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A Career in Counselling Psychology


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Presentation by Dr Hannah Sale, Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, at our Careers in psychology event, March 2016

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A Career in Counselling Psychology

  1. 1. A Career in Counselling Psychology Dr Hannah Sale.
  2. 2. ETHOS- How does counselling psychology differ from clinical? • Roots in a humanistic philosophy. • (?) Greater focus on social/political/cultural context. • Greater focus on optimal wellbeing rather than mental illness. • A relational stance -emphasises the therapeutic relationship.
  3. 3. TRAINING-How does counselling psychology differ from clinical? • Counselling psychology is self funded. • Consider: • University fees • Personal therapy fees • Travel cost to placements • Possible supervisor fees • Demanding course: study, reflection, personal development.
  4. 4. TRAINING-How does counselling psychology differ from clinical • Freedom of choice with placements. • Less focused on medical model approach. • Strong emphasis on personal development. • Strong emphasis on relational aspect of therapy; the therapeutic alliance.
  5. 5. Counselling Psychology Training- What does it involve? 4 year part time course at UEL: 450 therapy hours 80 hours of personal therapy. 60 Supervision hours. Portfolio at the end of each year 3-4 Assignments per year e.g 3,000 word process reports/ case study/ critical review/ research proposals. 30,000 word Doc thesis. Therapeutic framework – CBT, Psychodynamic, integrative.
  6. 6. My career path • Registered General Nurse • Undergraduate Psychology Degree. • Trained as Couples Counsellor with Relate. • Sexual Health Adviser • Part- time professional doctorate in counselling psychology –University Of East London.
  7. 7. Counselling Psychology Training- What does it involve? • Minimum 3 placements: • I did 5 • Clinical Health • Sexual Health • Gender Identity • Adult mental health • Couples Counselling with Relate.
  8. 8. Working as a Psychologist in Eating Disorders. • Individual therapy with those who meet criteria for Anorexia Nervosa including assessment and formulation. • Running groups for those with mild /moderate eating disorders. • Team meetings/ supervision/supervising junior staff / audits/liaising with other members of MDT.
  9. 9. How do I become a counselling psychologist? • To become a BPS chartered counselling psychologist, you will need the following qualifications: • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC, previously known as GBR). This is achieved by completing a Society accredited degree or conversion course • Society accredited Doctorate in Counselling Psychology or the Society’s Qualification in Counselling Psychology • 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.
  10. 10. What is relevant experience and how do I get it? • It is often an entry requirement of the counselling psychology courses to have completed a basic counselling skills course • IAPT as a route to post grad training. • Experience in mental health settings • Paid – support worker/nursing assistant/assistant psychologist • Voluntary –Samaritans/ mental health charities.
  11. 11. Where they work • 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.