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You will consider how people relate, how they think and behave, their experiences of the world and how they function in their everyday life. This will include exploring people’s social, economic, cultural, spiritual and physical health experiences. Counselling psychologists use psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and research. They work to reduce psychological distress and to promote the well-being of individuals, groups and families.

The relationship between you and your client is considered to be central to understanding particular psychological difficulties and how they apply to them. To help recognise the relationship between personal development and professional practice, you will be required to have personal therapy as a client as part of your training and continued professional development. 

To enter a counselling psychology training programme, you will need either an undergraduate or Master’s degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and leads to graduate membership. As well as this, you will need some experience working with adults or children. 

To qualify, counselling psychologists complete a Health and Care Professions Council-accredited practitioner doctoral degree, which require at least 450 hours of supervised counselling practice over three or more years. These hours should be undertaken in a variety of settings. Trainees are also required to receive personal therapy during training.  

Counseling psychologists pay attention to how problems and people differ across the lifespan, and they have great respect for the influence of different human traits, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability status, on psychological well-being. They conduct counseling/psychotherapy, teach and perform scientific research with individuals of all ages, families and organizations (e.g., schools, hospitals and businesses). They believe that behavior is affected by many things, including qualities of the individual (e.g., psychological, physical or spiritual factors) and factors in the person’s environment (e.g., family, society and cultural groups).