The Importance of Psychotherapy Accreditation: CAPE

Underpinning my personal and business missions is a determination to actively contribute to normalising therapy.  This includes de-mystifying the confusing minefield of psychotherapy qualifications and governance.

A problematic arena

Psychotherapy and counselling work is un-licensed, with a bewildering array of self-policing governing bodies setting their own standards for membership, qualification and ongoing clinical work.

I imagine it would be horrific to discover your GP had only read a few books and decided they’d be good at it rather than passing the rigour of medical school. Unfortunately, this is the troubling situation that the psychotherapy / counselling profession faces.

All is not lost!

However, I can confidently re-assure you that UKCP members possess the highest levels of skills and competencies. This means the highest standard of checks to verify therapists’ clinical competence and to protect your psychological safety.

Re-accreditation is required every 5 years to ensure standards are maintained.

What’s important?

There are 4 key areas for assessing psychotherapist competence, which can be conveniently expressed as CAPE: Clinical, Academic, Personal, Ethics.

The good news is, that if you select a UKCP-accredited therapist, you can be confident knowing they have been covered for you:


UKCP-Accredited Psychotherapists are required to have at least 450 clinical hours experience, gained via an approved psychotherapy provider, with extensive supervision.

This ensures academic knowledge is applied safely, in a monitored clinical setting as trainees learn.


UKCP-Accredited Psychotherapists have a minimum of level 7 (Masters) relevant education.

This ensures a strong grounding in therapeutic and psychological knowledge.


UKCP-Accredited Psychotherapists have completed at least 160 hours of personal therapy over 4 years. 

This ensures therapists have done the vital work to resolve their personal biases and issues, and have developed an understanding of their preferences and limits of competence.


UKCP-Accredited psychotherapists sign up to a robust Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

The code protects the best interests of clients and ensures the highest standards of professionalism so you can trust your accredited therapist.


Research shows that the most consistent factor underpinning successful psychotherapy is the relationship.

With CAPE covered, you can focus attention on finding a therapist that you think you can get along with.  After all, this is a person you want to open up to.

The UKCP Find a Therapist register is an excellent place to start, where you will also find Michelle’s credentials.

crop male blogger using gadgets sitting in modern cafeteria with coffee considering support for mental health