I have just been registered as an Arts Therapist: dramatherapist through the Health and Care Professions Council.
Many different types of counsellors and psychotherapists practice in the UK. Talking therapists are not legally required to be registered or regulated by any body. This means that anybody can call themselves a counsellor, even if they have done no counselling training. Many counselling jobs do specify that counsellors are registered, usually either through the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) or UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy), these registrations are the gold standard for talking therapists. BACP registration requires training up to Level 5 (Diploma) or Level 6 (Degree) while UKCP requires Level 6 (Degree) for psychotherapeutic counsellors and Level 7 (Masters) for psychotherapists.
The arts therapies are a little different. Art therapy, art psychotherapy, dramatherapy and music therapy are regulated professions. This means you are only allowed to practice them if you have completed an approved training programme, this must be at Level 7 (Masters level). On completion you must then register with HCPC (The Health and Care Professions Council) before you are legally allowed to practice in the therapy style you have trained in.
HCPC is a little different to the other two regulatory bodies as it is a statutory regulator for 16 health and care professions in the United Kingdom (including the four arts therapies). HCPC also regulates psychologists, social workers, Occupational therapists, Speech and language therapists and paramedics among others. To keep up that registration you must update your skills with training /CPD and practice using the skill.
I have used drama therapeutically to explore identity and to promote wellbeing for many years, I have spent the last three years reading about dramatherapy and the last two years intensively training in dramatherapy and facilitating dramatherapy placements. Today is the first day which I can call myself a Dramatherapist.
As a member of HCPC, I follow their ethical guidance including:
- HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Arts Therapists
- HCPC Fitness to Practise Policy
- HCPC Standards of conduct, performance and ethics
You can check my registration here: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/check-the-register/professional-registration-detail/?query=AS16418&profession=AS