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Counselling psychologist: Job description

Counselling psychologists use psychological theory and research in therapeutic work to help clients with a variety of problems. These range from anxiety and depression arising from difficult life issues to those suffering with mental health conditions.

Life issues that people struggle to deal with could include:

  • bereavement;
  • relationship difficulties;
  • domestic violence;
  • sexual abuse.

Mental health conditions include:

  • eating disorders;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • psychosis.

Practising as a counselling psychologist requires a high level of training and self-awareness, achieved through personal therapy.

You also need to be able to work collaboratively with the client in a holistic and insightful way to enable them to consider change.

Counselling psychologists are based in:

  • hospitals;
  • health and care services;
  • prisons and probation services;
  • private practice;
  • education and research;
  • consultancy.

Typical work activities

Counselling psychologists work with diverse client groups, including children, adults, families, couples and groups.

The work can vary depending on the setting and the clients, but may include:

  • undertaking assessments, including assessment of mental health needs, risk assessment and psychometric testing;
  • formulating a psychological explanation of the client's issues;
  • planning and implementing therapy;
  • evaluating the outcome of therapy;
  • establishing a collaborative working relationship with the client based on trust and respect;
  • writing reports and record-keeping;
  • training and supervision of other psychologists;
  • management, audit and development of services and organisation;
  • multidisciplinary teamworking;
  • continuing personal and professional development (CPD);
  • undertaking research, either individually or as part of a team.

There are 6 jobs available in healthcare

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Written by AGCAS editors
April 2014

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