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Perspectives on Counselling Psychology

'Counselling Psychologist' is a legally protected title which may be used only by suitably trained and qualified applied psychologists who typically rely extensively on talking therapy or other forms of relational encounter. The Division of Counselling Psychology (DCoP) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) was first established as a section in 1982. BPS  Chartered Psychologists have equivalent status to other Practitioner Psychologists working in areas such as clinical, health and occupational psychology.

Counselling psychology is differentiated from the types of applied psychology by a philosophical standpoint which places great importance on the patient's subjective experiencing. In their work with those who seek their help, counselling psychologists place great emphasis on:

  • The relationship between client and practitioner.
  • The individual, subjective, phenomenological experience, feelings and meanings of the client
  • A therapeutic relationship in which psychologist engages authentically and empathically
  • Non-judgemental acceptance of the subjective world of the client as meaningful and valid in its own terms
  • A constructivist perspective which respects individual reality, negotiating perceptions and world-views without assuming an objectively discoverable universal reality
  • An abiding interest in the client's experience of their world and the way in which it may or may not be helpful in navigating this world
  • The Importance of awareness and insight, and through such discovery, an increased capacity for choice and self-empowerment
  • The importance of continual professional development, professional engagement and the generation of new knowledge with which to develop the profession of counselling psychology.

Link to the BPS Division of Counselling Psychology website: