What do counselling psychologists do?
Counselling psychologists are a relatively new breed of professional applied psychologists concerned with the integration of psychological theory and research with therapeutic practice. The practice of counselling psychology requires a high level of self-awareness and competence in relating the skills and knowledge of personal and interpersonal dynamics to the therapeutic context.
Key tasks include:
- Assessment, including assessment of mental health needs, risk assessment and psychological testing
- Formulation (i.e. a psychological explanation of the genesis and maintenance of the psychological problem)
- Planning and implementation of therapy
- Report writing and record keeping
- Evaluation of the outcome of therapy
- Supervision and training of other psychologists
- Research and development
Where they work
Counselling psychologists work almost anywhere there are people. For instance, counselling psychologists are currently employed in 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.