FAQs about careers in the psychological professions

This page has some frequently asked questions about careers in the psychological professions.

What careers are there in the psychological therapies?

Careers in the psychological therapies include counsellors, high intensity therapistsassistant psychologists, psychological wellbeing practitioners, psychologists (working in clinical, counselling, forensic and health areas of psychology) and psychotherapists.

How and where can I train to be a psychotherapist?

Most staff in the NHS that provide psychotherapy are clinically qualified healthcare professionals, such as psychiatristsclinical psychologistssocial workers or art, music or dramatherapists who have undergone appropriate training.

Visit our pages about psychotherapist for more information.

Is there NHS funding for postgraduate psychology training?

The NHS employs clinical, counselling, forensic and health psychologists. The training and financial support is different for each. The NHS usually supports a number of students on approved postgraduate clinical psychology courses, whereas students on other courses usually self-fund. However, it is always worth checking with employers and course providers directly. 

The NHS offers a limited number of child psychotherapy training posts which are offered by a small number of NHS trusts, or as a partnership between an NHS trust and one of the training providers. These posts provide varying levels of financial support for trainees, in exchange for clinical practice, usually undertaken at an NHS site. Further information on NHS training posts and grants, is available directly from NHS trusts or from the individual training organisations.

Find out more about training in the psychological therapies.

What is Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and what sort of careers are there in this field?

IAPT is an initiative to provide greater public access to the talking therapies. Specifically, within IAPT there are opportunities to train as psychological wellbeing practitioners and high intensity therapists.

Find out more about IAPT

However, if you like the idea of using the talking therapies, you might also want to look at opportunities for working as a counsellor, psychotherapistpsychiatrist, clinical psychologistsocial workermental health nurse, or occupational therapist.

My degree isn't in psychology, Can I still become a clinical, counselling, health or forensic psychologist?

if your degree isn't in psychology, you can study for an approved conversion course which will give you eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This membership then allows you to apply for postgraduate courses in clinical, counselling, health or forensic psychology

How do I train to work as a counsellor in the NHS?

Find out more about the roles that counsellors play in healthcare

The NHS also employs staff in a broad range of roles using the talking therapies, including psychological wellbeing practitioners, high intensity therapists, psychotherapistspsychiatrists, clinical psychologists and others.

Where can I get training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) training is provided by a number of organisations.

However, if you want to undertake this training while working in the NHS, you should consider applying for roles such as  psychological wellbeing practitioner or high intensity therapist, if you are already a qualified healthcare professional.

Can I work as an assistant in the psychological professions?

Yes, it is possible to work as an assistant psychologist.

Where can I find more information about a career in the psychological professions?

You can find more information about careers in the psychological therapies by visiting our explore roles section

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