Mental health professionals and the different approaches to resolve patient cognitive challenges are not something new. Counselling and Psychology have been terms floating around society for decades, more so recently than in the past as mental health prioritisation began rising. Since first being recognised as a speciality in the UK in 1982, counselling psychology has come a long way since then. Today, you can find counselling psychologists all across the UK, such as hospitals, education, corporate institutions, and private practices, holding a very humanistic value base with the core mission to help others. However, though you may have heard the term “counselling psychology” before, do you truly know what it means, and how it differs from all the other very similar specialities in the field?
What Is A Counselling Psychologist?
In summary, a counselling psychologist is a mental health professional who specialises in treating people who have stress, emotional crises, anxiety, or behavioural disorders. They work with those patients diligently to give them adequate support, consultations, and individualised psychological treatment to help them live a much healthier, better quality life.
In the UK, all counselling psychologists are monitored and managed by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which means their qualifications must be at a doctoral level. If someone here wants to be a Counselling Psychologist, they must register with the HCPC to do so, and that requires earning a qualification from an HCPC-approved Programme and prove that they meet the standards to proceed.
Branching off of that more, in order for someone in the UK to become a psychologist at all, the must be a BPS member, completed a first degree in psychology, recognised by the society as reaching the Graduate Basis requirements for the Chartered Membership, completed the Society doctoral training and qualifications, and finally, agree to always follow the Society’s Member Conduct rules and Code of Ethics.
Who Sees A Counselling Psychologist?
Counselling Psychologists help individuals of all ages, both in group, family, and single settings. In organisations such as hospital settings, they help patients with things such as acute admissions, rehabilitation, and support psychiatric intensive care units. Overall, anyone who is suffering from a mental issue, behavioural problems, or are having coping difficulties if any sort can all benefit from seeking out a counselling psychologist. They will work with them to find ideal solutions that will help individuals foster a better mindset to enhance their ability to be productive, positive, and effective in overcoming their problems.
UK Counselling Psychology in Comparison to Other Closely Related Specialities
This is often the spot where potential patients get confused because of how closely related each speciality is to one another. But there are key differences that make each one unique. For example, counselling psychology is one unit, but professions such as counselling and psychotherapy are separate and outside of the psychology profession. Other overlapping specialities include clinical psychology, for example, which utilises the integration of theory, science, and clinical knowledge to promote subjective well-being and personal development. It is actually very hard to distinguish the two, due to both being a part of the Psychology field.
So, what makes Counselling Psychology its own entity? It’s due to its strong interdisciplinary focus on therapeutic relationships, adhering more to the scientific model of the practice as well as the reflective one. Counselling Psychology may have many allied specialities, but its profound way to position itself alongside other specialists and a vast range of psychology approaches such as humanistic, existential, and cognitive-behavioural that make it its own category.
Furthermore, the training differs. Clinical psychology training is funded through NHS, and contains 30 doctorate courses in the UK, and counselling psychology has 14 doctorate courses that are offered. Though this may be alarming, both clinical psychologists and counselling psychologists in the UK are a part of the psychology field, both operate through a scientific and evidenced-based model practice and have comparable skills sets that can make patients confident that they are in great hands.
Pinpointing, strictly on a surface level, the difference between a counselling psychologist and a clinical one is tough to navigate through. After all, they are both trained to provide counselling and psychotherapy, but the rooted core difference is the focus and emphasis of the training they receive. Hopefully, after diving a bit deeper into the details, you now have a better understanding of what a counselling psychologist is, how they are their own practice, and how they can benefit people to live a much more fulfilling life through their diverse approaches.