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Calling all Psychologists, Counsellors & anyone clued up - enlighten me please!

(3 Posts)
SpareRoomSleeper Wed 27-Oct-10 16:59:27

I have a degree in Pyschology already, and am interested in becoming a professional counsellor. Ive looked at the courses available, and it looks like Ive got to start from level 2, certificate in counselling skills and work my way up from that.

Is there anyone who has done this course, and worked their way up to level 5, and qualified?

What is the difference between Chartered Psychologist and Proffesional Counsellor?

What exactly does it take to get to either position?

applecharlotte Thu 28-Oct-10 16:22:25

Hi, I've done quite a lot of research into this...

There are different types of psychologist, clinical, counselling etc have a look on the BPS website for more info.

If you wanted to become a Chartered Counselling Psychologist you'd need your degree at 2:1 or above. You'd then need to go and do a PsychD for 3 years full time where you'd go on placements and train, plus do a thesis and attend lectures at a university. Its pricey though - about £6k in fees a year. I think there are places that do a part time version that can be done over 5 years but I hear they are v demanding and give little time to work at the same time.

To become an accredited BACP counsellor you will need to do a 2 year part time certificate course (usually only 2 - 3 hours a week), I did mine at Birkbeck who are fantastic. You don't need a psych degree but its certainly a great asset to have for counselling.

Then you need to go on and do a post grad dip/Msc in Counselling which is usually 2/3 years part time (1 day a week in uni then a day or so a week at a placement). Fees are around £3k a year. This route will allow you to work and study at the same time though which helps manage financially. You'll again need to have some volunteer experience of counselling (childline, Samaritans etc) ususally 6 months min.

Again have a look at BACP website for more info. All counselling courses have different approaches (humanistic, psychodynamic, CBT, existential, psychosynthesis etc) so its important to read up on them before deciding which route to take as its a very individual thing.

Both routes lead you to quite different careers, I think the psychologist route will mean you work primarily in the NHS. Or you can set up your own practice. Long term you can move up the ranks and end up on a v high salary. Plus there is opportunity to specialise with certain groups or disorders.

The counselling route is much more competitive and all the counsellors I know have to supplement their income doing another job or work for free. There are lots of qualified counsellors around so its very difficult to make it a paid, full time career.

Erm.. I think I've run out of steam now! Let me know if you have any other specific questions I haven't covered.

NorwegianMoon Thu 06-Jan-11 12:43:22

applecharlotte gives good advice.

Counselling is not a great career to get into at the moment, they are cutting mental health budgets and the nhs is moving towards a hugly CBT based approach. Time focused and solution based interventions ie quick and cheap methods (not saying they dont work before any CBT therapists get arsey).

If you want to get in psychoanalysis its very expensive, hardly ever used by the nhs and very elitist. You need to think about who you want to treat. Only the very well off in private clinics usually have access -do you want to only service them? most of this work in london wealthy area etc.. for example you will need to contact the Jungian institute.

Person centrerd is popular used by volunatry charities etc, to be honest in this climate youl end up doing years of voluntary work and probebely wont get a job out of it.

a better option would be to apply to be a therapy assistant at a psychiatric ward and then do a counselling course on the side. make sure it is acredited by the bacp as there is alot of shit out there.

good luck, i was going to follow this route but the Jungian route is too expenisve and long winded.

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