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Should I do a degree in clinical / counselling psychology? watch

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    I haven't actually done my undergraduate degree in psychology yet so this is thinking a bit far ahead into the future but I just wanted to ask anyway.

    I know I want to do psychology in the future but I'm not sure if I want to be a clinical / counselling psychologist. To be honest I don't really understand the difference between them

    Also, I can't find any unis that do degrees in counselling psychology?? Do you need a counselling psychology degree to become a counselling psychologist or could you still become one with a clinical psychology degree? I'm so confused!!

    Thanks
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    Regarding your undergraduate you generally want to do straight Psychology (BSc Psychology). You can do clinical psychology (and possibly counselling psychology), but the difference between them is minimal and there is little point.

    To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist you have to do the doctorate in Clinical Psychology which is a three year, funded degree.

    To qualify as a Counselling Psychologist you have to do the doctorate in Counselling Psychology which is a three year, non-funded degree.

    Needless to say, most people pursue the clinical route. Provided your undergraduate degree confers GBC, then you can go on to qualify as any kind of Psychologist (though may have to pick up specific experience/master's along the way).
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    (Original post by _Sinnie_)
    Regarding your undergraduate you generally want to do straight Psychology (BSc Psychology). You can do clinical psychology (and possibly counselling psychology), but the difference between them is minimal and there is little point.

    To qualify as a Clinical Psychologist you have to do the doctorate in Clinical Psychology which is a three year, funded degree.

    To qualify as a Counselling Psychologist you have to do the doctorate in Counselling Psychology which is a three year, non-funded degree.

    Needless to say, most people pursue the clinical route. Provided your undergraduate degree confers GBC, then you can go on to qualify as any kind of Psychologist (though may have to pick up specific experience/master's along the way).
    Thank you so much for your help
    So are you saying that I could become a counselling psychologist regardless of what doctorate I do (clinical / counselling)?
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    Nope, you can become either a Counselling or Clinical Psychology regardless of which undergraduate you do (provided it is BPS accredited).

    The doctorate you do will determine which you qualify as (though you could theoretically do both).
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    (Original post by _Sinnie_)
    Nope, you can become either a Counselling or Clinical Psychology regardless of which undergraduate you do (provided it is BPS accredited).

    The doctorate you do will determine which you qualify as (though you could theoretically do both).
    Oh ok thank you
    I know you said the differences are minimal but what are the differences between a clinical / counselling psychologist
    Like what would they both be doing on a day to day basis?
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    There is little difference between the undergraduate degrees; all BPS accredited Psychology degree have the same core elements. Generally it is the third year modules that are different, whereby, instead of having options, you have to do one or two that are from the chosen specialty (i.e. forensic).

    The jobs are pretty similar, this is a basic bit about them both:

    http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/clinical


    http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/counselling

    Counselling is quite new, but as I say, unfunded.
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    (Original post by _Sinnie_)
    There is little difference between the undergraduate degrees; all BPS accredited Psychology degree have the same core elements. Generally it is the third year modules that are different, whereby, instead of having options, you have to do one or two that are from the chosen specialty (i.e. forensic).

    The jobs are pretty similar, this is a basic bit about them both:

    http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/clinical

    http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/counselling

    Counselling is quite new, but as I say, unfunded.
    Ok thank you so much
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    Bear in mind that the vast majority of people studying psychology will not become professional psychologists.

    Supply of eager graduates >>>>>>>>>>>>>> actual demand for clinical psychology doctorates and jobs. Therefore it is extremely competitive to get a funded clinical doctorate.

    But you can do plenty of other things with a psych degree.
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    Concentrate on doing your undergraduate degree first and doing the best you can. With that you can pursue any kind of psychology afterwards.

    As for the difference between clinical and counselling there are some (mainly about the way they are trained and the focus), but on a day to day basis, many clinical and counselling psychologists will work in mental health services delivering therapies, supervising staff and working with service users to help overcome their difficulties. The best thing you can do is try to contact some real life counselling and clinical psychologists who are willing to talk about their work.

    For me (clinical), a day in my diary last week was:

    9-10am: Team meeting -discuss the teams caseload and pick up any high risk issues.
    10-11am: Therapy with someone suffering from severe depression
    11-12:30: Going out with the team's psychiatrist for a home visit.

    1pm-3pm: Running a CBT group around anxiety.
    3pm: Supervising one of the support workers.
    3:30-4: admin, write up notes.
    4pm-5pm Therapy with someone suffering from an eating disorder

    Days are quite different though. Sometimes I may have to do some training and have my own supervision. Or other days there may be more one to one therapy and no group, or I may have a longer assessment slot. Thats just in adult mental health, and it will be different in child, older adult, forensic etc.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Bear in mind that the vast majority of people studying psychology will not become professional psychologists.

    Supply of eager graduates >>>>>>>>>>>>>> actual demand for clinical psychology doctorates and jobs. Therefore it is extremely competitive to get a funded clinical doctorate.

