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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. 

Billy always listens to his mother. He always does what she says. If his mother says, “Brush your teeth” , Billy brushes his teeth. If his mother says, “Go to bed”, Billy goes to bed. Billy is a very good boy. A good boy listens to his mother. His mother doesn’t have to ask him again. She asks him to do something one time, and she doesn’t ask again. Billy is a good boy. He does what his mother asks the first time. She doesn’t have to ask again. She tells Billy, “You are my best child.” Of course Billy is her best child. Billy is her only child.

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.