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Counselling psychologist

Counselling psychology deals with a wide range of mental health problems that may occur such as common mental health disorders including depression, in addition to eating disorders, psychosis, personality disorder, negative life events, bereavement, domestic violence, sexual, emotional and physical abuse, traumas and relationship issues.

Training and qualifications required

You’ll need an honours degree in psychology to become a member of the Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society which allows you to apply for post graduate courses in counselling psychology.

Expected working hours and salary range

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. Once they have completed their training, counselling psychologists will be paid at band 7. Counselling psychologists in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions can vary for employers outside of the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

On a daily basis you will use a broad range of skills, including a thorough knowledge of psychological theory and practice, an interest in how people think and behave and the ability to relate to a wide range of people including patients and colleagues.You'll need to be a patient, sympathetic and the ability to work on your own and in consultation with others.


Some psychologists decide to go into management and lead a team of professionals. With further experience you could qualify for the Register of Psychologists Specialising in psychotherapy and become a clinical supervisor. You could decide to go into clinical academic research to support the development of the profession, advocacy or social justice. You could also apply for a trainee high intensity therapist position, enabling you to work under the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies initiative.
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