    But you can do plenty of other things with a psych degree.
    I've heard that it's really competitive but it's all I've really ever wanted to do so I'm going to give it a go
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    (Original post by Lord Asriel)
    Concentrate on doing your undergraduate degree first and doing the best you can. With that you can pursue any kind of psychology afterwards.

    As for the difference between clinical and counselling there are some (mainly about the way they are trained and the focus), but on a day to day basis, many clinical and counselling psychologists will work in mental health services delivering therapies, supervising staff and working with service users to help overcome their difficulties. The best thing you can do is try to contact some real life counselling and clinical psychologists who are willing to talk about their work.

    For me (clinical), a day in my diary last week was:

    9-10am: Team meeting -discuss the teams caseload and pick up any high risk issues.
    10-11am: Therapy with someone suffering from severe depression
    11-12:30: Going out with the team's psychiatrist for a home visit.

    1pm-3pm: Running a CBT group around anxiety.
    3pm: Supervising one of the support workers.
    3:30-4: admin, write up notes.
    4pm-5pm Therapy with someone suffering from an eating disorder

    Days are quite different though. Sometimes I may have to do some training and have my own supervision. Or other days there may be more one to one therapy and no group, or I may have a longer assessment slot. Thats just in adult mental health, and it will be different in child, older adult, forensic etc.
    Thank you so much that was very useful
    That's a very good idea I will look into talking to some psychologists about their work to help me get a better idea of what it's like

    I want to work in the area of mental health. Why do clinical/counselling have different names if they are so similar?I've heard that the main job of counselling psychologists is just to give therapy?I've also heard that counselling psychologists focus more one things like domestic violence, sexual abuse, bereavement etc... whereas clinical psychologists focus more on things like ocd, depression, anxiety?From your experience how true do you think this is?Do you work with many counselling psychologists?Sorry for all the questions it's just that you seem very knowledgable
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    (Original post by arabella37)
    I've heard that it's really competitive but it's all I've really ever wanted to do so I'm going to give it a go
    Sure, but have a back up plan. Good luck!
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    I want to work in the area of mental health. Why do clinical/counselling have different names if they are so similar?
    Technically they have different origins and underlying ideologies. Clinical psychology was established earlier, and sought to create "scientist practitioners" who were grounded in applying psychology as scientifically as possible. They were trained in empirical research, behaviour modification, assessment but later were trained in several forms of therapy as they were involved in creating an evidence base. Counselling Psychology came later, and was grounded in humanistic traditions, valuing individual experience and understanding over the science.

    However, over time and based on demands in healthcare, both came to be invovled in mental health, therapy, supervision etc and have often been seen as interchangable. However, there are still differences. Clinical Psychologists have mandatory training across the lifespan doing placements in adult, child, learning disablities, older adults and have enforced neuropsychological training. Counselling Psychology programmes are often more therapy centred, less standardised and trainees have the freedom to choose their own placements.

    I've heard that the main job of counselling psychologists is just to give therapy?I've also heard that counselling psychologists focus more one things like domestic violence, sexual abuse, bereavement etc... whereas clinical psychologists focus more on things like ocd, depression, anxiety?
    Both deliver therapy, but it depends on the job more than the training route. I know clinical psycholoigsts in IAPT who do CBT all day long, and counselling psychologists who do pure management. Depends on the individuals interests and career pathways. Similarly, the areas of speciality you focus on will depend on the jobs you take after qualifiying more than anything else. For instance, I have worked in all of the areas you mentioned above.


    Do you work with many counselling psychologists?
    I have in the past, and I have close friends who are counselling psychologists. I quite like them.
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    (Original post by Lord Asriel)
    Technically they have different origins and underlying ideologies. Clinical psychology was established earlier, and sought to create "scientist practitioners" who were grounded in applying psychology as scientifically as possible. They were trained in empirical research, behaviour modification, assessment but later were trained in several forms of therapy as they were involved in creating an evidence base. Counselling Psychology came later, and was grounded in humanistic traditions, valuing individual experience and understanding over the science.

    However, over time and based on demands in healthcare, both came to be invovled in mental health, therapy, supervision etc and have often been seen as interchangable. However, there are still differences. Clinical Psychologists have mandatory training across the lifespan doing placements in adult, child, learning disablities, older adults and have enforced neuropsychological training. Counselling Psychology programmes are often more therapy centred, less standardised and trainees have the freedom to choose their own placements.



    Both deliver therapy, but it depends on the job more than the training route. I know clinical psycholoigsts in IAPT who do CBT all day long, and counselling psychologists who do pure management. Depends on the individuals interests and career pathways. Similarly, the areas of speciality you focus on will depend on the jobs you take after qualifiying more than anything else. For instance, I have worked in all of the areas you mentioned above.




    I have in the past, and I have close friends who are counselling psychologists. I quite like them.
    Thank you for all your help!
    I understand the differences much more now

    As you advised originally I'm going to try and focus on doing well in my undergraduate and see what happens from there
    It's great to know what sort of things I'll hopefully be able to do in the future though!
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Sure, but have a back up plan. Good luck!
    haha thank you
 
 
 
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