A Career in Counselling Psychology


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Presentation by Juliet Couche, chartered counselling psychologist, at University of Sussex, February 2011

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A Career in Counselling Psychology

  1. 1. A career in counselling psychology Juliet Couche Chartered counselling psychologist
  2. 2. My career path … <ul><li>An undergraduate psychology degree </li></ul><ul><li>Public relations for charities and government departments for PR agency </li></ul><ul><li>Freelance PR </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering for the Samaritans </li></ul><ul><li>Postgraduate certificate in counselling psychology </li></ul>
  3. 3. My career path… <ul><li>Continued PR freelancing to fund training </li></ul><ul><li>Following PG Cert accepted onto MSc in counselling psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Two year MSc, one year Post MSc Diploma to meet chartered status with BPS </li></ul><ul><li>Three year training took 6 years! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Counselling psychology training <ul><li>No funded training programme </li></ul><ul><li>Increased focus on the therapeutic relationship </li></ul><ul><li>No child or older people specific placements required </li></ul><ul><li>Less emphasis on neuropsychology </li></ul><ul><li>Placements are selected by the individual </li></ul>
  5. 5. Training options <ul><li>BPS independent route, cheaper but challenging </li></ul><ul><li>Accredited courses, more expensive but flexible </li></ul><ul><li>MSc and Post MSc diploma now DPsych widely available in line with clinical training </li></ul><ul><li>Historically an older intake </li></ul><ul><li>Second career </li></ul><ul><li>This is changing…… </li></ul>
  6. 6. Clinical vs counselling psychology <ul><li>Definitions of clinical and counselling psychology are merging more and more </li></ul><ul><li>Counselling psychology focuses more on process issues in therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Counselling psychology training has more emphasis on the therapeutic relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of jobs now directed at counselling and clinical psychologists </li></ul>
  7. 7. Flexibility in training <ul><li>Choosing NHS placements in years 2 & 3 enabled NHS job opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Possible to qualify as a chartered counselling psychologist without having worked in the NHS </li></ul><ul><li>Needed flexibility to fit around work not possible with clinical training </li></ul>
  8. 8. My placements <ul><li>Women’s counselling service </li></ul><ul><li>Special school staff counselling service </li></ul><ul><li>Youth bereavement service </li></ul><ul><li>Parent counselling service through LEA </li></ul><ul><li>NHS secondary mental health services - PTS and CMHT </li></ul>
  9. 9. Employment history <ul><li>Placements with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust led to employment as team psychologist in CMHT </li></ul><ul><li>Worked in a range of CMHTs on bank and part time permanent contracts as team psychologist </li></ul><ul><li>Now… locality lead supervisor for Health in Mind, new IAPT service providing CBT for depression and anxiety disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist interest in complex trauma and working with anger and violence </li></ul>
  10. 10. Aspects of the role <ul><li>Assessment, including assessment of mental health needs, risk assessment and psychometric testing. </li></ul><ul><li>Formulation (i.e. a psychological explanation of the genesis and maintenance of the psychological problem) </li></ul><ul><li>Planning and implementation of therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Report writing and record keeping </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation of the outcome of therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Supervision and training of other psychologists </li></ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary team work and team facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Service and organisational development </li></ul><ul><li>Audit and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Research and development </li></ul><ul><li>Management of services </li></ul>
  11. 11. What is relevant experience and how do I get it? <ul><li>It is often an entry requirement of the counselling psychology courses to have completed a basic counselling skills course. </li></ul>
  12. 12. How do I become a counselling psychologist? <ul><li>To become a BPS chartered counselling psychologist, you will need the following qualifications: </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC, previously known as GBR). This is achieved by completing a Society accredited degree or conversion course </li></ul><ul><li>Society accredited Doctorate in Counselling Psychology or the Society’s Qualification in Counselling Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>In order to use the title Counselling Psychologist, you will need to be registered with the Health Professional Council (HPC) . This will involve completing a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology (or equivalent) that has been approved by the HPC. Please contact the HPC directly for more information on the entry requirements for their register. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Where they work <ul><li>Counselling psychologists work almost anywhere there are people. Industry, commerce, the prison service and in all layers of education from primary school to university. About half of all counselling psychologists are employed to do clinical work in health and social care settings. Other career paths can be found in teaching and research for academic bodies. Counselling psychologists can also practise privately as organisational consultants. </li></ul>