QCoP, PsyD or masters for counselling?

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lucadett
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#1
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Hello, I'm a final year bachelor psychology student trying to figure out what my next career steps will be. My main area of interest is counselling.

I know that I don't want to do a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) because this is too heavily focussed on research. I am trying to decide between a doctorate-level qualification (QCoP or PsyD) or masters followed by a EuroPsy certificate which allows you to practice in 37 countries in Europe without licensure. I am assuming that the main difference between these paths is that the doctorate-level one leads to higher pay and greater opportunities to practice internationally due having a doctors title, is this correct?

Also, can someone explain the difference between a QCoP and a PsyD (Doctorate of Psychology), also recognised as DCounsPsych? I know that the QCoP is more independent but is it more practice focused?

Any advice would be appreciated 😊
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Jennnsonde
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Hi, I dont really have the answer to your questions but I am in the exact same dilemma as a final year psychology bachelor student, so I'm following the topic, psychologist qualifications are extremely complex in UK and I'm feeling super lost about what decision to take and what are going to be the pro and cons. I am personally thinking about pursuing a QCOP, following by a top up doctorate, but once again, still waiting to learn more about different specifications of alllll these different path to become a counseling psychologist
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Interrobang
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A good place to start is the BPS website on these things - it gives you the two training routes to be counselling psychologists (you can be a counsellor without being a psychologist too). This is the main page: https://careers.bps.org.uk/area/counselling

Info on the QCoP: https://www.bps.org.uk/psychologists...ing-psychology
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Lord Asriel
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(Original post by lucadett)
Hello, I'm a final year bachelor psychology student trying to figure out what my next career steps will be. My main area of interest is counselling.

I know that I don't want to do a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) because this is too heavily focussed on research. I am trying to decide between a doctorate-level qualification (QCoP or PsyD) or masters followed by a EuroPsy certificate which allows you to practice in 37 countries in Europe without licensure. I am assuming that the main difference between these paths is that the doctorate-level one leads to higher pay and greater opportunities to practice internationally due having a doctors title, is this correct?

Also, can someone explain the difference between a QCoP and a PsyD (Doctorate of Psychology), also recognised as DCounsPsych? I know that the QCoP is more independent but is it more practice focused?

Any advice would be appreciated 😊
First of all you need to be clear about the difference between being a Counsellor and a Counselling Psychologist. They are two very different roles and training paths.

A counsellor doesn't need to have a psychology degree, but has a training path that is built on mainly providing counselling to clients/patients using one type of approach. There is some academic and theoretical learning, but the bulk of the training is gaining supervised hours to provide counselling or therapy to people. The minimum academic qualification is roughly at RQF level 6 so roughly equivalent to undergrad level (even some may be diplomas or masters courses)

A counselling psychologist, like a clinical psychologist, is an applied scientist role that requires a practitioner doctorate (DClinPsy, DCounsPsy etc) and registration with the HCPC. The RQF level is level 8 at doctorate level (the highest possible in the UK) This type of training has a large therapy training component consisting of multiple types of therapy, and various other competencies, but they will also be required to do research methods training and complete one or more larger doctoral level research projects.

The "doctors title" part is irrelevant, the opportunities come from the differences in training. It's also not true that counsellors with a BSc always earn less than a psychologist with a doctorate. Counselling and Psychotherapy (outside the health service) is about as much being able to build and run a business, so a business savvy counsellor who builds a good repuation and has a focussed skillset can easily earn much more than a less savvy Counselling Psychologist. There may be more opportunities for a CounPsy for instance, you wouldn't be able to get a major research grant, be seen as a credible expert witness in court, or become a professor with a basic counsellors training.

However, if you just want to work with patients providing counselling and not worry about being pulled into anything else, train as a counsellor. Its quicker, cheaper and you don't have to worry about research.
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lucadett
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(Original post by Jennnsonde)
Hi, I dont really have the answer to your questions but I am in the exact same dilemma as a final year psychology bachelor student, so I'm following the topic, psychologist qualifications are extremely complex in UK and I'm feeling super lost about what decision to take and what are going to be the pro and cons. I am personally thinking about pursuing a QCOP, following by a top up doctorate, but once again, still waiting to learn more about different specifications of alllll these different path to become a counseling psychologist
It's good to know that there are others out there with the same dilemma😅 Why are you thinking of pursuing a QCOP? Also, why would you have to do a top-up doctorate when the QCOP is a doctoral-level qualification?
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lucadett
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(Original post by Lord Asriel)
First of all you need to be clear about the difference between being a Counsellor and a Counselling Psychologist. They are two very different roles and training paths.

