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Psychologists have an understanding of and capacity to engage in evidence-based and culturally-informed intervention, assessment, prevention, training, and research practices. They focus on healthy aspects and strengths of their clients (whether they are individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, or communities); environmental/contextual influences (such as cultural, sociopolitical, gender, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic factors) that shape people’s experiences and concerns; the role of career and work in peoples’ lives; and advocacy for equity and social justice.

To enter a counselling psychology training programme, you will need either an undergraduate or Master’s degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and leads to graduate membership. As well as this, you will need some experience working with adults or children. 

To qualify, counselling psychologists complete a Health and Care Professions Council-accredited practitioner doctoral degree, which require at least 450 hours of supervised counselling practice over three or more years. These hours should be undertaken in a variety of settings. Trainees are also required to receive personal therapy during training.  

Typically, education for a counseling psychology career begins with an undergraduate degree. Most students choose to begin with a bachelor’s in psychology as this offers a great foundation for advanced education that will follow. Counseling psychology concentrations are uncommon, but some graduate programs offer more options to dive further into this specialty.

Following their undergraduate education, students will pursue either a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. Regardless of which degree they pursue first, the doctoral degree will be necessary to practice. Most states require a doctoral degree from an accredited university.