, but you do not need to be accredited.
“If I have completed the three-year Full PBSP Training, and later qualify as a counsellor, can I then run structures?”
Yes. Once you have gained a recognised Level 4 counselling qualification and have insurance, and have completed the three year Full PBSP Training you may lead one-to-one structures and run a PBSP structure group. These trainings can be completed in any sequence.
“Do I need to be a member of a professional counselling organisation to lead structures?”
Yes. We ask that those who are leading structures are members of an organisation such as BACP, UKCP, BPS, NCS, or similar. N.B. UKCP is an umbrella organisation. Membership of UKCP can either be direct, or through one of their organisational members.
“Do I need insurance to lead structures?”
Yes. We ask that you have a professional indemnity insurance before you start to lead structures (minimum of £2m cover), that covers your work using the Pesso Boyden System of Psychotherapy.
“What routes have others, who were not
psychotherapists when they started the PBSP training, used to meet the criteria
of a Level 4 counselling qualification?”
Professional counselling training, from beginning to Level 4, typically takes three to four years part time (depending on how the course is structured). But some students who attended the PBSP Full Training have found a Level 4 counselling course that credits prior training in related fields, which has reduced the length of their training to 2 years (part-time). This route is acceptable to us, provided the course is of a suitable standard to count towards BACP or UKCP membership and ultimately, BACP/UKCP accreditation (or similar). Other students have initially completed a level 3 training (which usually takes up to a year part time) and then joined the Level 4 training (a further 1 year full time or 2 years part time). Others have chosen to complete a four year (part time) BACP/UKCP recognised training. See summary table at the end of this document for guidance.
“If I have no counselling qualifications, and don’t intend to get any, can I run a structure group?”
If you have a colleague who is a qualified counsellor in the room, who can intervene if necessary and agrees to take clinical responsibility, and you have professional indemnity insurance which covers you, then yes, you may run a structure group, even if you have not yet completed a counselling qualification.
“What if I want to go on after Full Training to become a Pesso Boyden Supervisor or Trainer?”
To train as a PBSP Supervisor you need to be a fully qualified counsellor, with the appropriate years of clinical experience, and to have successfully completed the PBSP UK Full Training course. The steps to do this are outlined here: http://pessoboydentraininguk.com/pesso-boyden-training-course/pbsp-post-training-accreditation-requirements/ It is recommended that those wishing to train as a PBSP supervisor should be BACP/UKCP Accredited before starting the PBSP Supervision Training.
- Training with UKCP https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/join/how-to-train/
- Full List of UKCP Organisational Members https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/join/our-organisational-members-and-trainings/organisational-members/
- Training with BACP: https://www.bacp.co.uk/careers/careers-in-counselling/training/
- BACP Accredited Training Courses https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Courses
- The NCS: Become a Counsellor https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/become-a-counsellor/
- United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
- British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
- College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
- National Counselling Society
- UK Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners
- British Psychological Society
- National Counselling Society
Comparison of Therapy Professional Bodies Training Courses and Requirements
The table below is a highly simplified summary of entry requirements into some of the main professional bodies. If you are choosing a training to do, there are many other factors to consider such as course modality and quality, as well as practical considerations such as fees and location.
|Prof Body||Training Hours||Placement Hours||Personal Therapy|
|Varies – humanistic|
600 over 4 years
|450 tutor hours|
I year full time
2 years part time
|450 (150 post-|
|L4 1 year full time, or|
2 years part time *
|NCS||L4 1 year full time, or|
2 years part time *
|2 years part time|
|450||50 in group,|
* There are entry requirements to join L4 trainings, such as having successfully completed L3 Training