A counsellor doesn't need to have a psychology degree, but has a training path that is built on mainly providing counselling to clients/patients using one type of approach. There is some academic and theoretical learning, but the bulk of the training is gaining supervised hours to provide counselling or therapy to people. The minimum academic qualification is roughly at RQF level 6 so roughly equivalent to undergrad level (even some may be diplomas or masters courses)

A counselling psychologist, like a clinical psychologist, is an applied scientist role that requires a practitioner doctorate (DClinPsy, DCounsPsy etc) and registration with the HCPC. The RQF level is level 8 at doctorate level (the highest possible in the UK) This type of training has a large therapy training component consisting of multiple types of therapy, and various other competencies, but they will also be required to do research methods training and complete one or more larger doctoral level research projects.

The "doctors title" part is irrelevant, the opportunities come from the differences in training. It's also not true that counsellors with a BSc always earn less than a psychologist with a doctorate. Counselling and Psychotherapy (outside the health service) is about as much being able to build and run a business, so a business savvy counsellor who builds a good repuation and has a focussed skillset can easily earn much more than a less savvy Counselling Psychologist. There may be more opportunities for a CounPsy for instance, you wouldn't be able to get a major research grant, be seen as a credible expert witness in court, or become a professor with a basic counsellors training.

However, if you just want to work with patients providing counselling and not worry about being pulled into anything else, train as a counsellor. Its quicker, cheaper and you don't have to worry about research.
Thank you so much for your response, it's extremely helpful! 😌
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lucadett
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(Original post by Interrobang)
A good place to start is the BPS website on these things - it gives you the two training routes to be counselling psychologists (you can be a counsellor without being a psychologist too). This is the main page: https://careers.bps.org.uk/area/counselling

Info on the QCoP: https://www.bps.org.uk/psychologists...ing-psychology
Thank you! I appreciate your help 😊
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Jennnsonde
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(Original post by lucadett)
It's good to know that there are others out there with the same dilemma😅 Why are you thinking of pursuing a QCOP? Also, why would you have to do a top-up doctorate when the QCOP is a doctoral-level qualification?
I was thinking about doing the QCOP mainly because of the flexibility that it would give me, after the 3 years of bachelor degree I kind of miss my independence and I loved the idea of working at my own pace, the top up doctorate would mainly be because I am thinking about leaving the UK after my studies so a doctorate award would perhaps offer me more opportunities regarding to being able to practice in other countries ? Knowing that after a QOCP you have a doctoral level but you don’t have the doctorate award/Title. I'm as well reading everyday how competitive university counselling doctorate programs are so it kind of discourage me to focus myself on this option as an plan A. However I am still learning everyday new informations about different options to become a counselling psychologist and it leads me to change my plans every 3 months lol, I’ve learnt today that core trainings for the QOCP would be a separate extra expense, and that usually people doing a QOCP are pursuing a master degree at the same time that would cover these trainings AND would provide them a placement, I just have no clue of which master to choose then exactly ? There is so many of them and not enough details informations I’m just lost lol
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Lord Asriel
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People taking the QCOP route into counselling psychology are quite rare, and I would argue that is for a reason.

While the doctorate is competitive (clinical even moreso), they provide you a lot of infastructure to your training. They have a clear curriculum, placements and competencies you need to cover and they are built into the training programme. They ensure you have the necessary academic, research and clinical components you need to meet HCPC requirements, and have the tutors and placements to ensure this happens. If you are doing the independent route, you have to figure out all of that yourself, pay for the various components independently and find your own placements.

The last thing is the hardest part without any contacts or personal links. To give you an example, my service hosts a NHS clinical placement for a trainee clinical psychology, that I supervise. It is reserved for DClinPsy trainees at my local university, as I know they have been trained, vetted, criminal record checked and have already met a specific criteria my service demands. I wouldn't take on a QCOP trainee as I will have no guarantee of any of the above, and that burden of checking would fall on me. Most in demand services are going to think similarly as CAMHS, CMHTs and other core NHS services (that give you the best clinical experience) will have pre-existing agreements with universities that jealously guard their placements. As a result independent counselling psychology trainees often have to take placements with non-NHS organisations, or less in demand services.

To draw an analogy with home ownership it's the difference between you buying a house from an established housebuilding company vs, you buying the land, finding an architect, finding a builder, doing the wiring and plumbing yourself. You end up in both situations with a house you own, but one route is far more straightforward and quicker.
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