sarah hart training

Telephone counselling training: for individual counsellors and psychotherapists

This CPD training includes all BACP competences listed which are relevant to telephone counselling.

BACP Telephone and E-counselling Competences

The training also includes first hand practicalities and considerations for working on the phone and developing a telephone counselling practice.

As a counsellor who works via the telephone, my clients live all over the UK and abroad, I feel the best way to learn how to work with clients over the telephone is to receive training using the same medium. To me, learning how to work on the phone in a face to face setting, defeats the object!

The course consists of five 90 minute, weekly taught modules and two skills practice sessions. This combination of learning allows counsellors time to reflect and practice the best way for them to adapt how they work face to face to the medium of the telephone.

Training modules take place in small groups via telephone conference calls. Mirroring the telephone counselling session environment, we will explore the often unrecognised potential as well as the challenges of working over the phone.


“I came to the course quite cynical about the value of telephone counselling but understanding that it could solve a lot of logistical problems I was having (booking a room and the difficulties of some clients travelling in). For me the first session was quite a turning point, you highlighted the 'special cases' when it is a valuable approach you also gave a bibliography the research base supporting the approach for general users and when I followed this up I became more confident. After week two I was completely won over! Thank you, I've done a lot of CPD over the years and this was the most valuable in terms of enhancing my range of professional skills and knowledge. Certainly the one most likely to have greatest impact on my private practice.” Martyn Jessop MBACP(Accred)

“I thoroughly enjoyed the process, course content and experiential learning. I think it was all well put together and your facilitation really helped me participate and not to feel so anxious. I have totally changed my mind about the use of telephone counselling and feel there is a definite benefit and niche. I would not hesitate to recommend this course. I feel I now have a huge benefit as a practitioner to add to my skills, but also a lot to reflect on regarding my current practice – how I might make changes and also how to build my practice for the future.” Angela Coulson, MBACP (Accred)

“I felt the whole experience was extremely valuable and great value for money. The opportunity to practice assessments and counselling was really key. I found this to be one of the most immediately relevant and practical courses that I’ve ever attended. It’s extremely well thought through, really thinking through both the eyes of the client and the counsellor in the counselling to create a safe, ethically-sound therapeutic experience for the client. It is a discipline in its own right - so much more than merely ‘adding in’ the telephone as a form of communication with the client.” Valerie Smith

“I thought that as I am quite a visual person, I may struggle to meet my client fully on the phone, however, during the practice sessions I did not experience this. I think I was as able to connect as well with a client on the phone as I am able face to face. I found the whole training really well structured and very informative and it also got me thinking more deeply about my face to face practice. It was very help to hear specific examples of how you might explain things to clients. Thank you for this interesting, informative and inspiring training. I now feel happy and willing to offer my services as a phone counsellor.” Laurie Wardlaw, MBACP

“I found the whole course helpful. I found the practice sessions so helpful, I felt that we had enough preparation in the course to experiment fully. I also found the handouts extremely useful to structure the evening courses and to look back upon. Last but not least, Sarah never leaves a question unanswered and is incredibly generous in sharing information and her own experience.” Jane Llewellyn-Blain, MBACP

"The course was absolutely fascinating, so eye opening. It including things that we need to take into consideration when working generally in private practice, like contracting, assessments and marketing. I found the skills practice element especially helpful. Sarah made what could so easily have been a dry topic into a wonderful process." Nathalie Asmall, MBACP (Snr. Accred)


Telephone Counselling Training content includes:

  • Telephone counselling as a specialism – working professionally to meet the BACP competences
  • Main differences between telephone and face to face counselling/psychotherapy
  • Core skills and attitudes needed for telephone counselling
  • Practicalities and realities of a telephone based short and long term therapy practice
  • Assessments
  • Contracting with clients
  • Developing the counsellor-client relationship
  • Mental Health issues
  • Managing 'difficult' sessions
  • Ethical and boundary issues
  • Developing your telephone counselling practice – fees and payment, insurance, contracting with clients etc

Course format
The course consists of a total of 12 CPD hours as follows:

  • Five taught modules, each 90 minutes long, one a week for five weeks.
  • Pre-course one to one session with Sarah, lasting 30 minutes.
  • Counselling skills practice sessions. Participants will be asked to counsel each other in between modules 2 and 3 – four hours in total. The aim is for participants to practise telephone counselling skills and share their experience with each other and the group during feedback sessions.

“For somebody who was wary of the phone in the first place the use of conference calling to participate in the modules served to desensitize me to the phone and enabled me to gain confidence and skills on the phone that I would not have learned otherwise. The practice sessions with fellow delegates gave me, and I think others, valuable experience and enabled us to confront our fears, phobias and offered us unique insight into how telephone counselling works. I enjoyed the course and have recommended it to colleagues. Your warmth, openness and willingness to share your tools and expertise made the course full of depth and learning. I was surprised to discover a more confident side to myself a practitioner and a potential telephone counsellor. I came away not only willing to allow myself the thought of working on the phone but also allowing myself the thought of being an author, blogger, tweeter and much more. I thank you.” Sam Elderfield, MBACP

“I was very impressed with the course. I was sceptical about working on the phone in the first place but I gained a lot of knowledge. It was interesting and I felt held within the course. It was also very helpful to work together in our skills practice counselling sessions. I wish I had done the course ages ago!” Terrence Rudge, MBACP

I found the course extremely interesting and thought provoking. I truly feel inspired!! The core skills were clear and easy to put into practise and supported by useful information about Sarah’s own experiences. The course was delivered very effectively and information was well structured and easy to understand. Student contributions were welcomed and valued. Practise sessions with other students were very helpful and tested me in a supportive manner. The marketing advice was particularly useful and I will definitely follow Sarah's advice and suggestions.” Anne Millne-Riley BA Hons, Dhp, Dip, AMNRHP, MICHT

“Thank you for a great learning experience I really enjoyed the course and the practice sessions were very helpful. Sarah was very warm and her teaching skills were excellent. I would definitely recommend this course.” Sarah Sweeney, MBACP


Telephone counselling training dates and fees

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