FAQs about careers in the psychological therapies
This page has some frequently asked questions about careers in the psychological therapies.
- What careers are there in the psychological therapies?
- How and where can I train to be a psychotherapist?
- Is there NHS funding for postgraduate psychology training?
- What is Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and what sort of careers are there in this field?
- My degree isn't in psychology, Can I still become a clinical, counselling, health or forensic psychologist?
- How do I train to work as a counsellor in the NHS?
- Where can I get training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
- Can I work as an assistant in the psychological therapies?
- Where can I find more information about careers in the psychological therapies?
Careers in the psychological therapies include counsellors, high intensity therapists, assistant psychologists, psychological wellbeing practitioners, psychologists (working in clinical, counselling, forensic and health areas of psychology) and psychotherapists.
Most staff in the NHS that provide psychotherapy are clinically qualified healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers or art, music or dramatherapists who have undergone appropriate training.
Visit our pages about psychotherapist for more information.
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.
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.
However, if you like the idea of using the talking therapies, you might also want to look at opportunities for working as a counsellor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, social worker, mental 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
The NHS also employs staff in a broad range of roles using the talking therapies, including psychological wellbeing practitioners, high intensity therapists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and others.
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.
Yes, it is possible to work as an assistant psychologist.
You can find more information about careers in the psychological therapies by visiting our explore roles section